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How to Maintain a Technological Balance

How to Maintain a Technological Balance


For a very long time, CommonPlaces has been nationally recognized as one of the best Drupal design agencies in the country. We are very proud of this distinction, and we fully recognize that Drupal development is one of our strengths. We have developers who bleed Drupal blue, and I'd certainly put our people up against anybody out there. For some, that's all they want to do, and they aspire to be the best in the world. Because of our reputation, we have a lot of companies coming to us who only want Drupal. They've made that decision, and that is the end of the discussion.

Less than half the businesses that contact us have no preconceived notion regarding their technology options. Typically, while they might have some knowledge of the open-source solutions available to them, we'll need to conduct a full planning and discovery process with the client, learning what their business needs and demands are. From there, we can make recommendations. I put myself in their place, and ask myself what solution I would want if this was my website that we are developing, and my money on the line.

That answer may very well not be Drupal.

Drupal first

There was a time, in the history of this company, when our blogs and business mindset emphasized Drupal development. The problem was that, philosophically, we didn't believe that was who we are. We may very well have lost some business because of a perception that we were entrenched in that direction. In the past 18 months CommonPlaces has transitioned away from giving such prominence to one open-source solution. I don't want to be known for just one technology. That would be a disservice to our clients.

New direction

We recently hired Chris Johnson to be our Director of Development. His broad knowledge of the layers below the framework, and grasp of the core languages that those frameworks were built in, means that he understands the strengths and weaknesses of each. It also leaves him without a bias toward any one. This makes him the ideal person to lead our team and cement the corporate mission of technology agnosticism.

The challenge, of course, is to allocate the proper resources to the job. If it's a Drupal website, clients know that we have the talent at hand, but they may be stretched. If it's a Magento website that's needed, or a WordPress website (to name just two solutions), the best people to work on those projects may be in demand just as much as the Drupal developers. It's a challenge to juggle a talented team, but it's a good position to be in.

If, in the future, CommonPlaces is officially recognized as the #1 Drupal developer in the world, then so be it. That's wonderful! However, I would never want to be known as only a Drupal developer.

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