Saturday, February 20, 2010

Getting Started with Drupal in Nigeria: Challenges & Opportunities

5 years ago, I decided to switch the focus of my IT Career from core system & network engineering to programming. There were numerous reasons for this, one of which was scratching my own itch, solving my own problem. (More on this in a later post - if you are interested, please send in a reminder via a comment or a personal message). One of the best pieces of advice I got when I asked the question "How do I become a programmer?", came from a rather cocky fellow who advised me to "read a good book!"

Sometime last year, I searched for & revisited that post. I had to admit that I had received the best piece of advice that has guided my steady progress in the software development industry. There is more to becoming a better programmer/developer than just "reading a good book", but make no mistake about it, that's the best place to start.

This piece of advice definitely applies to Drupal. Before I delve into what Drupal is & what Drupal isn't (in this post and others to follow), let me reiterate that you are going to need to read a good Drupal book. And there are many. But that may not be enough if you intend to make a little money, a career or a fortune from building Drupal-based web applications. You'll need to combine your book-reading with a number of other learning skills & opportunities to get the best value from your time, effort & potential.

I'll try my possible best to guide you such that what has taken me close to 2 years to wrap my head around, should take you about 2 months or less. In addition, I'll be blogging from the Nigerian point-of-view, the view that takes into consideration PHCN (Nigeria's state-owned epileptic power company), "narrowband" Internet widely available/affordable all around the country, and much more "Nigerian" factors.

Looking forward to hearing from Drupal enthusiats, newbie & experts. If you have any specific requests you'd like me to cover in upcoming posts please feel free to post a comment here or send me an email via


  1. Hi,
    I'd like to get your views as to why joomla is so much more popular in Nigeria than Drupal. Is it just a case of joomla spreading organically within a close-knit group or are there some specific features that make it more suitable for Nigeria

  2. Hi Inyang,
    Well I think it has more to do with Joomla starting out a bit earlier than the Drupal in Nigeria. You are also spot on about its organic growth. If Drupal developers in Nigeria do not embrace Open Source attitudes of sharing, giving back to the community & organic growth, then we may never be able to truly harness & promote Drupal effectively.

    I don't think it has to do with specific features, though it can be said that Joomla's "ready-made" modules may be easier to get up & running than Drupal's. In that case, it's not really a Nigeria suitability issue, but more of how much control the developer wants to have of the underlying code he is building on top of.

    Finally, Drupal developers in Nigeria need to build great sites, as that is the one convincing testimonial of how fantastic Drupal is, and will determine its popularity.