Global Training Days Survey Results

Last year one of the big topics for the Drupal Global Training Days (GTD) Working Group was sorting out what exactly we can do to help with organizing these events. To that end, we sent out a survey to learn more about the kinds of events that people doing GTD events run, or have offered in the past, and how the community can help. We got 33 responses to the survey and 9 of those fine folks also hopped on a phone call with us (myself (add1sun), Mauricio (dinarcon), or Marina (paych)) to talk about the survey answers in more depth. While it's been a little while since we conducted the survey and interviews, we figure this is really interesting and useful information to share with the community.

The first section of this post covers the questions we asked and the results on the survey. The second section dives into our takeaways from the interviews we conducted after the survey.

Survey Results

What is your motivation for organizing GTD?

Far and away the most common motivation for running GTD events is to grow the local Drupal community, with over 90% selecting this as at least one reason. The second biggest motivation (39%) was to promote a company or organization, which was then followed up equally at 24% with finding new hires or new clients.

Is your company sponsoring your time to prepare and present the training?

For this question, about 60% of respondents have their company cover their time. There was also a mixed bag of people who are their own business or who freelance, where counting company versus personal time is a blurrier line, as well as people who straddle both, doing some of the work on the clock and the rest on their own time. 21% of those surveyed stated that they are not supported by a company for GTD events.

In which country (and city) have you organized a GTD?

Our list from the survey covered 36 events in 18 different countries, plus an online course with attendees from all over the world.

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • China
  • Costa Rica
  • France
  • India (5)
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico (3)
  • Moldova
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • United States (11)

In which languages have you organized GTD?

23 (64%) of events are being offered in English. There were 12 languages other than English in the list, with Spanish taking the number 2 slot with 6 events, which lines up with the number of events in Spanish-speaking countries.

Given the wide range of countries, it is a little surprising that there is definitely a concentration of events that are offered in English.

What materials do you use to present the training?

This was split almost evenly between those that use materials they created themselves and those that use a combination of existing materials and their own.

What topics have you covered in the trainings you have presented?

113 responses (with multiple select) indicated almost everyone covers more than 1 topic, and the vast majority of those topics are introductions to Drupal and getting started. Of the topics presented:

  • 94% cover What is Drupal?
  • 85% do Site Building
  • 70% cover the Drupal Community
  • 51% do Theming
  • 42% do module development.

From the results to this question it is clear that most GTD events do not stick with just one broad topic.

What format do you usually follow?

The most popular format (76%) is to have the instructor do a live demonstration and have the students follow along. Next in line is to only give presentations, and the least popular was to have the instructor do a live demo but not have the students work on the project. There were also a couple of people who use recorded videos and then offer Q&A and support to the students as they work through them.

How long does the training last?

  • 36% give full day workshop
  • 24% give half-day workshops
  • 30% do a mix of the 2 formats.

How many people attend your event on average?

Event size was interesting. Over 50% of events had 11-20 attendees. Smaller groups, from 1-10 came in second around 27%, and only 21% of events had more than 20 attendees.

Choose the statement that fits you most with regards to venue cost

Just over a third of respondents have given events at different free venues, while 21% have access to a permanent free venue to use. 30% have used both free and paid venues. Only 1 person has a permanent paid venue they use for GTD.

What type of venues do you use?

Most events use either a company office or a university/educational facility, with conference spaces and co-working/community spaces making up much of the rest. There were also a range of locations from coffee shops to libraries included.

What is the attendee capacity of your venue?

Compared to the class sizes mentioned above, there is certainly space for bigger groups overall, with 60% of venues capable of accepting over 20 attendees.

If you organize GTD in a paid venue, how much does it cost on average? (Use local currency)

For those who do pay for venues, the costs are all over the place, which makes sense given the huge range of locations (both world location and venue type) for these events. The most expensive came in around $400 USD or ~325 EUR.

Which of the following does your venue provide?

Most venues (88%) provide a good internet connection, and a projector with screen. 21% of the venues provide computers to use. Others noted extras they get with their venues include things like parking, snacks, and coffee.

Interview Results

We also spoke to 9 people from 5 countries to dig into what they're doing and how the community and GTD Working Group can help. While everyone has different struggles and needs, there are a few common themes that come through.

Organizing and Marketing

There was a wide variety of needs around organizing and marketing GTD events. This included things like matching up people who like to teach with people who can organize and market the event (many times people don't really want to both!), and there was definitely a repeated request for marketing materials and guidelines for groups to help promote their events. There were also some interesting ideas like creating badges for trainers and attendees, as well as having better ways for GTD organizers and trainers to share information, either through online knowledge bases or in-person events, like GTD-focused activities at DrupalCons.

Curriculum

Not surprisingly curriculum and course materials came up for a lot of people. As we saw from the survey results, a lot of people create their own materials, often through need, not because they necessarily want to. There was a common thread of requests for workshop agendas, slides, and all kinds of training materials, centrally located so that people could more easily build a workshop without investing a lot of curriculum time. A number of people also pointed out that not having materials in the local language was a problem, and is time-consuming work to translate existing materials.

Infrastructure

The last main theme that we saw was about the technical and venue needs. This ranged from funding for space to hold GTDs, having a standard way to get students set up with a local environment, and having a regular way to collect feedback on events, and be able to share that information.

While the GTD Working Group certainly can't tackle all of these things, this gives a good starting point for the biggest pain points that the community can address to accelerate GTDs and the adoption of Drupal. If there are particular topics or initiatives in here that you would like to help with, please reach out to the working group to get connected with others and see what resources are available to help.

Author: 
Original Post: 

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web