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Bay Area Drupal Freelance Developer and Consultant

Hey there! I'm JD Leonard, a freelance Drupal developer and business consultant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, previously based in the San Francisco Bay Area / East Bay (Oakland). I provide services through my business, Modern Biz Consulting LLC.

I am currently accepting new work. My rate is $200/hr.

Drupal Association Individual Member badgeI'm an expert Drupal web developer who focuses on developing complex web applications. I'm in an ideal position to build your next web application because I have:

  • Formal training - a computer science degree from Rice University
  • Drupal experience - I've been building sites with Drupal since 2006
  • Business acumen - I'll help you make decisions that positively impact your business
  • Project management skills - I previously worked for Microsoft as a Program Manager in Redmond
  • A knack for developing complex systems

Send me an email to discuss your project.

Specialties

I'm a generalist, but some areas I have in-depth experience with include:

  • Information architecture design
  • Complex web applications - TextbookMadness.com is an excellent example
  • Custom Drupal module development and upgrades
  • Functional specifications and project management
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Custom integrations including use of third party APIs
  • Workflow development
  • Custom views handler development
  • Database design
  • Drupal training
  • Startup consulting
  • User experience design
  • Object oriented programming (OOP)
  • Clear and concise written and oral communication

My projects tend to focus on improving the bottom line of businesses.

Technologies

Drupal 7 is the workhorse behind most of the sites I develop. It's a versatile framework and content management system that can do almost anything you can imagine - as long as you've got a skilled Drupal developer. Read more at Drupal.org about why you should choose Drupal.

The technologies I use include:

  • Drupal 5, Drupal 6, Drupal 7, & Drupal 8
  • HTML 5 & (X)HTML
  • CSS & Sass
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • Git
  • Zen 5 responsive HTML5 base theme

The many powerful Drupal modules I use include:

Working with JD

From my global home office (my location changes periodically), I meet the needs of clients including tech startups, businesses of all sizes, and creative agencies. I'm extremely flexible, willing to travel, and will make sure your website has an excellent foundation for future development, whether it be with me or another professional.

I work on an hourly basis. I strongly believe this provides you, the client, with the most flexibility and best value. My rate for new work is currently $200/hr.

Why Hourly?

In an ideal world, you know exactly what you want and that doesn't change. Realistically, requirements change frequently; as your website takes shape, you realize that feature X isn't as important as you initially thought, and feature Y is suddenly a must-have.

I find that fixed price contracts create a negative dynamic between client and consultant because at some point, the consultant has to say no to stay on budget, to the detriment of the project. Working hourly affords you the opportunity to change your mind without the unnecessary and awkward back-and-forth of renegotiating the contract.

Much of the value of Drupal comes from its default functionality and behavior, which makes it relatively easy to build a complex website without spending a ton of time. Of course, you won't always want that default functionality. Fortunately, Drupal is infinitely customizable; it can do exactly what you want it to. However, customization takes time and time is money. I strive to help you efficiently prioritize the customizations you really need to save you time and money. This is easiest on an hourly basis because I can quickly estimate the time it takes to complete a task without the overhead of needing to ensure I have a crazy profit margin built in. This means you end up paying less!

Think of me as a raw resource at your disposal. I work great in an agile environment and I'm more than happy to work with you, your team, and your changing requirements!

Time Tracking, Invoicing, and Project Management

Harvest Time Tracking bannerI track my time and invoice to the minute using the fantastic Harvest app. The clock is on when I'm doing work for you; it's off when my attention is elsewhere. I strive to only do work that is useful to you. I typically invoice every 10-20 days when work has been done and I include high-level details of the work completed.

I'm a fan of Assembla for task management, but I can use any systems with which you are already working.

Value for Money

If you're looking for someone to complete a project as cheaply as possible, look elsewhere. You may be able to find someone willing to build your site at half my hourly rate, but undoubtedly it will fall short of the mark. I offer quality that you can count on starting with the most important and most difficult to change aspect of your site: its information architecture. I follow Drupal best practices and comment my code so the site I deliver to you can easily be developed further by another Drupal professional, but I doubt you'll be looking for one!

Availability

I am not currently accepting new work.

Drupal Community

I proudly support Drupal through my paid membership in the Drupal Association and sponsorship of the Bay Area Drupal Camp. I'm an active member of the Bay Area and greater Drupal communities. I frequently attend meetings of the San Francisco Drupal Users Group, the East Bay Drupal Users Group, and the Berkeley Drupal Users Group. I've made multiple presentations on Drupal 7 entities and the Entity API. I attended BADcamp (Bay Area Drupal Camp) in the East Bay in 2011 and 2012 and Stanford University Drupal Camp and DrupalCon Portland in 2013. I contribute bug reports and patches to the issues queues on Drupal.org to make Drupal and Drupal modules better for everyone.

I appreciate the opportunity to contribute code back to the Drupal project and I encourage my clients to permit me to do so whenever I think it would be valuable to the community.

More JD

Check out my LinkedIn profile and follow my Drupal-focused Twitter account, @drupal_jd. I'd love to chat with you about your project.

I'm also passionate about educating businesses in the extended Drupal community about the credit card processing options available to them. See copperly.com or contact me for more information.