What was it Dries said at Drupalcon? Top two "most difficult things" for both novice and expert Drupal users were 1. finding skilled Drupal designers and 2. finding skilled Drupal developers. We have noticed that as our company grows, we are running into similar issues. Especially #2 - finding skilled Drupal developers has been difficult - in the Oklahoma web industry, Drupal isn't a common platform. Most people have never even heard of Drupal, so we have put much of our efforts into "evangelizing" Drupal in the community.
The problem with "converting" more and more people to Drupal is, that as we get more people needing Drupal solutions, we are running low on resources, and are needing more developers to meet the needs of our new clients. Finally, we have decided to start in-house training sessions to grow more talent right here in our office. What better way of growing Drupal web developers than to do it ourselves? As Kris and I structure the classes together, we will be refining them to create a curriculum, which Kris will eventually use to teach classes at the vocational school near our office.
Every Tuesday and Thursday mornings, we have 5-6 people in our office sit through a 2.5 hour Drupal class. So far, we have covered topics such as a general introduction to Drupal, installation, configuration, the menu system and other core & contributed modules, basic content creation, and menus. We are getting into CCK and Views for the next month or so, and hopefully we will have more Drupal experts here in Oklahoma.
One of the topics that Kris and I feel passionate about is the Drupal community. We have been emphasizing the importance of participating in the community, and have been pushing all the staff to create Drupal.org accounts and join the IRC channels. We firmly believe that being a part of the community, supporting & being supported by the community is just as important as learning Drupal itself. We are here to change the face of Oklahoma web design and development! We are farming our own Drupal talent here at The Worx Company, and hopefully we will have a good harvest soon.