Feb 27 2017
Feb 27
February 27th, 2017

Drupal at the Beach.
(The Very Windy Beach)

Every year in February, Drupalers from across the country travel to San Diego to get away from the harsh winter and enjoy the perfect 72 degree California weather. Attendees visit Pacific Beach, walk down the boardwalk, and sometimes even go sailing.

Picture of former Web Chefs sailing.Former Web Chefs Matt Grill and Dustin Younse sail through Mission Bay after a weekend at SANDCamp 2016.

This year, however, attendees were met with … a little weather.

San Diegans, like myself, always find weather surprising and novel to the point where any time it rains for more than 10 minutes, we describe it as “really coming down”. But this time it really was pouring. 75 mph gusts of wind, cloudy skies, and a strong atmospheric river causing record rainfall. Drupal was not at the beach this year.

Weather map showing storms over San Diego.SANDCamp 2017: A little weather.

Drupal Near the Beach

Falling in mid-February every year, SANDCamp affords many speakers the opportunity to field test trainings and sessions before they’re given at DrupalCon.

Drupal 8 with React.js and Waterwheel.js

With the help of my fellow Web Chefs, I presented the first iteration of my training API First Drupal 8 with React.js and Waterwheel.js which I’m happy to announce will also be given at Drupalcon Baltimore! In the training, we took the canonical JavaScript application, a todo list built with React, and hooked it up to Drupal 8 through a new JavaScript library called Waterwheel.js. Todos were stored in a headless Drupal site via the JSON API module and we even provided a login page, and a like button for todos. Overall, the feedback on the training was excellent. People enjoyed learning how to turn Drupal 8 into a world class content API while also getting their feet wet with a frontend JavaScript framework like React. I’m looking forward to improving the training and giving it at Drupalcon Baltimore this year.

Every Project is a Story

One notable session was Dwayne McDaniel’s talk Every project is a story: Applying storytelling to your client interactions in which he explained how the patterns that form good stories, form good projects, budgets, and discoveries. Dwayne explored these story structures and how they can help translate clients’ and stakeholders’ dreams into real plans.

Kalastatic

The session that caught my interest the most was From Prototype to Drupal Site with Kalastatic. Through a case study, Crispin explained the benefits of component driven design and showed off an open-source framework Kalamuna built called Kalastatic. It’s a kss-node driven static site framework for building prototypes and living style guides that integrate with Drupal. It’s a tool very similar to Emulsify, Four Kitchens’ component-driven prototyping tool and Drupal 8 theme. It is great to see the Drupal community converge on component driven development as a solid pattern for building frontends.

Keynote Surprise!

Due to the inclement weather California was experiencing that week, the scheduled keynote speaker, Darin Andersens, had his flight cancelled and couldn’t be there. Luckily Todd, Four Kitchen’s CEO and Co-Founder, always has a keynote in his back pocket. He fired up his laptop and gave his talk on The Future of The CMS, pontificating on where the web is going and what CMSes like Drupal must do to stay relevant.

Always Be Keynoting. https://t.co/OIqmOBur3L

— Four Kitchens (@FourKitchens) February 17, 2017

Thanks, SANDcamp!

Maybe I’ll see you at SANDcamp next year! Also, if you’ll be at DrupalCon Baltimore, sign up for my training API First Drupal 8 with React.js and Waterwheel.js, and check out the other Four Kitchens Web Chefs, too!

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Luke Herrington
Luke Herrington

Luke Herrington writes JavaScript for work and for fun; he enjoys hacking on new technology and reading about the ethics of artificial intelligence.

Nov 23 2015
Nov 23

DCO Fall 2015 students
A few days ago, we graduated yet another class of students from our 12-week Drupal Career Online training program. This was the seventh session of our unique Drupal training program (not to mention the two most recent Acquia U classes) and - like Drupal - we're constantly evolving. This session brought the most significant changes to the curriculum since we've started - integrating some Drupal 8 content as well as a re-structuring of the schedule to put more of an emphasis on development workflows and tools.

This session's class was comprised of five students - four of whom are existing full-time employees of organizations using Drupal. The students had a wide range of experience, but all had a desire to learn best practices and the skills necessary to extend and maintain modern Drupal sites. We met in a virtual classroom three times a week for the duration of the 12-week program to learn new skills, work on in-class exercises, review homework, and discuss issues that the students experienced with both class exercises and real-world Drupal projects.

This session's graduating class includes:

As part of their training, they've been given a healthy dose of community involvement, including the importance of using IRC, attending Drupal events, and participating in the community. As you see these folks around, please give them a nice welcome!

From the very beginning of the Drupal Career Online program in 2011 (then called the "Drupal Career Starter Program") our goal has been to provide professional long-form Drupal training focusing on best practices, community involvement, and sustainable site building. To this end, we're constantly improving and expanding the curriculum. Currently, students are provided with PDF lessons, screencasts, online assessments, all in addition to the 7 hours of live, instructor-led training that are provided each week.

With the recent release of Drupal 8, it was time to re-think our curriculum and begin making some wide-ranging changes. In addition to adding Drupal 8 to a number of various site-building lessons and exercises, we made a rather large structural change to the overall curriculum to put more of an emphasis on comment development workflows. This change was based on feedback from both graduates and employers. For example, in the past we had separate lessons for Drush, Git, and working with remote servers. The curriculum now begins with basic Drush and Git commands and continuously expands on them throughout the 12 weeks.

The goal is to get students into the habit of using Drush and Git as they work on the various parts of a site. As the course progresses, we introduce the concepts of remote repositories (utilizing the GitHub, WebEnabled, Pantheon, and Acquia platforms) as well as remote development, testing/staging, and production/live environments. The overall goal being preparing graduates to be able to be revenue-generating members of their organization from day 1.

We're extremely proud of all our graduates and know that we couldn't do it without the help of our volunteer community mentors and Work Experience Drupal partners. Our next session begins in early March, 2016.

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Aug 19 2015
Aug 19

Compass

It's that time of year again - the next session of the Drupal Career Online program is about to get underway. Interested in learning Drupal best practices, common development shop workflows, as well as a bunch of the tools that modern Drupal professionals use every day? Looking to expand your current development team but don't have the time or the resources to train existing or new staff? If so, the Drupal Career Online program was designed with your needs in mind!

This will be the seventh time we've taught our curriculum, and the ninth time overall that is has been used for long-form Drupal training (Acquia has used it for their Acquia U program). We're confident that it provides students with the knowledge and experience to compress the amount of time it takes to become a Drupal professional.

Like Drupal, our curriculum is always evolving. Since we began the program, the curriculum has been expanded to include additional examples, enhanced with screencasts and weekly assessments, and bolstered with instruction on modern Drupal site building techniques. Starting this fall, we'll be selectively using both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 in our examples and homework as we help prepare the next generation of Drupal developers.

The program runs 12 weeks - students meet online with a live (video/audio/screen-sharing) instructor twice a week (3.5 hours/class) for training with an additional 4-hour online lab session where students can work together on class homework and projects or ask the instructor to review concepts or answer questions.

