The development road not taken

I am a Drupal developer. Or more specifically, I am a Drupal 7 developer *today* because my main client is on a D7 distro that isn't switching to D8 in the next two years. There simply is no budget.

I'm not sure what I will be tomorrow, or next month, or next year. I think I will bill myself as a Web Developer once again since I find myself building and iterating features on sites on a variety of publishing tools.

I have come to a crossroads as I strategize my re-entry into the full-time workforce after 6 years of freelancing. I love the freedom of freelancing, but some long-standing clients are slowing down and other substantial clients are becoming harder to find. I have taken on a number of smaller Drupal maintenance clients whose previous agencies have "gone a different way" by specializing in specific areas like eCommerce. I love working with these clients, but the rent must be paid and the children must be fed. 

I also build WordPress 4 sites when asked. I have been asked to build a few this year. I have not been asked to build a Drupal 8 site. I've tried to convince clients to build Drupal sites, but they have instead chosen WordPress, Squarespace and even Weebly. I know, I know, but fresh-faced new marketing people don't care about tools. Really, they don't. Any lacking functionality they have found in third party tools. And they work fine. And they were pretty cheap to build.

One of my small clients hired a new marketing person straight out of college and she built them a new Squarespace site and ported content in two days. And then they asked me to point DNS. And then they weren't my client. 

Mind you, these are small to medium sized clients, not universities or enterprises.

I was suprised to learn on my local Drupal Slack channel how many of my colleagues (many of whom work for sizable Drupal shops) are experimenting with alternate CMS solutions like, and alongside their D8 work. I mean, you could just spin up a simple blog on D8, non? But we are curious sorts and love to play with the new toys (I doubt I'll be building a headless Drupal app any time soon for a client). 

One of those colleagues suggested over beer the other night that we'll all be WordPress developers if Gutenberg (or a near-future iteration) gets it right(ish). Ouch. 

The holy grail seems to be page building functionality. Seems right. This is the Content Management space. 

Oh, right. I get it now. If you want to future-proof your technology choices, be the one choosing the tool to use, not the one building it. Be the one managing the content and using the tool you like most (today). Be the one choosing to migrate content to the best tool (today). And be prepared to migrate and to learn another tool tomorrow.

And be prepared to complain when a favourite feature is deprecated or a stupid new one is added and you need to roll back. Damn, thought I had it there for a sec.

"For developers who are worried about the compatibility of their metaboxes, Mullenweg said a plugin will be available for providing the legacy edit page for metaboxes."