10 years working full time with Drupal and PHP

Posted on 19th July 2020

10 years ago today, I started working for Horse & Country TV in what was my full-time Drupal development role.

I'd been learning and working with Drupal for a couple of years prior to this, working on some personal and freelance projects, but when I was looking to move back to this area of Wales, this job on my doorstep was ideal.

Initially starting as the sole Developer before another started a few months later, I remember being very excited to see and learn how this site has been built. Some of the main things that I remember working on was re-developing the Events section and adding paid events with Ubercart, and expanding my module development knowledge by adding a custom block that programmatically showed the current and next programme on the channel.

As well as working with Drupal itself, it was a great opportunity to get more hands-on experience with Linux servers and to learn new tools such as Git for version control.

I also remember being asked to contribute to a public issue on Drupal.org as part of the interview process to demonstrate my debugging abilities. I decided to look at this Drupal 6 issue, and posted a comment with some updated code that I then forwarded on, and then uploaded a patch to the issue queue. This is still one of my favourite approaches for interviews, and one that I've used myself since when interviewing people for roles that use open source technologies. I much prefer this to working on internal, company specific coding tests, as it gives the interviewee some real world experience and exposure to the project itself and its community, rather than just how to use it.

Posting on a Drupal core issue and submitting patches was a bit scary at the time, but I think paved the way for me later contributing to core and other Drupal and open source projects. In fact, I was a Contribution Day mentor at DrupalCon Los Angeles in 2015 and helped someone get their first commit to core when a fix was committed to Drupal 8.

After this role, I've worked for various agencies working primarily with Drupal and PHP, as well as for the Drupal Association itself. Whilst in recent years I've also started working with other frameworks like Symfony and Vue.js, Drupal and PHP has always been my core specialism.

I've been very excited by the developments in both PHP and Drupal in recent versions, and I'm looking forward to the next 10 years working with them.

Thank you Horse & Country for giving me the chance to start on my full-time Drupal journey!

About Me

Picture of Oliver

Oliver Davies is a Full Stack Web Developer and System Administrator based in the UK. He is a Senior Software Engineer and Technical Team Lead at Inviqa and a part-time freelancer specialising in Drupal and Symfony development and Linux systems administration.