This is not bootcamp-style training. Not only are we strong believers that students need time to digest new concepts and have time for additional investigation, but we're also realists who understand that it is extremely difficult for most people to put their life on hold for 8+ weeks while they attend a 40-hour/week (sometimes more) training class. Our 12-week program, which works out to about 130 hours of class and lab/co-working) allows students to learn at a sane pace while giving them time to be curious and dive deep into topics that interest them - without them risking missing any class material.

How do we measure success? The majority of our graduates go on to earn money in the Drupal ecosystem. Some go on to be contractor/consultants, some go on to full-time jobs, and some improve their current job situation with their newly improved skills.

We know how difficult it is for folks new to Drupal to break into the Drupal contracting/consulting business or to find a Drupal-related job. Our program is designed to greatly decrease the amount of time it takes someone to go from beginner to "work ready". We'll steer you around all the minefields and help you scale the sometimes-scary Drupal learning curve in the most efficient way possible.

We also know how difficult it is for Drupal development shops to find new talent. We feel that this program is tailor-made to help shops grow their own talent; you provide us with good people with potential and passion who fit into your company's culture, and we'll get them trained up the right way.

Interested yet? Want to hear more (with no obligation)? Sign up and attend our free Taste of Drupal online information session on Wednesday, August 26 at 11am EDT. We'll provide a brief presentation of the program as well as answer any questions that you may have. If you decide to take the plunge, you can apply online. We have an easy payment plan for individuals, and if you're interested in a group discounts (for two or more people), we can help with that as well. Classes start the first week of September.

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Apr 07 2015
Apr 07

Stetson Celebration Campus

DrupalEasy is so excited to announce that we are teaming up with Stetson University to present the first comprehensive, university-based Drupal career professional development program in Florida! The Drupal Career Certificate Program (DCCP), which is built on DrupalEasy’s Drupal Career Starter Program curriculum, marks an official entrance to the Drupal talent pipeline through the US higher education system. The DCCP, now part of the university’s Boundless Learning programs, will be officially announced at Florida DrupalCamp 2015!  The first course will kick off this Fall at the Stetson Celebration Center located right in the middle of Florida's High Tech corridor on the outskirts of Orlando.

It’s been an interesting road for us as we search for the best ways to scale up Drupal career training. In one respect, we have great access to the Drupal Community, and have been building recognition for our passion to develop high-quality Drupal talent with our comprehensive in-person and virtual career training programs. The long pole has always been reaching beyond the Drupal community. We had early success in our immediate region through the workforce system working with transitioning aerospace IT folks who needed a new direction after Shuttle was cancelled. But, we discovered, that group, with its level of passion and technical background, is unique among the usual workforce system clientele who are not part of a mass tech layoff.

We have also talked to a few bootcamp-style coding schools, who although interested in Drupal-specific programs, have mostly co-working/self-teaching business models that don’t lend themselves to our instructor-intensive, community-building, long-form approach. The model we found that we hope hits the nail on the head is through higher education, primarily in professional development/continuing education programs. When we met the innovative thinkers at Stetson, the concept came together pretty quickly, with buy-in at every level of the university. Our quality focus, the importance of the Drupal community, creating a talent pipeline – they totally get it, and we could not be more pleased with the potential.

Drupal at Stetson logo We feel pretty lucky to have a partner in Stetson, which has been around since the late 1800’s, and has thrived in great part because it is built on blazing new trails with high quality education programs in disciplines that have great need for talent. This university Drupal career focused program joins the ranks of quite a few other impressive firsts for Stetson, including Florida’s first law school, (which accepted and graduated Florida’s first female law students!) its first college newspaper, and the first school of business administration in the state.

This is a great opportunity to not only scale up our career programs, but to also help build up the Drupal talent pool for the community by creating a more recognizable and conspicuous career path in Drupal for those who are not in the community. It’s a chance for Drupal to be promoted to those who have the capabilities, but perhaps not the familiarity with Drupal to learn more about the options, potential and community that have drawn in so many of us. We are excited to part of this partnership between two vastly different organizations that are built on the same premises of educational goodness and light.

As we build our career programs and begin developing our Drupal 8 based program, we are looking to forge similar partnerships in other areas of the country (and the world,) so please let me know if you have an interest or a suggestion in your region.

The inaugural Stetson DCCP begins September 15 at the Stetson University Celebration Center, and runs every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5:30 – 9:00 pm EDT until the first week of December. For more information, come see us at the super-fantasitic platinum sponsor Stetson Drupal Training table at Florida DrupalCamp, or visit www.stetson.edu/drupal-training.

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Jan 08 2015
Jan 08

Nimble Monkey

Since we have ramped up our training business over the past months, I've been teaching a lot of Drupal to a lot of different types of people with various backgrounds, goals and motivations. As diverse as they may be, from private client training engagements for some of the largest Drupal shops to our own 12-week Drupal Career Online to now providing the technical curriculum for Acquia U, one training element that spans audiences and is continually driven home is the importance of being nimble.

With every training that I do, I always start by learning as much about the students as possible, with a special focus on their current level of knowledge as well as their expectations of the training. I've found that most people new to Drupal have one thing in common: they usually vastly underestimate how deep and wide Drupal really is. Especially for shorter-term beginner training events where students hope to learn all there is to know, this is sobering when they realize that Drupal is a much bigger universe than they originally thought.

Managing expectations for training events of this type is tricky. Often students go into technical trainings thinking that in a week they'll know everything there is to know about the subject, while in reality the situation is almost always much different. Readjusting these expectations as early and as gently as possible is often the key to a successful training.

Also critical is being able to adjust the curriculum based on differing expectations. Training a group of people coming from another content management system or framework is very different than training a class that is completely new to content management systems. Training a group comprised of both is even trickier. Adjusting curriculum on the fly is key, which is why our curriculum has depth and breadth, so it can accommodate the element of adjustability.

The current Acquia U program is a perfect example. With 10 students of varying degrees of experience, how do you present classroom lessons on topics that some students already have practical experience with? Of the 10 students, about half of the students have experience using Drupal regularly in a content administrator role, and several have experience building Drupal sites. We also have students for whom Drupal is brand-new. The difficulty is clearly presenting lessons that challenge some students while also providing the basics to those that require it.

I often use two different strategies to mitigate the issue: challenge exercises and student teaching. Challenging students who are ahead of the curve is a great way to keep them engaged in the class while at the same time satisfying their thirst for knowledge. Having curriculum that can support these types of challenge exercises without overwhelming the rest of the class is difficult, at best, to achieve.

Tasking ahead-of-the-curve students with teaching and/or demoing a portion of the lesson is also another effective technique. Many people believe that the best way to gauge your understanding of a topic is to explain it to someone else. By moving students from the "learner" to the "teacher" role, it keeps everyone engaged, and can often spot gaps in knowledge for some students.

Our DrupalEasy curriculum was written from the ground up with exactly this type of nimbleness in mind. We know that providing textbook, robotic training is usually not what any of our clients are looking for. The ability to read the situation and adjust on the fly to give our clients the biggest bang for their buck is something that we're betting will continue to help us grow our training business in the future.

