A personal migration

All things must pass... After four and a half years with Acquia, the time is ripe for me to return to the consulting world. I've resurrected a pre-Drupal d.b.a., Virtuoso Performance, and will be doing Drupal migration consulting under that moniker going forward. I appreciate my time at Acquia - I've learned a lot, and worked with some great people - but I miss the freedom and flexibility of consulting.

Business models

Generally, in the past I've been involved in migration projects from end-to-end:

  1. Analyzing source data, and working with site-builders and stakeholders to work out what legacy data maps to what Drupal entities.
  2. Architecting the migration implementation - figuring out an optimal class hierarchy, constructing the initial implementation, etc.
  3. The long tail - filling in the details (each field mapping for each type of content being migrated) and responding to the inevitable changes to the Drupal architecture during the course of a project.
  4. Running the final migration for site launch.

It's items #1 and 2 where my experience and expertise are most valuable - as a general rule, any solid Drupal developer can easily pick up #3 and 4 with a basic introduction to the migration framework and good documentation of the architecture produced in #2. So, in the long run, I'll be aiming for contracts to perform those first two stages, preparing the site-building team to pick up the latter two.

That being said, the above reflects the state of migration for Drupal 7, where the tools are mature and best practices are clear. Drupal 8 is still young - tools are in a nascent state, the core migration system itself remains in flux, and best practices have not yet clearly emerged. Therefore, for my initial Drupal 8 projects I will be looking to be involved end-to-end - the hands-on experience will inform development of tools and identification of best practices.

I also intend to experiment with different offerings - in particular, shorter engagements more geared to advising clients on migration strategies as opposed to implementing code.

Schedule

I'll be at MidCamp this week (March 17-20), and of course DrupalCon NOLA May 8-14. My plan is to spend the next month focusing on Drupal 8 community work - particularly, developing tools for custom Drupal-to-Drupal migrations - as well as finishing setting up the business (in particular the website). The efforts are complementary - my immediate use case for the custom tools will be taking my present mikeryan.name website (now on Drupal 6) and splitting it into two Drupal 8 websites - mikeryan.name for personal blogging, and virtuoso-performance.com for the business (migrating existing Drupal and other technical content to the latter). Accounting for some personal time, I am looking for an initial engagement starting April 19 or later (although a compelling Drupal 8 project may lure me in sooner, so don't be afraid to contact me in the meantime).

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