Giving Back

A couple years ago, we decided to make a substantial investment in Drupal by employing a Drupal 8 core developer. The investment has paid off in ways we never anticipated, transforming our company for the better.

How it began

Drupal 8 development began in 2011. It plugged along for a couple of years and, as it got closer to becoming a reality, it became clear that the Drupal community would need to adapt its skill sets to accommodate the changes in the new platform architecture. This was daunting. We knew the cost of getting our team ramped up on Drupal 8 was significant and that there could be a steep learning curve.

Around the same time, the Drupal community experienced some growing pains. The size and complexity of Drupal 8 led to the perception that contributing back was hard. Dries spoke to this in his 2014 DrupalCon Keynote speech in Austin. He stressed that an open source community must attract more contributors as it matures to remain successful.

Our managing partner, John, saw an opportunity for a win-win with Drupal 8 and Chapter Three. He proposed that we hire a Drupal 8 Core developer to help accelerate the project. We would benefit by investing in the technology our company was built on and learn from one of the industry’s best (I’m looking at you, Alex). We achieved both of these things and gained far more along the way.

The context

To fully appreciate the value that hiring a Drupal 8 Core Developer delivered, it’s important to understand what makes a tech company like Chapter Three thrive.

Our industry is comprised of knowledge workers—people whose value derives from what they know and what they can contribute. Attracting, growing and maintaining a dedicated team requires a deep understanding of what motivates them and why they would want to stick with the company.

Knowledge workers are primarily motivated by:

  • learning
  • seeing results
  • believing in a company’s purpose or vision

Chapter Three began cultivating the “purpose and vision” characteristics a few years back through a branding exercise where we defined our values. Those values influenced how we ran our business and worked with one another.

The benefits

Hiring a Drupal 8 core developer helped cultivate the “learning” piece and embodied our core values. We knew our team would benefit from Alex’s mentorship, but we didn’t anticipate the charge and energy it would give our team. Alex motivated, united and excited our team like never before.

Knowing that our company is actively contributing to Drupal gives our team a sense of pride. It makes us feel part of something bigger. We look at Drupal 8 as something that we all helped create. It is tangible and measurable. When Alex announced his 5,000th commit to Drupal 8 on Twitter, we felt like we were all a part of that story. We saw the results of our contribution as a team.

Hiring Alex has made learning fundamental to our company culture. Our investment was a clear message we support growth at the highest level. It was Chapter Three saying to our entire team, “Hey! We've got your back. We want to help you learn, grow and thrive.”

This commitment to learning has transformed how we work and interact with each other. On any given day, it’s normal to see people paired up at desks helping each other and working as a team.

The bottom line

Investing in Drupal has helped grow our business, both in the number of projects and the size of our team. Since making this commitment, we’ve seen opportunities increase and job applicant quality improve. We've hired two additional Drupal 8 Core Developers to strengthen our investment in our future. 

Being part of something bigger matters. Giving back matters. Successful people know this. Tony Robbins said, “It is not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute… that gives meaning to our lives.”  

In a day where companies are differentiated by the depth of their commitment to something greater, we're well on our way to investing in the things that matter.

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