I worked in an ISD environment in the past as a programmer / artist and now one of my old coworkers is trying to bring me in as an ISD at a new company(so I can side job the tech stuff). My last place was pushing Kenexa for some reason, my take was it was garbage but customer paid for it against 100% negative review. I remember Moodle having awesome complements and now that I might be going back to that world, I would like to start learning more about the options for current tech to suggest.
Moodle sounds great:
community / assets / templates galore
How does the company earn their money? Hate to see an unexpected bill down the road
how easy do non tech people learn it?
How is the freelance market? I'm trying to up my pay.
I don't want to ask too much because I can probably find my own answers when I figure out my questions. I'm going to see if I can get this onto a raspberry pi just because.
Me either, I need to stop trying to figure things out when tired.
Just in case, here goes.
Moodle is free and open source, using the GPL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_General_Public_License (as open as you can get apart from public domain).
Yes, the Moodle community is large, helpful, well moderated and a great place to learn about Moodle.
Extensive plugins and themes database. It's also easy to submit and share your own plugins and themes as long as your code passes review both by machine first and then by an expert human. So plugins are of generally good quality.
Re: "How does the company earn their money? Hate to see an unexpected bill down the road" -- Please see: https://moodle.com/ Moodle partners contribute financially and/or in code because it's in their interests to maintain and improve Moodle for their customers.
Re: "how easy do non tech people learn it?" -- It's a steep learning curve simply because most non-tech people are used to conceptually very simple websites; ecommerce and social media. Moodle has a long list of features, e.g. https://docs.moodle.org/31/en/Managing_a_Moodle_course and https://docs.moodle.org/31/en/Activities and so requires users to "think bigger" than the websites they're used to. I think it's best to learn how to use one or two features at a time. Here's an example progression of a typical use case scenario with Moodle: https://docs.moodle.org/31/en/Pedagogy#Progression I think Moodle's zero fee cloud option is great for getting people started: https://moodle.com/cloud/free/ (Full Moodle but number of users limited to 50, disk storage space limited to 200MB, and supported by adverts).
Re: "How is the freelance market? I'm trying to up my pay." -- As far as I can see, almost everyone who adopts Moodle and has a budget wants a customised theme. Moodle seems to be more difficult and more involved than CMS' like Wordpress and Drupal to write themes for so there's probably a fair amount of work out there if you can do it well, i.e. that ALL the features of Moodle will work as expected with your new themes. There's also demand for modifying existing plugins and developing new ones. I think it depends on where you are and who you know, as always.
Does this help?