Critical Roles on Your Drupal Team 

Sites and applications exist to solve business problems. Drupal is a wise choice for building the sites and applications your organization needs to accomplish business goals, whether it be Sales, Marketing, Logistics, etc. Drupal is simple, and has a large community of development support. Though, it is also incredibly robust and takes a full team to make it work. We will cover the essential roles you need to deliver the best results. 

Keep in mind that these roles are necessary regardless of the size of your organization. Large enterprises will likely have one or more people in each role. However, in smaller organizations, you may find that one person covers multiple parts. It is also common that tasks are completed across a couple departments within an organization (i.e. – Marketing & IT).  

Site Builder

The Site Builder is the first link in the chain when creating a Drupal site and a core Drupal competency.  They install Drupal, configure modules, and lay the groundwork for a site that meets the requirements of the business.

In order for the site builder to construct a Drupal site successfully, they must have general understanding of how the web, web applications, web servers, and databases work.  For the Site Builder to be effective, they must also have a full grasp of the needs of the business and the ability to use that information to produce a suitable tool for the organization.

Technical knowledge is also a must. The Site Builder needs to be able to evaluate, select, configure, and modify modules, especially as business needs change over time. To keep up with a multi-faceted, constantly evolving content management framework, they are often found scouring threads/forums and other community documentation to research core and contributed modules.

Designer

The Designer is responsible for taking the functional needs of an organization and transforming them into a site or application that is beautiful to look at and use.  They are front facing when it comes to key stakeholders in the organization.  They must be able to comprehend their needs and communicate effectively by creating a basic concept of design, applied to the digital elements of site or application design (i.e. – typography and web fonts).  

The Designer often utilizes design software like Photoshop and Illustrator to create blueprints of the site or UI, as well as, image creation and editing. In addition to design software they also need basic coding knowledge (ie. HTML, CSS, and Java). This is helpful in both design and team collaboration.  

Whether they are communicating with stakeholder, creating concepts, designing blueprints, The Designer always has keeps the target audience in mind. 

Themer

The Themer, also known as the front-end-developer, brings the plans and sketches of The Designer to life, while delivering a pleasurable user experience. This role is a unique mix of form and function. The Themer writes the code that makes a beautifully designed website perform impeccably. The code languages and frameworks used by The Themer include HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and YAML.

Their job spans the entire life of a site across multiple browsers, platforms, and devices, so snags, obstacles, and bugs are a reality that they must be able to get through, which inherently makes problem solving a major requirement. Also, since they have their feet in both technical and creative worlds, they must be extremely adaptable.  

Developer 

The Developer is the team member who is responsible for writing the code that makes the site or application function and ensuring speed and performance. Code language and frameworks they should be experts in include PHP, OOP, MySQL, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Since the code lives on the server, they should also be well-versed in server architecture.

The Developer is also responsible for identifying the best approach for Drupal solutions, whether they should be custom or existing. Thus, they should be proficient in Drupal 7/8 debugging, module development, API development, configuration management and deployment, version controls, testing and coding standards.  

DevOps

DevOps represents both technology and culture, increasing collaboration between engineering and operations.  They incorporate concepts from the other roles and manage ideas through each stage of development to production. This role requires a slew of capabilities; they must know everything from configuration to infrastructure. 

For starters, they must have the ability to design and implement automating workflows and accelerating production stages (i.e. Jenkins). They must also be able to establish and manage processes and procedures, configuration identification, and change control.  

Since they work with everyone, DevOps must also be proficient in all stages of network design, from planning through testing. They must also be aware of delivery objectives that will connect through a network. 

Conclusion 

Although the Drupal community is there to answer questions and give advice, it takes a team to build and run a user-friendly and efficient Drupal site. Each role plays an important part and requires a variety of skills and proficiencies.  

With each role demanding so much time and energy, why not partner with a Drupal expert to relieve the management tasks. Contact Contegix to see how we can help!