Drupal Developer Shortage: Time is running out to migrate out of Drupal 7

Read the Agile Guide to Getting out of Drupal 7

As of the time of this writing, the scheduled end-of-life (EOL) for both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 is November 2021. That is two years away. 24 months from now. Seems like a lot of time, right? This is precisely the problem. Few organizations have a sense of urgency to migrate now when they can migrate later. After all, they have 2 years, right?

Here is the problem. Most organizations, when they realize how much it costs to migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 figure they don’t have it in their budget this year to start a migration. So, more than half of all organizations running D7 will wait until mid- to late-2020 before they even start this migration process. This will result in a rush, or perhaps stampede, to find Drupal shops and developers available for these projects.

As of the time of this writing, there are well over 600,000 websites powered by Drupal 7 or Drupal 8 and all need to be migrated to Drupal 9 by November 2021. In fact, they need to be migrated well before November 2021 because you simply cannot wait until the last minute, especially if your website is mission critical.

But the problems are:

  • Drupal 9 won’t even be released until mid-2020
  • D9 won’t be mature or stable enough until late-2020
  • There are only about 250,000 Drupal developers in the world
  • Most of them are busy simply maintaining their existing sites
  • There are only about 10,000 Drupal shops around the world
  • There are only about 200 Acquia Certified Drupal 8 grand masters
  • There simply isn’t enough Drupal capacity to migrate all these sites

The longer organizations wait, the closer it gets to the end-of-life (EOL) termination, expiration, mutual suicide pact, doomsday for Drupal 7, the more of a scramble there will be to find qualified Drupal developer teams with the experience and capacity to do the job.

In order to do this right, especially for mission critical websites with a significant amount of content, functionality, custom modules, and users; the Drupal migration team will need to consist of approximately 5 people:

  1. Project management professional (PMP) certified scrum master (CSM)
  2. Acquia certified front-end developer for Drupal 8
  3. Acquia certified back-end developer for Drupal 8
  4. Acquia certified front-end grand master for Drupal 8
  5. Quality assurance professional

If you want to take this opportunity to redesign the site, then you need at least one, if not two more people on the team:

  1. Interactive UX designer
  2. Business analyst and content manager

There is going to be a severe shortage of qualified teams available to migrate Drupal 7 websites to D8, WordPress, or some other alternative. Proactive organizations should plan and act now before time runs out.

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