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Nov 25 2014
Nov 25

DCO2014 Graduate Steve Fisher

Twelve weeks after it began, the first online class of Drupal Career Online (DCO) graduated yesterday, launching six new Drupalists on their way to a new career. With this class, DrupalEasy has now graduated 71 participants from Drupal Career online and in-person programs. Our graduates were taught the fundamentals of Drupal site-building, Git, introductions to module and theme development, site maintenance, distributions, and much more. Along they way, students were required to use the same communication tools as the rest of the community (including IRC), were provided with a community mentor, and were encouraged (pestered?!) to get involved in their local communities.

DCO 2014 Graduates

Joe Arsenault

  • Drupal.org username: jarsenx
  • IRC nick: jarsenx
  • Hometown: Baltimore, MD
  • Community mentor: Ben Hosmer (bhosmer)
  • Notes: Volunteered at Baltimore DrupalCamp, has several commits to Drupal 8

Rick Esser

  • Drupal.org username: rick_e
  • IRC nick: ricke
  • Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
  • Community mentor: Jay Epstein (jeppy64)
  • Notes: Has travelled all over the southeast United States attending Drupal events

Steve Fisher

  • Drupal.org username: fisherstudios
  • IRC nick: fisherstudios
  • Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
  • Community mentor: Ryan Price (liberatr)
  • Notes: Emmy Award winning television broadcast engineer

Linda Green

  • Drupal.org username: lindagreen
  • IRC nick: LindaGreen
  • Hometown: Truckee, CA
  • Community mentor: Linda Cook (lscook)
  • Notes: Drupal site administrator, volunteered at BADCamp 2014.

Alan Lilly

  • Drupal.org username: pspot
  • IRC nick: pspot
  • Hometown: Orlando, FL
  • Community mentor: Michael Tripp (Bowevil)
  • Notes: Interested in real estate Drupal sites, profesional actor

Bill Pollard

  • Drupal.org username: pollardw
  • IRC nick: pollard2
  • Hometown: Merritt Island, FL
  • Community mentor: Dennis Solis (densolis)
  • Notes: Background in unix administration and accounting

What's Next For the Graduates?

Now that the coursework is complete, our attention has turned to introducing as many of these graduates as possible to forward-thinking organizations interested in hosting a graduate or two as an intern. We've had some success in making introductions to students in several geographic areas, but are still looking for additional opportunities - especially from organizations who would be willing to work with remote interns.

As part of Drupal Career Online, we provide ongoing graduate mentoring and introductions between organizations and graduates.

DrupalEasy Career Training Grows

Our next Drupal Career Online class, accessible internationally, is scheduled to begin February 10, 2015, with classes taking place in the early evening (EST) for those East Coast students with full-time jobs. Applications are open until mid-January.

Drupal Career Online is comprehensive expert-led training unlike any other Drupal training that we are aware of. We believe in measured, holistic training that allows students the time to digest and practice. Our resource-rich curriculum results in stackable technical and community skills that build capabilities and confidence. DrupalEasy career training is not a quick-turn-around firehose-style bootcamp, it is not a self-taught program, and it is not a proctored team-learning experience. Sessions are three times per week - twice for classroom training, one for instructor-led self-paced lab hours. All of our sessions are led by a live, online expert Drupal instructor via GoToMeeting. In addition to the instructor, students have access to PDF handouts and reference documents, and a comprehensive library of screencasts.

We are also honored to announce that Starting December 1, DrupalEasy and Mike Anello will present a reformatted version of our Drupal Career Starter Program for the delivery of the technical training for Acquia U. This is an amazing endorsement of our program, and we are honored to have been selected by Acquia.

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Oct 13 2014
Oct 13

Internships

The fifth class of our Drupal career training program is just about at the halfway mark, and our students are eager to put their new skills to work. The six Drupal Career Online students will be ready for junior-developer-level work in mid-November, and we're looking for forward-thinking organizations willing to help our graduates on the next leg of their Drupal career journey.

As we've done for the past five classes, (we've had more than 60 graduates so far) we're looking to make introductions between our upcoming graduates and organizations looking for people with Drupal site-building and development skills. Our Work Experience Drupal (WE Drupal) program is designed to provide students with valuble experience in internship-type settings. WE Drupal host companies are asked to make a 6-10 week commitment to one or more of our students, provide them with guidance, mentoring, and the professional experience that is so difficult to come by for new Drupal site builders and developers. In return, you get the efforts of a well-prepared, super-eager Drupal novice to help you lighten the task-load for your staff.

Should Your Organization Participate?

In the past, Drupal shops of all sizes and types of organizations that use Drupal, as well as organizations looking to get into Drupal, have participated in the WE Drupal program. Students have worked on everything from large, highly-visible sites to prototype sites used as proof-of-concepts.

If your organization fits into one of the following categories, you may want to think about applying to be a WE Drupal host:

  1. Your organization is top-heavy with senior level Drupal developers. Often, these developers end up doing low-level or repetitive tasks that can (and should) be handed down to a junior developer or intern. Start developing your Drupal developer pipeline with someone professionally trained.
  2. Your organization is looking to update it's own web site (cough_DrupalEasy_cough) but all of your developers are too busy with client work. Our graduates are perfect for prototyping new sites, researching new site building techniques, or getting the ball rolling on an internal development project.
  3. Your small organization doesn't have the budget to hire an experienced Drupal developer. Our curriculum stresses the importance of well-designed, sustainable site-building. Our students understand the importance of a strong information architecture and can help ensure that a small site built today has room to grow tomorrow.
  4. Your organization is looking for some good karma and wants to help grow the Drupal community and help fill the vacuum of experienced Drupal developers.
  5. Your organization is already looking for junior- or mid-level Drupal developers. Taking on an intern is a great way to provide someone with a limited-time "try out" to see if their skills and personality are a good match for your organization.

Check out this success story to see how a non-profit organization utilized one of our recent graduates.

Student/WE Drupal Host Introductions and Matching

The matching of students to WE Drupal hosts is completely driven by the students and hosts - DrupalEasy acts only as a introduction service. We make all student profiles available to all WE Drupal host applicants, and we ask all potential WE Drupal hosts to tell us a little bit about who they are and the kinds of tasks they have planned for the interns. The majority of this information is shared among students and potential hosts, and then both parties have the ability to request introductions. DrupalEasy makes the introductions, and then it is up to the hosts and students to follow up (normally via phone/Skype interviews). Offers are then made by the hosts.

Length of the internship, compensation, schedule, and all other details of the internship are controlled by the WE Drupal host and student. While we do have some suggestions, we're not part of that process.

Current Students

Our current students are all U.S.-based, with five of the six on the east coast. Their interests lie mainly in site building, but we have one student who already has three Drupal 8 core commits(!) and several other students with an interest in theming who have already contributed back to the community in the form of Drupal.org documentation updates.

Our students receive a strong dose of Drupal best practices and community involvement from day 1 of the program. While the majority of the program focuses on Drupal fundamentals and site-building techniques, we also spend time learning the basics of module and theme development, Git, and basic site maintenance.

