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In Depth: Technical Expertise - More than meets the eye

As a professional, I am reluctant to list something in the Technical Expertise section of my resume unless I am completely confident that I can demonstrate that expertise, or at least demonstrate prior experience. However, even if I don't claim expertise, I have experience with many more specific technology tools and environments than those listed.

This website is a perfect example. I do not claim expertise with Drupal implementation, but I have in fact dabbled with Drupal enough to put together a reasonably professional looking site. As with every other aspect of my I.T. experience, I am always learning and trying to stretch my abilities beyond what is required.

I have for years hosted websites for friends and non-profit groups I'm associated with. On occasion I have put together websites also, usually pretty simple sites constructed with very straightforward HTML. In the past, simple HTML was a benefit because a lot of people were still using dial-up modems with very little bandwidth, and simple HTML with minimal graphics would load quickly. These days, however, most people have access to high bandwidth Internet connections, and most people are exposed to fairly sophisticated websites, so I decided I needed to improve my website design and development capabilities.

After exploring the various tools for website development, I decided that Content Management Systems would provide the quickest way for me to develop professional looking sites with a minimal learning curve. Looking at the variety of choices, I narrowed it down to three: WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Each of those systems provides a framework for sites that can be complex or simple, depending upon the effort you want to expend. After several months of research and testing, I finally concluded that any of the three would serve my purpose. Each had positive and negative aspects, so it really came down to just making a choice.

Drupal seemed to be slightly more "scalable", with a great deal of support in the Open Source world, so I chose Drupal. I read a book or two, browsed Drupal forums, and then put together a couple of sites for friends and family, learning as I went. I don't claim Drupal expertise, but I am comfortable enough with it to present myself to the web through this Drupal based site.

This demonstrates a kind of expertise that is difficult to quantify, the ability to pick up new tools quickly and become productive with them. I have done that for myself, and I have done that for employers. I expect I will always do this.