142: Brant Wynn: the Acquia Demo Framework – How we pitch Drupal to potential clients

Brant Wynn, Acquia Solutions Architect, and I covered some interesting ground in our conversation preceding his jam's Drupal Camp session on selling Drupal to potential clients via beautiful, out-of-the-box demos. Listen to hear about working as a professional open source software developer, the potential wins from having migration tools built into Drupal 8, how Drupal 8 is bringing so many open source technologies and communities together, and more.

Professional open source: the more you give, the more you get

"I don't like to work on projects when we can't give back in any capacity; especially in Drupal because we've already taken so much to begin with," says Brant referring to the 10+ years of development that has gone into Drupal when you download it. "That's something I really get heated about at times when people say, 'Oh, we don't have time to contribute ... We're really busy ... We have all these cool modules and we'd like to open source them, but our company doesn't make any time for it.' I just want to strangle those managers and tell them: 'You're really doing yourself a disservice here. You've bought in to 35-40% of open source, but there's that whole 60% of getting other people looking at your code and fixing it and working together.' All they've bought into at that point is, 'Oh, I got some stuff for free,' and it's so much more than that."

Cathy Theys and I have talked about this a lot (and some of it is in the two great videos on this page: "Give and get good patch reviews session AND SymfonyCon interview!"). If your developers are allowed to work with a community of developers on an open source project like Drupal, they learn best practices, they're exposed to the latest and greatest technologies. It's like ongoing training; you get better developers and better (and often happier) employees by simply letting them work on the tools you've based your business on. There is no downside :-)

Migrate in Drupal 8

When asked what he's looking forward to most in Drupal 8, Brant talked about the inclusion of tools to help move sites from Drupal 6, Drupal 7, and also other CMSs onto Drupal 8. "I talk to so many people who are 'stuck' on previous versions of Drupal," who could just as easily move to another system as fight through a difficult upgrade path from Drupal 6 through Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. "Now Drupal's not going to be losing all these Drupal 6 sites. Showing that there's a clear path for them to get upgraded," straight to Drupal 8, "and re-architected at the same time without losing anything from a content perspective. It's great. It's the first time we've had something like that out-of-the-box in core." Staying on Drupal and moving to the latest and greatest in Drupal 8 becomes the most efficient choice, the 'path of least resistance'.

Migrate in core also allows people to evaluate Drupal more easily using their own content currently in another CMS, "People will be able to evaluate whether or not Drupal works for their organization much more directly, by actually seeing their content [in Drupal]," as opposed to building out the whole site in Drupal before you can get a feel for what it has to offer. Drupal demos for organizations considering a platform change become a whole lot easier. "If they're able to provide us a data source, we'll be able to bring that in, so we can do a look-and-feel for them and actually use their data to build a proof of concept. I'm looking forward to that."

Presenter Dossier: Brant Wynn

  • Acquia Solutions Architect, prolific Drupal contributor, Drupal mentor, CADUG (Chicago Advanced Drupal User Group) co-founder
  • Drupal.org profile: brantwynn
  • Website: whaaat.com
  • Twitter: @brantwynn
  • 1st Drupal memory: "Why do all the PHP job ads on Craigslist want Drupal experience? I should probably learn about this Drupal ... oh wow! It took me 20 hours to write this custom login; I could've just installed Drupal."
  • 1st version of Drupal: 5/6
  • Advice to developers learning Drupal: "I don't write any code until I go and research to know if anyone else has done this already. That's something I also do in PHP in general, looking for libraries and things like that."

Session Description: Demo Framework – How we pitch Drupal to potential clients

Over the past year, we've pushed the limits of Drupal creating the Demo Framework. Intended to be a starter kit for promoting enterprise-ready Drupal solutions, we use this framework to demo Drupal to our potential clients. This packaged solution uses modules from popular distributions like Spark, Commerce Kickstart, Commons and Panopoly to deliver engaging digital experiences with Drupal.

Topics for this session include:

  • Case Study - delivering ”Wow thru visual storytelling” through a live demonstration.
  • Demoing Drupal - user personas, demo scenarios, scripts and best practices.
  • Installing and configuring Demo Framework for use in your own client demos.
  • Best practices for building a robust POC that goes beyond a generalized demo scenario.
  • Demo Architecture - a.k.a. what goes into making a distro that tells the story of Drupal.
  • Q/A - getting involved with distributions, demos, and feedback from the audience.

The primary goal for this session is to help enable people that sell Drupal by providing them with a new and intuitive tool in the Demo Framework. With this platform for creating scenarios, attendees will understand using distributions to leverage repeatable Drupal architecture. By "standing on the shoulders of giants" individuals can take advantage of everything the CMS has to offer.

Session slides available here: http://brantwynn.github.io/dfslides

Interview Video

Session Video

Session Slides

Session slides available here: http://brantwynn.github.io/dfslides