Next Steps

By now, you're surely interested, so what do you need to do next?

First, contact us by October 28, 2014 to let us know that you're interested. If you'd like, you can go right to the WE Drupal host application form and provide us the details about what you're looking for.

Next, we'll provide WE Drupal host applicants with a URL where they can review current student profiles. Similarly, we'll provide students access to portions of each WE Drupal host applicant's application so that students can have an idea of what each organization is looking for.

Finally, we'll ask all parties who they'd like to be introduced to, and we'll send out email introductions. This will complete our role in the process, although we're always happy to provide feedback to all parties on both students and potential hosts.

The Drupal community needs to do more to grow the number of experienced Drupal developers. WE Drupal is designed to help meet this need - we'd love to see your organization benefit and be part of the efforts to promote solid Drupal Talent Development!

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Sep 22 2014
Sep 22

It’s official. The Drupal Association just published survey results that back up just what we have all suspected: The Drupal community, even with more than a million registered at Drupal.org, is starving for Drupal talent. 92% of hiring managers surveyed confirm there is not enough Drupal talent in the market to meet their needs. DrupalEasy has dedicated the last few years going inside and outside of the community to find the right people and put them on solid paths to Drupal careers. Care to join us in helping to develop new talent to support the growing Drupal Project?

Here are some options:

Preach to the establishment on Drupal careers. We have a ton of materials that we use to enlighten both technical and non-technical audiences about Drupal, open source, and the careers that are available. Career counselors, economic developers, educators, workforce professionals and others who have a vested interest in value-added jobs for specific populations. If you need presentation materials for a lay-person audience, contact Gwendolyn. We are also glad to speak with you or on your behalf!

Counsel friends, acquaintances, students and smart strangers on the opportunities, lifestyles and relationships that Drupal careers have to offer. We’ve found that people who hear about and then do the research tend to get the benefits and the bug pretty quickly. We have all kinds of career information up at our career center at , including a great resource page! Pass it on...

Share information about our career training programs with potential Drupal talent, your hiring managers and others looking to develop their teams. We will hold Spring and Fall sessions of the Drupal Career Online program, which is an online, live instructor led program accessible from anywhere in the world. This comprehensive curriculum has already trained dozens of new Drupalers, and we are getting great feedback from our first virtual students.

Invest in training for those who need it. Would you like to start an “Insert Your Company Name” sponsored scholarship for budding Drupal developers who would like to take the Drupal Career Online program? We are opening sponsored seats for the Spring session, as a way for all 92% of those hiring managers to reach out to potential hires, or find potential hires through our application process. Contact Gwendolyn if you‘d like to find out more about this program.

The key to building the community and fortifying the talent pool into the future is to get people engaged today. And the best way to get people outside the community engaged, is to build efforts from within for outreach and education. Let us know if we can help with our programs, or if you have ideas or ongoing efforts we can help with when it comes to Drupal talent development. 

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Sep 03 2014
Sep 03

DCO 2014 students

What do you get when you combine a state-of-the-art open source content management system with a seemingly endless need for developers, an instructor passionate about developing Drupal talent with solid fundamentals and best practices (yours truly), six eager, geographically diverse students (pictured above - more on them in future blog posts), and a modern online classroom environment (the topic of this post)? If the content management system is Drupal, then the only answer is the online version of the Drupal Career Starter Program: Drupal Career Online.

This week marks the start of the first session of Drupal Career Online, an immersive 12-week online training program designed to take people passionate about technology and turn them into Drupal professionals. The curriculum is the result of continuous development and improvement over the past three years, and now features a dedicated web site, PDF handouts and reference documents for every lesson, weekly self-assessment quizzes, screencasts covering important concepts and a healthy dose of Drupal community involvement.

With Drupal Career Online, we've ventured into new territory. This is our the first long-form training presented purely online. Seven hours of instructor-led classes and four lab hours each week - both facilitated with GoToMeeting and IRC, which present (what we thought would be) challenges to both the instructors and the students. Turns out, there are some great advantages.

As the primary instructor, my biggest concern was ensuring I could make a connection with the students. Not being able to read their body language and facial expressions to ensure that everyone is engaged, nor being able to walk over to them and peer over their shoulder to see where they might be struggling and provide advice and encouragement could be a challenge. We considered several online classroom solutions and decided on GoToMeeting for several reasons, including strong compatibility with both Mac and Windows and the ability to make any of the students a presenter at the click of a mouse.

After the first class, many of my concerns immediately dissipated. The ability for almost everyone (up to six at a time) to leverage their webcams for face-to-face conversations put us all at ease almost immediately. With Drupal Career Online students mainly beginners, the ability to quickly switch between each student's screen allowed us to ensure that everyone got up-and-running with a local development environment in a minimum amount of time. Dare I say that using GoToMeeting was actually an advantage in this area compared to a traditional classroom where sharing a student's screen usually involves a really long video cable (and an adapter or two) or students relocating to the front of the room. Being able to nimbly switch between screens was a surprisingly big win on the first day of class.

I think it is safe to say that we're all looking forward to the upcoming 11 weeks of our interstate virtual class, where we'll be covering everything from Drupal fundamentals, module and theme development, Git, and more contributed modules that I care to count. Stay tuned for more posts about Drupal Career Online, the technology we're leveraging, and of course our newest students and the learning community we develop as we progress down the path of Drupal knowledge.

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Nov 24 2013
Nov 24

Average: 5 (2 votes)

I teach Drupal to a lot of people. One thing I have learned, is that whether I'm teaching people who are so new that they're still learning how to pronounce "Drupal" or I'm teaching current users the intricacies of the Migrate module, there's one common thread: without a solid understanding of Drupal's "Big Five", students will have trouble gaining the confidence that all Drupal developers, themers, site-builders, and anyone else who interacts with Drupal on a daily basis need.

The "Big Five" came about while I prepared materials for the Drupal Career Starter Program's (DCSP) second go-around (we're now accepting applications for our fourth session). I realized that I needed to name the milestone that I felt all of our students needed to attain before moving on to more advanced material. It didn't make any sense to introduce modules like Views or Panels, let alone introductions to module or theme development if students weren't solid on fundamental concepts.

The "Big Five" gives a name to the goal that students learning Drupal need to strive for, along with a mental checklist and milestones that give them a sense of accomplishment and confidence as they progressed. Providing a mechanism for students to gain confidence as the course progresses is something that I continue to focus on in both our long-form courses as well as our full- and half-day workshops.

If you're reading this, then you're probably not going to be surprised by the "Big Five" (in no particular order):

  • Content types
  • Users/roles/permissions
  • Taxonomy
  • Blocks/regions
  • Menus

So, how is the DCSP designed to teach these concepts in a way that makes them second nature to our students? The curriculum starts off with simple concepts and examples, each one designed to encounter a hurdle that can be solved with something from the "Big Five". For example, in one of the first lessons we create a new "basic page". Once complete, like clockwork, at least one student will ask, "but how do I link to this page from the main menu". Boom. We have a question with a solution that allows us to (semi-)naturally introduce Drupal menus and menu items. By cleverly designing exercises that lead to moments like this, the "Big Five" are almost always introduced as a solution to students' queries.

