Developers Corner

Engineering Better Dev Culture With Acquia

Jun. 23 2015
William O'Connor

Here at Achieve, company culture is everything. When it comes to hiring and retaining talent, our strategy has proven itself in our work. The bar starts higher here. We look for smart people that are eager to learn and will always look for ways to improve. If you work with us, odds are you are either an expert at something or - with that attitude - well on your way. We can teach you Drupal, but the thirst for knowledge has to be there. This dedication to finding and growing talent has allowed us to succeed where others have failed. It helps us retain people and clients and #achievemore.

Acquia Certification Program 2015Maybe it’s been all of the rescue projects we’ve taken on over the years or the horror stories of Drupal projects gone south, but for over 13 years now we’ve wanted a way to distinguish true Drupal experts from the other guys. The claim of excellence should be backed up. The development community needs more than just words on a website.

So, when our friends over at Acquia introduced their Certification program, we saw an opportunity to substantiate the values we hold dear: quality engineering and the pursuit of excellence.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

The Acquia Certification program validates an engineer’s command of Drupal. It also examines web and IT knowledge through 3 in-depth exams:

Developers who pass an exam have proven their in-depth mastery of that particular discipline. When an engineer acquires all three certifications within the calendar year, they receive the prestigious Certified Grand Master title. Developers who hold these titles are recognized as top-of-the-line well-rounded Drupal experts. 

Light the Match

Our culture is our most valuable resource; we believe in the power of working, growing, and learning together as a team. DrupalCon 2015 Los Angeles was a fantastic opportunity for us to grow as a team. What we learned in L.A. was that our engineers are competitive!

When our Director of Engineering Operations, Shawn Smiley, was awarded the first Grand Master title of the conference, it was “game-on”.

The team rallied around Shawn’s accomplishment, and, before we knew it, our developers were signing up for certification exams left and right. The team was on a sprint to grab as many certifications as possible in the three days.

The depth of knowledge required to pass a certification exam is a great test of competency. After Shawn became the first Grand Master of DrupalCon, four more “Achievers” rapidly followed suit.

Shawn Smiley Achieve InternetBill O'Connor Achieve InternetDago Aceves Achieve InternetKen Gilbert Achieve InternetGerman Licon Achieve Internet

By the end of DrupalCon Los Angeles, we had 18 new certifications and more Grand Masters than any other company in the world. We initially wanted to prove our knowledge and development skills, but what we didn’t count on was the impact the certifications would have on unifying our team.

Set the Bar High

As for the competition, it’s far from over. Those Achievers who didn’t make it to DrupalCon 2015 are prepped and ready to become certified later this year. This week, one of our Senior Engineers, Rob Montero, took home our sixth Grand Master certification.


Our special thanks goes out to Acquia for producing such an awesome tool to validate the skills of talented engineers. We’ll continue to incorporate this program into our development culture for years to come. These certifications have absolutely helped set the bar for exceptional Drupal web development. The party is just getting started here at Achieve.

How could certifications impact your team culture?

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