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Starship Enterprise vs Millennium Falcon: Drupal 8 for ambitious projects

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Find out what is happening with the Twin Cities Drupal User Group at

Drupal Means Business
Experience Level: 
Saturday, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Session Length: 
60 minutes

Starship Enterprise vs Millennium Falcon: Drupal 8 for ambitious projects

"If you want to build a small web site, I'm not sure it makes sense to use Drupal today. It's good for… ambitious sites." #driesnote DrupalCon Baltimore April 2017

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

From the beginning Drupal has enjoyed a special relationship with hobbyists, nonprofits, political activists, education teams, community groups, government agencies, and even small business. Drupal built its reputation as a powerful, easy-to-use tool that helped those with “less” even the playing field against much larger organizations wielding bigger budgets and vast human resources.

The rise of Starship Enterprise

Nearly 20 years later, Drupal now powers the “digital experience” for the Fortune 500, global organizations of all shapes and sizes, international media groups, and some of the largest sites on the Internet. And with each new release of Drupal comes new criticism about increased complexity and steeper learning curves. By the time Drupal 8 finally appeared a common fear and perception had taken hold in many circles:

Drupal 8 is now officially positioned “for the enterprise,” and no longer well suited for “small sites” or projects.

The introduction of new concepts like Symfony, OOP, Composer, configuration management (and even the rise of Acquia) suggested that Drupal has transformed into a tool for building ambitious projects like the Starship Enterprise, and no longer well suited for anything much smaller.

We still need the Millennium Falcon

The truth is that for every Starship Enterprise there are thousands of smaller ships in the galaxy with limited budgets, small teams, and underpowered technology. Much like the Millennium Falcon, these ships are often equally ambitious as the Starship Enterprise but operate on a smaller scale and often in completely different universes.

Saving the galaxy with Drupal 8

This session will explore why and when it still makes sense to build the Millennium Falcon using Drupal when you want to accomplish great things, even when you are much smaller than the Starship Enterprise.

  • What is the “enterprise” and why are their needs any different than yours?
  • What is an “ambitious” project or website?
  • What exactly is a “small” site?
  • Don’t small sites also have complex needs?
  • When does Drupal still make sense for “small” sites?
  • What are the other options? Are they any better?
  • What are the limiting factors when Drupal does NOT make sense?
  • Why exactly is Drupal 8 so complex and hard to learn?
  • What does it really take to support and maintain the Millennium Falcon?
  • Should I build a Land Speeder instead?
  • Why you need your own Chewbacca, no matter what.

This session is directed at members and leaders from organizations of all sizes who want to gain a greater understanding of Drupal’s current place in the web ecosystem.

Learning Objectives & Outcomes: 

Learn how and why Drupal 8 can be used to accomplish ambitious goals, even when you are small or feel like an underdog next to the large enterprises who are embracing Drupal to dominate the universe.