Of course, repetition plays a key part in hammering home the importance of these fundamentals. With the DCSP, we have the luxury of having five weeks that focus on topics that I feel everyone involved in Drupal site-building should know backwards and forwards. We are constantly revisiting/reusing concepts involving the "Big Five" over these five weeks, adding a small bit of complexity (usually in the form of a contribued module) at most opportunities.

The final piece in the puzzle is encouragement and confidence-building. By referring to the "Big Five" and their importance at every opportunity, we try to create a situation where students can gauge their own progress along the path by mentally checking off which of the "Big Five" they have confidence with and which ones they need to focus more time on. I encourage students to teach each other - if one student isn't understanding how to link a vocabulary to a content type, rather than explaining it myself, I'll ask one of their fellow students to explain it. This usually kills two birds with one stone - one student learns, the other gains confidence. Often, the student doing the explaining does a better job than I do since their knowledge is new, and they've just had the experience of learning the particular concept.

Teaching Drupal's "Big Five" in a full- or half-day workshop is challenging. There's barely enough time to give each topic it's due, and providing opportunities for repetition can be challenging. For our full-day workshops, we normally limit the course material to just Drupal core and some indespensible modules. There's no doubt in my mind Drupal 8 will make this easier for both instructors and students.

DrupalEasy provides public and private, online and in-person web-development career training and professional development workshops on topics from the basics of HTML and CSS, Responsive web design, fundamentals of Drupal site-building, the Views module, data migration into Drupal, as well as module and theme development. Contact us for more information, or check out our list of available workshops.

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Jul 09 2013
joe
Jul 09

Live in the Midwest and like Drupal? So do we! Or at least some of our team. And as such we'll be attending the annual Twin Cities DrupalCamp in force this year.

As a resident of Minneapolis I've been attending this camp regularly since its inception and it's always been a great opportunity to meet other local Drupal developers and to interact with those that I've known for years. Every year I'm delighted at the number of people who come to learn about Drupal. Last year we had nearly 300 people attend the camp. This year is shaping up to be just as good and myself, Andrew, and Emma will all be in attendance and would love to meet you. In addition to being there in person, we're happy to be a Gold sponsor this year, and we'll be giving away a free annual membership to Drupalize.Me as well!

I've also been participating in helping to organize the camp this year in a much larger capacity. I've normally poked my head in a bit here and there, but this year I've been involved with the entire session selection process: soliciting session submissions, helping to choose sessions, and contacting presenters. It's been a great way to get to know more of the people in the local community. We used the camp website for much of the content selection process and this year I also helped to build the website as well.

Sessions

It's fun to get to meet people face-to-face rather than from the other side of the Internet. This camp is a great chance to meet our trainers as they do their thing in person. I dare say we're at least as much fun, if not more-so, in person.

The Drupalize.Me team will be presenting the following sessions:

I am really exited about the great content from all the speakers. And, unlike past years where we waited till the last minute to schedule everything, we're ahead of the curve this year and have already put together a complete schedule for the weekend.

Free PSD to Theme Workshop

Last year Emma was the keynote speaker at the camp and during her presentation announced that she would be open-sourcing her PSD to Theme workshop. This year Emma and Joe will be teaching a version of the PSD to Theme workshop that is completely free to the first 30 camp attendees that signup for the workshop. There was only one seat left at the time this blog post was written, so signup and get the last seat now (if it's not already too late)!

We're looking forward to seeing you at the camp in a couple of weeks. Be sure to say "hello"!

May 18 2013
May 18

Average: 5 (2 votes)

DrupalCamp AustinWe're super-excited to announce that we've been invited to present a half-day workshop during DrupalCamp Austin. The Camp takes place the weekend of June 21-23, 2013 and we'll be presenting "Getting Stuff into Drupal - Basics of Content Migration" from 1:30pm until 5:30pm on Saturday the 22nd. The workshop will cost $75 and we'll be covering the basics of three of the most common ways of importing content into Drupal: the Feeds, Migrate, and the Drupal-to-Drupal data migration (based on Migrate) modules. Interested? Check out all the details and then register today.

Over the past few years, we've performed various types of migrations into Drupal from all sorts of sources: static web sites, spreadsheets, other content management systems, and older versions of Drupal sites. Using this experience, we've developed an example-based workshop that demonstrates some of our go-to tools for bringing content into Drupal.

The workshop will be short on lecturing, and long on real-world examples. We'll import spreadsheet data using Feeds, a Drupal 6 site into Drupal 7 using Drupal-to-Drupal migration, and a custom migration using the Migrate module.

We're always looking for new and exciting workshops to offer - please take a few minutes and take this short survey to help us determine potential topics for future workshops.

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Apr 29 2013
Apr 29

Average: 1 (3 votes)

Talent/Idea crossword
Everyone seems to need more and better Drupal talent. There are too many instances where projects are delayed, or even turned away or lost because we can't find the people with the proficiency to do the work. Even though high demand for Drupal is a relatively good problem, it is still one that begs for a solution. There's a plethora of training programs (including through DrupalEasy) out there for the self-motivated, tech savvy, Drupal-aware. The issue is, even with the mass of training available and promoted through the community, we still can't fill the gap, especially for the community's long term needs. This dilemma exists for the same reason that we face awareness challenges of the Drupal CMS overall; there is no sizable list of behemoth companies with huge marketing budgets or focused, funded, grand scale efforts to raise awareness outside of the community.

One potential solution is looking outside of the community to infuse the extra, needed resources and attract talent. I'm not talking advertising or sponsorships, but more using relevant resources not necessarily focused on Drupal talent development. DrupalEasy's expertise includes a storied past in economic and workforce development, which are two unique elements of the public sector whose motivations align with growth of industries, and development of talent to meet the opportunities those industries provide. In most cases, state, regional and local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) and Economic Development organizations (EDOs) are continually looking for areas they can support in their target industries. Information Communications Technologies is a sector on more WIB and EDO target lists than not, because it is green, usually provides high wages, and in most cases brings wealth (wages) from outside the region into the local economy. (Value-added jobs that everyone wants in their backyards.)

Drupal and other Open Source Technologies are areas that most workforce professionals are not aware of, and that have a host of issues that need to be addressed by the professionals tasked with growing jobs and economies. Among them, recognized certifications, virtual work, the high percentage of contractors and the self-employed vs. traditional employment, and the length of time/lack of definitive path to becoming a sought after Drupal professional. But, as someone wise once said, an obstacle can either be a stumbling block or stepping stone. The resources that WIBs and EDOs have that can assist the growth of Drupal and development of Drupal talent are certainly worth a little heavy lifting to create a solid path out of the barriers.

