Impressions on rejoining the Drupalverse

Posted by JD Collier on July 29, 2011

“Hi, my name is JD and I'm a noob.” That's how I feel I should start every conversation as I dive back into a world where every question I ask takes me deeper and deeper into the guts of Drupal.

But at least I'm no noob when it comes to web design/development. I have a stupid joke I tell almost every client: I tell people that Al Gore introduced me to the internet back in '92. It is a good ice breaker and sets the stage that I have been at this since the pioneer days.

Since that time, I've walked where we've all walked: I've used FrontPage (gasp), I've written my own CMS, and then I saw the light about 10 years ago and started using CMSs written by other people. I've used Typo3, Wordpress, Expression Engine, WebGUI, Mambo/Joomla, and many many many more. I think I've used all of them. During those early days, I also explored Drupal development. If you look at my account, you will see I've been lurking in the community for over 8 years.

I left Drupal several years ago because of its complexity; I'm coming back now because I need that the complexity to enable flexibility in what I can create. I'm tired of hacking CMSs to do what I need; I love that Drupal can do anything I've thrown at it (so far).

Thoughts on Drupal vs. the others

Here are some random thoughts as I dive back into the Drupalverse.

Drupal is:

  • much more flexible than Wordpress — I love being able to create my own content types
  • ...also more difficult to theme than Wordpress
  • more configurable than Expression Engine
  • more likely to be able to meet any client need
  • even better than BuddyPress for community sites

Resources to learn Drupal

Here are some resources I've found helpful in returning to Drupal:

What about you?

I would love to hear from you: Do you have any resources that would help a programmer get back into Drupal? 

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Submitted by airspoon on Fri, 07/29/2011 - 1:59pm

Although it's a paid site and relatively expensive, I'm finding Tom Geller's tutorial videos @ to be very, very helpful.

However, these videos aren't geared towards the hardcore Drupal (php) developer, though they certainly do help with learning the Drupal CMS.

Just to note -I'm not affiliated with Tom Geller or I am however finding these tutorials to be the best resource outside of

Submitted by JD Collier on Fri, 07/29/2011 - 2:13pm

I used to use all the time ... I'll have to check that out. We do some Drupal how-to videos as well at

Let me know if you find something else out there for programmers too :)



Submitted by Randall Knutson on Fri, 07/29/2011 - 4:18pm

Another great resource is

It has a lot more Drupal 7 videos.

Submitted by JD Collier on Fri, 07/29/2011 - 4:21pm

@Randall: That is a great resource ... thank you so much!

Submitted by IceCreamYou on Fri, 07/29/2011 - 7:46pm

I've heard good things about…

I'm very interested in your insights into BuddyPress vs. Drupal, mainly because I have spent a large portion of my time over the last 3 years working on community-focused modules for Drupal. I will probably forget to check back here, but if you could email me I would really appreciate that.

Submitted by JD Collier on Thu, 08/04/2011 - 4:54pm

@Pasqualle: I love these video sites ... thanks!

@IceCreamYou: The reason I'm leaning toward Drupal for community sites rather than BuddyPress has more to do with the Drupal underpinnings rather than just the community features.