To Patch or Custom: How to decide when to patch a contrib module or go custom

To use a contrib (community) module, patch a contrib module or write a custom module, that is the question.

With over 25,000 community contributed modules available for download it is rare to find one that does not offer the functionality you are looking for. However, when you cannot find a module that fits your needs you are then faced with a choice. Do you patch an existing contrib module? Or write a custom one?

To figure out the answer to the answer you just need to remember to R.E.A.D.

In this session we will go over the four steps of R.E.A.D that help you decide which path you should follow and how you can quickly and correctly identify if you should patch a contrib module or write your own custom module. We will use some real world examples to demo straight how these steps were utilized to make the correct decision.

We will also talk about the basics and best practices of writing and contributing a patch, and the best practices to follow if you decide to pursue writing a custom module and how to contribute it back to the Drupal community.

This session is geared to developer, site builders and functionality decision makers who consider themselves new to Drupal. This session can also prove to be beneficial to experienced drupalists who want validation on habits they have developed over time.

Experience level: 
Session Time Slot(s): 
Sep 13 2014 - 11:00am-Sep 13 2014 - 11:50am
Allowed Types: 
Session Track: 

Session Tracks (NERDSummit 2014)

Speaker Bio(s): 
I have been working as a web engineer for over 12 years. I am currently the Associate Director of PHP at Genuine Interactive, where I help lead the Genuine PHP team in developing creative, interactive websites and applications utilizing PHP frameworks and platforms such as Drupal, Wordpress, Zend and Symfony. I have been working with Drupal for over 5 years and have done everything from themeing, module development to large scale platform architecture.


I'd love to hear more about best practices when it comes to writing modules. I've been more of a Drupal site manager, and want to start learning how to code my modules. Added to my schedule!