At DrupalEasy, we've already started. Thanks to our forward-thinking local WIB, Brevard Workforce, we already have trained 38 people through the Drupal Career Starter Program thanks to a federal grant with a more lax requirement on certifications. This step in securing WIB funds for open source, un-proven training was monumental. Since then, we've stepped up our awareness building efforts. We have compiled our binder-thick application, and stood in front of the Florida Commission on Independent Education where the vote was unanimous for approval of a provisional license for the Drupal Career Starter Program. We were also asked by the Florida state-wide WIB, Workforce Florida, to present Drupal and the DCSP to their finance committee at the most recent meeting of the board in the state capital, and presented a session on Open Source Technology Training at the National Association or Workforce Boards in Washington DC last month.

Right now, DrupalEasy is awaiting final approval of our application to the local workforce board to become an approved training provider, eligible for all standard funding streams, which should come through in mid-May. We are also working with a local legislator to ease regulations so our license can more easily work state-wide for any workforce boards that want to build Drupal talent in their regions.

At all of the presentations and meetings with workforce and economic development groups I've been involved in, once the decision makers understand what open source and Drupal have the potential to do, they would like to know more and figure out how to make their programs work to help build talent. Every region of the US, as well as countries and regions across the world, have WIB-like organizations focused on providing assistance and training for opportunity-rich careers.

It's amazing what happened to Drupal once government discovered what Drupal has to offer. Imagine what we can do for Drupal talent development once we discover what government has to offer. If you are contemplating how you might help create the talent you need for the future, let me know if you'd like to raise the awareness with WIBs and EDOs and potentially leverage government training funds to build talent in your area. Contact us to learn more.

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Feb 07 2013
Feb 07

Recently, I had the opportunity to provide training on building Android apps at SandCamp in San Diego! I was excited to teach my first training class at a Drupal camp, because I like to teach, and I like Drupal. We built this app from scratch:

SandCampAndroidApp

Why Android apps? First, Android is open source, and the developer tools run on Windows, Mac, or Linux. Second, you can run the app you create in the class on your Android phone or tablet just by plugging it in, changing a simple setting on the phone, and then clicking “Play” in the Android Developer Tools. Third, a lot of the concepts for native mobile app development with Drupal (asynchronous networking, threads, list views, JSON/REST) are shared between the Android, iPhone/iPad, BlackBerry 10, and Windows Phone platforms.

I chose to teach how to build a Android 2.x style of application for this class – it was an intro class, with no expectations of knowing anything about app development or Java. Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) has many new components, including the Action Bar, and Fragments, but they don’t work out of the box on Android 2.x, which is still running about 50% of Android devices.

We covered a lot of interesting topics – including Android layouts, Java classes, methods and exceptions, Android’s AsyncTask, Drupal’s Services and REST Server, Android ListViews, parsing JSON with Android, Android’s permissions, and last, loading an image off the web into an Android app.

I haven’t given a training class for a Drupal Camp before, but I found it to be very useful to me to create a training guide for the students that basically covered everything I spoke about, with lots of screenshots of how the app should look when you add this code, code listings, and discussion. It ended up being about 80 pages for a four-hour class, so it’s about half of a decent book right now.

The biggest request at the end of the class was – where should we go from here? There aren’t a lot of specific resources for building Android apps that talk to Drupal, but I can definitely recommend the Android Design web site:

http://developer.android.com/design/index.html

Before getting too deep into Android, it’s definitely important to understand how Google wants you to design apps. It’s definitely different from iOS app design, which is what you will usually find in when mobile design is discussed. Beyond that, I also highly recommend this book on Android development:

Android UI Fundamentals: Develop & Design by Jason Ostrander.

Google has an Android Developers web site, but I feel that it’s not well suited to beginning app development.

If you’re interested in Android or iOS mobile app development for Drupal, and you have any questions, feel free to contact me here through the Contact Form at the top.

  Android, Drupal Planet, Training
Dec 05 2012
Dec 05

No votes yet

DrupalCon Sydney logoGit’s a ripper Version Control System, and considering its growing adoption, you can’t afford to be a drongo when it comes to leveraging it. No worries though, just head on over to Sydney the day before DrupalCon kicks off, take DrupalEasy’s action-packed Blue Collar Git training, and Bob’s yer uncle! 

The Yank (that’d be me) from DrupalEasy is putting on this fast-paced workshop that’ll help you master Git and get gobsmacked at how much more effective you get as a Drupal developer, themer or project manager. Git’s a dinky-di super speedy and efficient version control system. Unlike the others, Git’s got a distributed approach, which gives it an edge for collaborative development, and why its adoption is going flat chat.  What’s more, as it grows, being comfy with it becomes not just a valuable tool, but a handy talent to brag about as its becoming a popular preference on job posts. 

Blue Collar Git will start just after brekkie with the basics and a look around under the bonnet, then delve into remote repositories, resolving conflicts, and working with patches in the arvo. We’ve designed Blue Collar Git to be just the script you need to empower you to start leveraging it for your everyday workflow.

This unique workshop came about from a video of the 2010 Open Source Developers Conference session "Git for Ages 4 and Up" by Michael Schwern. His Tinker toy demo helped me soak up the Git knowledge, and motivated me to teach it using a similar method. Great feedback from various Git-related meetups and camp presentations and trainings inspired the full-blown training course.

The workshop runs the full day of February 6, the day before DrupalCon at the Crowne Plaza. The cost is only $440 for the full day (includes lunch!). This is our first time bringing a DrupalEasy workshop to Oz, so we’re hoping for a bonzer of a turnout! Get on the bush telegraph and grab a Drupal mate to spend the day soaking up insight and doing lots of hands-on learning. Head to the DrupalCon Sydney site to sign up for this corker of a training course!

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Nov 02 2012
Nov 02

Average: 5 (4 votes)

The DrupalEasy Career Starter Program (DCSP), a one-of-a-kind 10-week, multi-modal Drupal training program is proud to announce the graduation of all 20 of our students from the class of 2012. This is the second year of the DCSP in Brevard County, Florida and we’re excited to watch this year’s graduates become (even more!) active Drupal community members and developers.

DCSP Class of 2012 and instructors

Through a grant from Brevard Workforce, the DCSP’s goal was to retrain 20 unemployed IT professionals and turn them into Drupal professionals. With the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet in 2011, approximately 8,000 skilled workers lost their jobs at Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County. Our available pool of talented IT professional was HUGE. This year’s DCSP effort received 202 applications for just 20 slots. The vast majority of the students selected had zero Drupal experience coming in. The rest of this post will give you an idea of how much Drupal knowledge and experience they have going out...

