Training | Modules Unraveled

137 Training New Drupal Talent Before Hiring Them Into Your Company with Cameron Eagans - Modules Unraveled Podcast

Photo of Cameron Eagans


While at DrupalCon recently, someone mentioned my recent podcasts about training and hiring Drupal talent, and mentioned that Cameron had been a part of a somewhat unique program to train new talent through a two month training program, with the intent to hire some of them. I was intrigued (and based on the great response of recent episodes on similar topics) I decided to get ahold of him, so here we are.

  • What company were you working for when you did this? And what was your role there?
    • ProPeople (Now FFW)
  • How did the idea come about?
    • We were inspired by a similar program they did in the Moldova office.
  • Who were you targeting?
    • Current college students, and recent grads
  • What did you hope to accomplish?
    • There were two goals. One: We wanted to be able to hire people in the Boise area. Two: To get our name out there, to university students, as well as the broader tech community in the Boise area so that when people were looking for work in the future, they’d look at ProPeople.
    • We weren’t looking for Drupal experts, we wanted them to come out with the minimum ability necessary to become a competent member of a team within ProPeople
  • How many people did you have participating at the beginning?
    • 70-80 applied
    • 12 were accepted (2 dropped out)
  • How many did you end up hiring?
    • 1 full time junior developer
    • 1 contractor
  • How did you promote it?
    • Craigslist, Boise State University CS department, Random encounter at the coffee shop
  • What did they participants do?
    • Clone Netflix and Basecamp
    • Wanted them to work as a team
    • Learn Features (getting config into code - turns out it’s more difficult than we thought)
    • Issues lead to Skype calls to talk about how something might be done better
  • What kind of interaction did you have with the participants?
    • Daily checking call with each member
    • Weekly check-in call with each team

Should others do this?

  • Was there enough of an ROI that you think Drupal shops should be doing more of this?
    • Fairly expensive in number of dollars spent (About $4,000 - from that came one junior developer, and one consultant, who have been there ever since). Compare that to a recruitment agency, where you can pay well over $4,000 each.
    • Great to see who is actually going to go out and learn what they need to know in order to accomplish their project vs. someone you might hire, and then later find out that they’re not a good fit.
  • Do you have any suggestions for companies that are interested in looking into running a program like this?
    • If you’re going to do this, you need to have someone committed to running the program. It’s not a no-commitment project. Having more than one would be even better.
    • One reason we chose to go the training route, is because ProPeople didn’t have a standard classroom style training program. I’d recommend having more structured content: What knowledge we want them to come out of the program with. The hands on stuff is great, but throwing someone into the deep end is a bit hit or miss. (Use Blink Reactions stuff)