Vote Yourself Off the Island: Become a Better Drupal Developer By Looking Beyond Drupal


The allure of Drupal is obvious. It's a robust turn-key CMS with over 20,000 extensions. Working with Drupal is rewarding, interesting, and just plain fun. But the versatility, comfort and familiarity provided by Drupal can also be a trap -- one that leads to complacency, tunnel vision, and isolation.

It can happen so quickly. Every problem looks like a nail; and Drupal is the hammer you're holding. Soon, all you really know is Drupal. Before you realize it, you're stuck on an island.

This talk is inspired by, and will expand upon, Larry Garfield's exhortation to developers to "get off the island".

  • Using personal anecdotes and professional experiences (as part of NPR's team that built the Drupal-based Core Publisher platform) as examples, I will explain how easy it is to get trapped on the island that is Drupal development.
  • The talk will then encourage developers to get off the island and delve into, say, Django, Angular, Symfony – or even just plain old PHP. Such explorations not only foster professional development and personal growth. They can also lead to a better understanding of Drupal, and web systems in general.
  • Finally, I will touch upon some of the exciting new architectural elements in Drupal 8 and how this bold new version will force you off the island – whether you like it or not.

Attendees should leave with a decent grasp of how and why they should expand their sights beyond Drupal.

Session Track

Coding and Development

Experience Level


Drupal Version