The class of 2012 is:

  1. Mike Anhalt (manhalt)
  2. Jack Ferguson (jpstrat)
  3. Shaun Heath (heaths1)
  4. Doug Hercules (dhercjr)
  5. Cielo Johnson (C13L0)
  6. Frederick Martin (FredMart)
  7. Paula Owen (owenpa)
  8. Gustav Postreich (Gustav)
  9. Tierra Renthrope (IvoryTierra)
  10. Natalie Roberts (anzi31)
  11. Dennis Solis (densolis)
  12. Patsy Spicer (spicerpa)
  13. Wes Stansbury (Oddjob)

Collectively, the class of 2012 contributed approximately 1,000 hours of volunteer time to the Drupal community. While much of that time was spent climbing the Drupal Ladder and learning the ins-and-outs of Drupal issue queues, we did have a moderate amount of success:

  • Participated in well over 100 Drupal.org issues
  • More than 20 Drupal.org documentation edits
  • Numerous patches awaiting review/commit by module maintainers

We were lucky enough to be within driving distance of two DrupalCamp events (South Florida and Atlanta) during the month of October, and the vast majority of the class was able to attend at least one of the two events (some attended both!) and two of our students presented sessions at DrupalCamp South Florida. In all cases, students that attended these events came back with a greater appreciation for the community and motivation to get even more involved. Additionally, a number of DCSP students (and teaching assistants) participated in the two code sprints at DrupalCamp Atlanta and were recognized during the camp’s opening remarks. 

DrupalCamp Atlanta code sprint slide

The DCSP’s unique approach to Drupal training includes a heavy dose of Drupal community involvement. During the 10-week training program, each student is required to:

  • Attend 70 hours of classroom training
  • Attend 40 hours of lab hours
  • Contribute 50 hours of time to the Drupal community
  • Complete the first 5 rungs of the Drupal Ladder http://drupalladder.org/
  • Complete numerous homework assignments and three mini-projects
  • Periodically check in with instructors via IRC

The students are provided with PDF lesson guides and reference documents for each lesson, and selected lessons also include related DrupalEasy-produced screencasts. 

The goal of the DCSP is not to teach students everything there is to know about Drupal, rather it is to provide knowledge and a strong foundation of Drupal core and selected modules while also exposing students to some of the various niches that they may want to focus on in the future (module development, theming, distributions). In addition, students spend time learning about all the various “satellite” technologies related to becoming a professional Drupal developer including IRC, SSH, Git, CSS, PHP, and Drush. 

Our approach to community involvement is simple - start by having the class interact with each other online via IRC and class forums, then slowly expand the circle to the local, state, national, and international community. 

In the coming months, we’ll be looking to expand the DCSP to areas outside of Brevard County, Florida. Interested in learning more? Check out more information about the DCSP at http://drupaleasy.com/dcsp.

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Sep 27 2012
Sep 27

Lullabot's Drupal training site turns 2

It's been almost 2 years since we launched Drupalize.Me and I'd like to take a moment to appreciate some of the site's recent accomplishments.

Over 600 Videos

A few weeks ago, Drupalize.Me product manager Addison Berry announced the 600th video posted to Drupalize.Me! Members now get access to over 233 hours of content on an immense range of Drupal-oriented topics from simple content creation to site building tricks and database server performance optimization. Drupalize.Me's most popular videos cover coding for and using Views, using the Calendar and Date modules, configuring WYSIWYG editors, Display Suite, Organic Groups, Drupal 7 module development, and more. The Drupalize.Me team has been really amazing – posting new videos every week and paying close attention to member requests for new topics.

Over 2,000 Subscribers

Word about Drupalize.Me has spread and I often see people on Twitter telling one another that for them, Drupalize.Me has become the way to learn and keep up with Drupal techniques. Drupalize.Me has iPhone/iPad, Android, and Roku apps so members can watch the videos on their mobile devices or televisions. Drupalize.Me has also partnered with Acquia to offer discounted memberships to Acquia Network subscribers.

As word has been getting around about Drupalize.Me, subscriber numbers have been growing and recently crossed 2,000 simultaneous subscribers. We're reaching more people on a monthly basis than most large-scale Drupal events. We couldn't be more excited about the response!

Drupalize.Me now has a staff of 3 full-time people creating videos, maintaining the site, adding features and handling customer support. This team is augmented by others at Lullabot who step in to help with expert video training, development, design and support. Drupalize.Me now represents more than 15% of Lullabot's budget and has become a great outlet for the Lullabot team to share the knowledge that we've gained building the high-profile websites that represent the majority of our work.

New Features

The Drupalize.Me team has been listening closely to subscriber feature requests and we've gotten lots of new features over the past 2 years. They've arranged videos into "series" collections and allow users to watch them consecutively. They've also added curated "guides" collecting videos into linear curriculum for different types of members. They've also greatly improved the user dashboard pages allowing users to manage their queue as well as see the listing of recently watched videos and even displaying a line graph so members can see their progress within the videos they've watched. The team also added the ability to store pause points and allow users to resume from exactly where they left off - even if they're resuming on a different device such as their phone or connected television.

And speaking of connected televisions, we've got apps! We've got an iOS app for your iPhone/iTouch/iPad which can AirPlay to your AppleTV. We've also got an Android app and an app for the Roku Streaming Player box. You can pick up a Roku box for as little as $50, hook it up to your television, and watch all of the Drupalize.Me videos from your couch. It's a great way to learn.

Group Memberships

Drupalize.Me also offers group memberships. If you want Drupal training for your entire group, department, company, or institution, we offer that too. Group accounts greatly reduce the price of individual accounts while still allowing each group member to manage their own video queue, resume videos, and see their own history. We offer both managed group plans and IP-range plans to allow access to all devices at a physical location such as a library or campus.

Subtitles, Transcripts & Translations

Perhaps the greatest new features at Drupalize.Me are the ability to offer subtitles, transcripts, and translations for the videos. We have many international subscribers who, while they speak and understand English, sometimes can't keep up with the rapid-fire technical information in the videos. They've been asking for English-language subtitles and transcripts so they can follow along better. We're proud to say that we've added this functionality as well as functionality to provide complete translations with subtitles in other languages! 60 of our recent videos as well as the complete Introduction to Drupal guide already have transcripts and subtitles. And all new videos published on Drupalize.Me in the future will have transcripts and subtitles.

We're currently looking for volunteers to do foreign language translation for Drupalize.Me. If you're a bi-lingual Drupalist and you'd like to help make bring these Drupal training videos to the world, please contact us!

Drupalize.Me & Videola

One of the Drupalize.Me team's biggest accomplishments is building the Drupalize.Me site itself. The team has built a great Drupal-based platform which manages both the permissions and delivery of adaptive bitrate streaming video; recurring subscription billing and administration; video content categorization, listing, and organization; mobile app and IPTV delivery with seamless pause-on-one-device-resume-on-another functionality; and now even multi-language subtitles and transcripts.

As we've been building Drupalize.Me, we've been funneling this work and knowledge into Videola, a platform to provide this functionality to others wanting to build subscription-based or IPTV-oriented video sites. In short, Videola is a framework for building sites like Drupalize.Me... or like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon video-on-demand. Videola can do everything that Drupalize.Me can do and more. If you'd like to build a site like this, please contact us and we can talk to you about getting you set up with a Videola site of your own.

Onward

Addi and the rest of the Drupalize.Me team have been doing a lot of training at DrupalCons, DrupalCamps, and other events. They've been very involved in the Drupal Ladder project and have posted a series of free videos to help new Drupalers get involved with core development.

