How to Become a Drupal Developer

January 02, 2024
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So you want to learn how to become a Drupal developer - great choice. This career path is both lucrative and personally fulfilling. 

You get to work on exciting projects that are used by people on a daily basis. Plus, as Drupal devs become more and more sought after, you’ll enjoy peace of mind with excellent job stability and high earning potential.

The only question is, where do you get started? Right here at Debug Academy. Our Drupal courses are perfect for both complete beginners with no experience and professionals looking to hone their skills. 

You’ll love our streamlined curriculum that speeds up the Drupal learning curve, small class sizes for a touch of personalization, and the fact that you graduate with an attractive self-taught web developer resume - complete with a portfolio of real-world projects. This is the fastest way to become a Drupal developer.

Learn about how Debug Academy is helping developers reach their full potential below as we dive deep into how to become a Drupal developer! Or, enroll today and experience the difference firsthand. Let’s start with why becoming a Drupal developer is a great decision in the first place.

Why Learn How to Become a Drupal Developer?

Is becoming a Drupal developer worth it still in 2023? More specifically, you may be wondering…Is Drupal still relevant? Absolutely. 

There are 3 reasons we encourage more and more developers to narrow their focus on this specialization in web development.

The Growing Demand for Drupal Developers

The surge in demand for Drupal expertise is tied to its versatility in handling diverse digital challenges. This demand is prevalent not just in tech-focused sectors, but also in government, education, and non-profits, demonstrating Drupal's wide applicability. 

Companies like Tesla use Drupal, as do government entities like NASA, the White House, and prestigious organizations like Harvard, Stanford, and many more. This is to say that the largest, most highly trafficked websites in the world trust Drupal - and that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

As businesses increasingly embrace digital transformation, Drupal’s ability to cater to complex, multifaceted web environments makes professionals skilled in this CMS highly valuable.

Career Opportunities and Advancement

The Drupal developer role isn't confined to traditional web development. It opens avenues in site architecture, theme development, and even project management.

With each project, developers can gain new insights, enhancing their problem-solving and technical skills. 

The Drupal ecosystem also encourages contributions to its open-source projects, further enhancing career prospects and professional recognition. Learn more about what makes this one of the best web development types in our blog.

The Versatility and Power of Drupal

Beyond basic site-building, Drupal shines in creating advanced digital experiences with its API-first approach, making it suitable for decoupled or headless architectures. 

This flexibility empowers developers to build not just websites but also integrate with other digital ecosystems, enhancing user experiences across platforms. 

Drupal’s strong content management capabilities, coupled with its adaptability, make it a strategic tool for developers looking to create impactful digital solutions.

How to Become a Drupal Developer: Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering the Art of Drupal Development

Ready to learn how to become a Drupal developer? We have a complete guide on how to learn Drupal as a CMS itself that’s worth reading. But below, we’ll also touch on actually finding jobs and starting a career as a dev. First things first - you need to master the basics of web development. 

Understanding the Basics: HTML, CSS, PHP

Before you can become proficient in Drupal, you need to gain a solid grasp on the basics of coding. Here are the 3 languages we recommend you start with:

  • HTML: The foundation of all web content, HTML structures the web content and is crucial for any web developer. Understanding HTML is key to managing Drupal's content elements effectively.
  • CSS: This styles the content laid out by HTML. In Drupal, CSS is vital for theming and customizing the appearance of websites, enabling you to create visually engaging and responsive designs.
  • PHP: Drupal is built on PHP. A strong grasp of PHP allows for more advanced customizations and functionality in Drupal. Understanding PHP is essential for developing custom modules and themes in Drupal.

These three technologies form the fundamental triad for anyone aspiring to excel in Drupal development. From there, you’re able to narrow your focus to Drupal’s core concepts and modules.

Deep Diving into Drupal’s Core Concepts and Modules

Drupal's architecture is built around entities, nodes, and blocks, which are integral to content management. Understanding these allows for efficient organization and display of content. 

Modules, both core and contributed, extend Drupal's functionality. They can be thought of as add-ons or plugins that add specific features or capabilities to a website. 

Familiarity with popular modules, and knowing how to customize them, is crucial for a Drupal developer. This is essential for creating sophisticated and functional websites.

Learning from the Drupal Community via Forums and Events

We see so many aspiring developers struggle with where to start their educational journey. As we said from the beginning, our courses here at Debug Academy are an excellent starting point. 

However, part of what makes Drupal so special is its vast, helpful community. We encourage you to lean on this community as you begin your journey as a Drupal dev. 

Engaging in forums like provides access to a wealth of knowledge from experienced developers. These forums are a hub for solving problems, sharing experiences, and learning best practices. 

Additionally, attending Drupal events and meetups offers opportunities for networking, learning from hands-on workshops, and staying updated with the latest trends and developments in the Drupal world. 

Active participation in these community platforms accelerates learning and provides invaluable real-world insights into Drupal development. It also helps with networking - who knows, your first paid gig could come from within the community itself!

Developing Technical Skills Like Theming, Module Development, and More

Developing technical skills in Drupal theming and module development involves mastering specific areas of the Drupal system. Theming and module development are among the most important.

Theming is about creating and customizing the visual presentation of a Drupal site. It requires knowledge of Drupal's theming system and templates and a solid understanding of how to manipulate them to create desired layouts and designs. 

Learning theming involves using Drupal's Twig templating engine, understanding how to override templates, and how to apply CSS and JavaScript effectively within Drupal's structure.

