How Do You Know that Gal Knows Drupal? Towards an Open Source Curriculum and a Community-Based Accreditation Scheme for Drupal

As Drupal grows, so do the challenges of identifying and developing Drupal talent. Gone are the days that a look at the issue queues of various projects could identify all the key talent available let alone all the talent needed. It's not even clear what the different Drupal roles are, what different organizations need, and how a Drupal newbie becomes a Drupal rockstar. And at the same time, it is becoming increasingly important to assess Drupal skills of and provide training for those for whom Drupal is a 9-5 job rather than a passion.

As the demand for Drupal talent grows, so does the supply of training. It's not just Lullabot or the DrupalDojo anymore. Acquia's impressive database ( lists some Drupal training event for almost every day. But this does not seem to be enough. We still need to answer questions like: How do we assess the quality of training provided? How do we assess the quality of learning individuals take away from training? Where does an individual training event fit into the knowledge/skill needs of an individual? How do we assess the knowledge/skills? Etc.

This session will review current initiatives and efforts towards a Drupal curriculum and/or certification like Acquia Training, DrupalKata or its offshoot, the Drupal Open Learning Initiative. We will review other solutions in other open source communities, such as Mozilla Dev Community, Typo3, Zend and more.

Evaluating the usefulness of each initiative from the perspective of the needs of the Drupal ecosystem, it will propose a framework for an OpenSource curriculum that will build on the strengths of the Drupal community. A reputation/community-based (rather than test-based) system of certification will be outlined based on the Web of Trust analogy. Such a system could be both pedagogically sound and palatable to organizations hiring Drupal talent. Moreover, it would make it easier for organizations to identify their Drupal skills needs and outline the needs of their staff for professional development. Finally, the session will ask the question of what part e-learning should play in Drupal training. It will review different demo sites:, LearnByTheDrop, MasteringDrupal, etc. and suggest how a Drupal curriculum and certification system make these sites more valuable to their users and allow these sites to draw greater value from their investments.

Earlier versions of parts of this proposal were outlined here and here.

Intended audience

Drupal trainers, Companies hiring Drupal talent, Consulting companies

Questions answered by this session

How to identify Drupal talent

How to train Drupal talent

What skills are required for Drupal

What do companies need to look for when hiring

What should the Drupal curriculum look like

Comments (4)

Dominik has put the

Dominik has put the presentation online at

Yes guilds would be related somewhat. We're talking about a federated accreditation for various types of certification or assessment. The types can be applied in the right situation. For example: A project manager could likely take a one day course, and then complete a short online quiz for confirmation of basic Drupal knowledge; and yet a theme developer might submit to a portfolio-based assessment; and a module developer might do a performance based evaluation.

The Guilds would be *one* of those types. And they would create some kind of validated credit, that could be federated as a metric in a trust-system. For example, as a badge on a profile. Being more long term (guild process could take up to 1 year), that kind of badge could be highly valued and respected. The value put on individual badges therefore would be based on reputation of the badge issuer.

drupal guilds

At drupalcon Chicago there was a talk covering these topics. They were creating what they called Drupal Guilds. Is this talk related anyhow?

Don't forget

Don't forget! :)

This looks great

I can't wait to see this one :)

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