Dries is the creator of Drupal and the co-founder and CTO of Acquia. Drupal is a web framework. It's free software used to build powerful websites. Examples of websites powered by Drupal include whitehouse.gov, Amnesty International and over 1.5 per cent of the web! In an exclusive interview with devworx, Dries shared what Drupal is all about, the enthusiastic community and some finer details about Acquia's offerings.
Dries Buytaert, Creator of Drupal, co-Founder and CTO of Acquia
Q. Hello Dries! I recently read on your blog where you mentioned, "people keep asking me where they could find good Drupal programmers, and you say 'don't ask me. I don't know'." We hear a lot about Drupal. Is Drupal this superior platform where it's rare to find good resources? Or do you think it's simple enough to learn?
A. Well, that's a good question actually. Drupal is often used for building pretty complex websites, so there's some complexity to the software. It is in a way, the necessary evil. In order to build these complex enterprise-level projects, you do need complexity. That automatically means there is a learning curve to get over. At the same time, what's also happening is that with such widespread adoption of Drupal, the demand for adoption of Drupal is much higher than the supply of good resources. So what we need to do is get more people involved with the Drupal project. Also we need more people in training programmes so that we can help meet the demand. So part of it is complexity, because it is a complex system but part of it is also the need for more trained personnel.
Q. Many claim to have experimented with Drupal, but eventually finding a sweet spot with platforms such as WordPress. What do you have to say to such users and how do you plan to encourage the adaptibility of Drupal?
A. Drupal is often criticised for being a little harder to use than other platforms available. At the same time, as I said Drupal is also used in such places where other projects are not used. The enterprise again is the best example. At the same time, we understand that this is a problem and we can do better. And so, if you look at Drupal 7, for example, which is a very major version of Drupal, the number one focus of our efforts was to improve end user experience and accesibility and usability of the system. We invested a lot of our efforts, the design, made the architecture better, and all of these things to make Drupal 7 easier to use. The same will be the case in Drupal 8. Usability will continue to be the focus. And usability not just for site users, but also for developers.