Module development involves writing custom PHP code to extend or alter Drupal's functionality. It involves understanding Drupal's core APIs and hook system, which are used to interact with and modify core behaviors. 

Module development can range from simple tweaks to complex new functionalities and requires a deep understanding of Drupal's architecture and best practices.

Other technical skills include learning Drupal's configuration system, understanding how to work with entities and fields, and mastering the use of various contributed modules that extend Drupal's capabilities.

Leveraging Drupal’s Extensive API and Frameworks

Leveraging Drupal’s extensive APIs and frameworks is a critical aspect of advanced Drupal development. These APIs and frameworks provide the necessary tools and structures to build complex, feature-rich websites.

Drupal has several APIs, each serving different purposes. The Render API, for instance, deals with the output of HTML structures, while the Form API is used for creating and processing forms. The Database API allows for sophisticated database operations.

Mastering these APIs is essential for developers to create custom functionalities and extend the capabilities of Drupal.

Drupal’s frameworks, like the Entity API, offer a standardized way to store and retrieve data. Understanding these frameworks is crucial for handling Drupal’s content types and user data effectively. They provide a robust structure for developers to build upon, ensuring that custom modules and features are compatible with Drupal’s core system.

Custom modules can be developed using Drupal’s APIs to add specific functionalities that are not available in Drupal core or contributed modules. This requires a deep understanding of Drupal’s coding standards and architecture.

Drupal’s APIs also facilitate the integration of third-party services and applications, expanding the functionality of Drupal sites. This includes integrating with CRM systems, social media platforms, or any other external APIs.

Building Practical Skills by Working on Real Projects

Learning Drupal is step one - but eventually, you need to put your skills to work and actually build or optimize websites using what you’ve learned. 

Start by volunteering for small projects or contributing to open-source Drupal projects. This practical application is crucial for understanding the nuances of Drupal development. It involves tasks like custom module creation, theme development, and debugging. 

Working on varied projects enhances problem-solving skills and adaptability, key traits for successful Drupal developers. You can also try building your own websites with Drupal, allowing you to break things in a low-stakes environment. 

We’ll talk about this more in a moment, but part of what makes Debug Academy such a great stepping stone towards becoming a Drupal developer is that you get to work on real projects as you go - so you’ll feel confident in your abilities by the time you graduate.

But eventually, you need to figure out how to get web development projects to get paid for your skills.

Actually Finding Work as a Drupal Dev: Freelancing vs Full-Time Roles

Finding work as a Drupal developer can follow two main paths: freelancing or securing a full-time role. 

Freelancing offers flexibility and variety, allowing you to work on diverse projects with different clients. It’s ideal for those who prefer a self-managed work environment and diverse challenges. You can find projects on Upwork, Fiverr, and many other platforms.

Full-time roles, however, provide stability and often deeper involvement in long-term projects. They might also offer more learning opportunities through structured environments and team collaboration. Apply on LinkedIn, Indeed, or other job placement platforms. 

Both paths require a strong portfolio showcasing your Drupal projects and an active presence in the Drupal community for networking and job opportunities.

Learn more about how to become a web developer with no experience or Drupal interview questions and answers in our blog. But for now, let’s get into the fastest way to become a Drupal developer, right here at Debug Academy.

The Fastest Way to Become a Drupal Developer is Enrolling at Debug Academy!

You may be wondering…can you be a web developer without a degree? If so, where do you start? Yes, you can. And you’re already in the right place - right here at Debug Academy. In fact, this is the fastest way to become a Drupal developer and earn a lucrative income while working on projects you actually enjoy.

As a Certified Acquia Training Partner, Debug Academy's lead instructor brings firsthand experience as a Technical Architect and Drupal Expert from Acquia. Catering to all levels, from beginners to experienced developers, the Academy offers a personalized curriculum, focusing on practical, real-world projects. 

You'll work in small classes, led by full-time developers, gaining hands-on experience and building a professional portfolio. Graduates have seen significant career transformations, with an average salary increase of 40%. 

The training is live, up-to-date, and balances theory with practical application, fitting even for those currently employed. With interest-free payment plans, Debug Academy is committed to making top-tier Drupal education accessible and effective.

We have Drupal training for beginners along with more thorough Drupal 9 and 10 training. We also offer Drupal certification and Drupal migration services. No matter what your goals are as an aspiring Drupal dev, we’re here to help you reach them in a quick, seamless manner. Enroll today to learn and launch a thrilling, prosperous career!

Bringing Our Conversation on How to Become a Drupal Developer to a Close

There you have it - everything you need to know about how to become a Drupal developer. Becoming a Drupal developer opens the door to a dynamic and in-demand career in tech. It starts with mastering HTML, CSS, and PHP, followed by diving into Drupal’s core concepts and modules. 

Hands-on experience through real projects, active community engagement, and continuous learning are key. Training programs like Debug Academy offer a structured and practical pathway, accelerating your journey to becoming a skilled Drupal developer.

Learn more in our blog to jumpstart your journey to becoming a Drupal developer. We have resources like do you need a web developer degree, why you can't get a jr web developer job, the cost of Drupal certification, is it hard to get a web developer job, WordPress vs Drupal, Joomla vs Drupal, Sitecore vs Drupal, SharePoint vs Drupal, and more.

You can get started with our Drupal training free today to see what sets Debug Academy apart from the rest. Plus, we have interest-free payment plans for our more comprehensive courses. 

So, what are you waiting for? Now that you know how to become a Drupal developer, it’s time to take action and propel your career to new heights at Debug Academy: the fastest way to become a Drupal developer!


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