Senior Drupal Developer helps Build and Maintain a Knowledge Network

The Client

Federal Civilian Agency

Our federal client falls under Health and Human Services (HHS) and is responsible for addressing substance abuse and mental health issues. HHS had developed a Knowledge Network which consisted of: a library of behavioral health training, technical assistance, collaboration, and workforce development resources for the healthcare community. The Drupal platform was selected in part to build this Knowledge Network because it leverages open source technologies like: PHP, Linux, Apache and MySQL.

The HHS Knowledge Network provides a single, searchable pathway to the agency’s training and technical assistance content—with a goal of improving the design and delivery of prevention, treatment, and recovery services. It is a central location for grantees, behavioral health practitioners, and general healthcare providers to more easily find specific tools and resources (such as webinars, white papers, fact sheets, trainings, and videos) that span the agency’s broad portfolio across many disciplines and online locations.

The Technology

  • Drupal 7
  • PHP 5.4
  • Linux
  • Apache
  • MySQL

The Challenge

Our systems integration partner was looking to bring on a Senior Back-End Drupal Developer to join their small team of developers and testers. Their work effort focused on maintaining, updating and upgrading the functionality of this Knowledge Network.

Since the project was run on a tight budget, the challenge was to identify a consultant who had the right experience to hit the ground running. The budget and time constraints did not allow the luxury of a learning curve for the new consultant before they started contributing on the project.

The Solution

Recognizing the urgency of this requirement, our senior recruiting team quickly connected with their network to identify multiple candidates for this position. Our systems integration partner interviewed one of our senior Drupal developers with deep experience working in an open source environment. In particular, they had expert knowledge of Drupal’s ‘hook’ system for modifying contributed modules remotely – from functions written in custom modules. They also had strong experience with Drupal’s key contrib modules, i.e. CTools, Views, Rules, etc.

In addition to their strong technical background, our consultant had experience in supporting, updating and upgrading four other federal government websites. Finally, because of their understanding of unique federal processes they were able to achieve their project goals quickly.

The Success

After starting on this project, our expert Drupal developer was responsible for:

  • Maintaining the existing functionality and building new functionality and features.
  • Updating outdated modules.
  • Developing custom modules.
  • Reviewing and providing feedback for code written by other team members.
  • Deploying code from one environment to another.
  • Understanding tasks and estimating the level of effort (LOE) for developing new features.

After four months on the project, our consultant was promoted to the Deputy Team Lead role because of her strong system knowledge and her solid understanding of the tools, processes, and team goals.


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