I started my career as an artist, not a website developer. So it’s been a long, hard road convincing myself that I have the knowledge and background to be TEACHING other developers some of the technical skills that I’ve learned along the way. Developers can be an intimidating group, so a person needs to really be on their toes to be respected as a presenter/instructor. That being said, I enter these presentations with full confidence these days.
Drupal & The Magic 8-Ball
My presentation at the 2012 Innotech OKC conference at the Cox Convention Center presented some new challenges. Titled ‘Drupal for Decision Makers’, it was obvious that I’d need to keep the technical details and code examples to a minimum. For the first time my audience wasn’t a group of my peers in terms of being web developers. The attendees would more likely be department heads, CIO’s, marketing directors and other individuals with less of a technical background. Somehow I had to convince this group that Drupal has several advantages over the other major players in the Open Source CMS arena.
I opened with a ‘Magic 8-Ball’ analogy, because that’s very similar to how I made the decision to use Joomla at OSU years ago when I first started working with these open source frameworks. I also pointed out several large companies that use Drupal for their websites. But really, neither of these approaches get us any closer to an informed decision. I needed something more concrete for my audience to take away from the presentation.
Acquia to the Rescue
Luckily, my friends at Acquia have done the heavy lifting in filtering out the bullet points that I need without providing too many technical details. They provided some example materials but encouraged me to insert my own case studies to make the presentation more relevant to the clients that Interworks represents.
Using these materials, I compared Drupal to both Joomla and WordPress. On the surface, all three platforms provide essential elements for managing users and content. The biggest point that I made was that Drupal goes several levels deeper in allowing developers to hook into the logic behind the website framework. This allows for much more flexibility in both design and workflow. That flexibility really makes Drupal the hands-down winner for my clients.