Drupalize.Me recently started its own podcast (which picks up where the long-running Lullabot Drupal Podcast left off). Every other Friday, the Drupalize.Me team is posting a new podcast with interviews and discussions to help listeners keep up with the ever-changing world of Drupal. The team is also constantly upgrading and improving the site and they've got lots of great feature ideas for the future.

I couldn't be more proud of the work that's been done by Addi Berry, Joe Shindelar, Kyle Hofmeyer, and everyone who's helped with Drupalize.Me over the past 2 years. The site just keeps getting better and better. At this rate, I fully expect that 2 years from now I'll be bragging about their Drupal training neural implants and interstellar 3D streaming. But for now, I'm really happy with where we are – doing great, having fun, and sharing knowledge with people, empowering them to do great things.

Jul 23 2012
Jul 23

We’re happy to announce that Exaltation of Larks is sponsoring, co-organizing and offering pre-camp training at DrupalCamp LA this July 27-29th. We hope that you join us!

Pre-Camp Training

The class that we’re offering is all about Drupal Best Practices, and it’s being offered together with Chapter Three on July 27th at 60% off our usual price. This is one of our most popular classes and is one of our favorites, too.

If you’ve taken one of our previous paid classes, you can use coupon code ALUMNI to get an additional 10% off! (In order to use this code, you’ll need to be logged in with your existing account at https://www.larks.la/training)

You don’t need to be registered for DrupalCamp LA to take our class, but why not sign up at http://2012.drupalcampla.com/user/register today? This gives the conference organizers an accurate headcount, and makes it easy for you to pick out your sessions and add your comments to the session proposals.

Presenting at DrupalCamp LA

Speaking of sessions, all of our session proposals were accepted this year and here’s what we’re presenting:

We’ll also be leading BoF (birds of a feather) sessions on coworking and timebanking, which are two topics we’re eager to share and hear from others about.

Meanwhile, several of our partners, including Chapter Three, Acquia and Build a Module, are also represented at DrupalCamp LA this year:

Upcoming Classes in and Around Los Angeles

Can’t make it to DrupalCamp LA? We have several upcoming trainings that we’ve scheduled throughout the Summer and into the Fall, from introductory Drupal Site Building and Layout and Theming to Module Development and Web Services and APIs.

read more

Jul 06 2012
Jul 06

When the Four Kitchens’ team of web chefs develop a new training course, our guiding principle is: Provide a strong return on investment. You invest the time traveling to the training, attending, and afterwards, practicing the skills acquired. You also invest the energy and effort necessary to develop new skills. You place your trust in the trainers to guide you from where you are now to where you need to be. In return, we invest our time, energy, and best effort in creating training experiences that give you a stronger, more relevant, skillset and the confidence you need to apply it.

We also want you and the training to be the right match, building on your current skillset. Before the event, we send a very specific list of required skills, so that you can be certain that the training you purchased is right for you.

To ensure a valuable return on your investment, we develop our trainings with four essentials in mind.

  1. You leave with skills you need. We are interested in many things. The web chefs’ IRC chat room is a steady stream of links and memes. But when it comes to training, we make sure that the skills we teach are the ones you must have as a web professional. We want the skills you develop to increase your value in the marketplace.
  2. Hands-on experience, in class. Seeing is not doing. We know that the only way to develop a skill is to jump in and do it. We provide a safety net. We approach training as an obstacle course designed to build confidence. Instructions are given and then, you tackle the obstacle. We put the smaller obstacles first so that by the end, you are scaling big walls without breaking a sweat.
  3. Subject matter expertise AND training expertise. Many technical training courses fail because the trainers are not subject matter experts or the subject matter experts are not trainers. We develop trainings as a team, combining expertise in the subject with expertise in the art of training. The finished product is an intellectually satisfying, fun, and valuable day with the web chefs.
  4. Enjoyable, cooperative, encouraging. Training is a community experience. We create an environment where trainees can help each other, receive help from us, and participate in every discussion so that the group builds their skills in a cohesive, connected way. We also have a lot of fun.

Our next training is at DrupalCon Munich. Join us for Responsive Websites: Design and Build for All Devices. Also, keep an eye out for more trainings at BadCamp and DrupalCamp Austin.

Do you need personalized training for your team? Contact us for more information about we help teams become Drupal Experts.

Apr 17 2012
Apr 17

If you'll be in or near Sweden at the end of the month, Addison Berry, Lullabot's Director of Education and the Product Manager for Drupalize.Me, will be presenting a session on the Learn Drupal project at DrupalCamp Göteborg on April 28, 2012.

"Learn Drupal" focuses on getting local user groups together to work on a ladder, consisting of concise lessons, to increase your knowledge of Drupal and help make Drupal core even better. This session will explain what the Learn Drupal project is, how you and your local community can benefit from it, and show you how to get started. Get more information on the Learn Drupal project.

Addi will also be teaching a session on Intro to Drush at this event.

Mar 14 2012
Mar 14

Average: 4 (3 votes)

In part 1 of this post I shared how I got started on the line of thinking that we as a community are planting a lot of seeds, spreading the fertilizer, but not doing much tending to the Talent crops.  In the second part of this post, I’ll share just how some of the numbers support the ideas behind why newbie developers are having some issues crossing the gap, or, to go with the opening theme for this second post, blooming...

groups.drupal.org/job dataOnce a student has had some training, then what? Will they be able to find a job as a Drupal developer? Not likely. I looked at 120 consecutive job postings from February 16-25, 2012 on http://groups.drupal.org/jobs. Of these, exactly one was for a "junior developer" (actually, that's a lie, there was another that was looking for a "junior drupal developer" with "1+ years experience building enterprise-level solutions" - I put this seemingly contradictory posting in the "undetermined" category). 84 of the 120 posts were for experienced developers. These 84 posts used terms like "proven track record", "well-versed", "guru", and "senior" in their descriptions. There were 35 posts that I considered "undetermined" due mainly to vagueness and that fact that I only speak one language.

Experience gap with internsInternships are generally designed for students, as a way for them to get some initial hands-on experience. Assuming this is true, this helps close the experience gap.

But still, for the vast majority of new Drupal developers, the experience gap is a significant hurdle. Clearly, experienced Drupal developers are in high demand, but where are they coming from? The community is clearly providing more-and-more training opportunities every month, but are we also providing more internships and junior developer programs? AcquiaU (a training program combined with a junior-level job program) and the Myplanet fellowship program are the only two that I’m aware of.

Survey

As I started putting my thoughts down, I realized I didn't have any hard-data to back up anything I was saying about this experience gap - it was all anecdotal. Therefore, I put together a quick survey and posted it on Drupal Planet. 40 people responded to the survey in the short time it was available.

Survey resultsTwo-thirds of respondents have used either interns or junior developers in the past, but only one-third have a formal mentoring/training program in place (I’d love to hear more about these programs - please leave a comment below, contact me /contact, or post something on Drupal Planet!). Of those that have hired interns or junior developers in the past, two-thirds of those had a positive experience. So, out of the 40 respondents, only about 16 (about 40%) have had a positive experience with an intern or junior developer. These values were higher than I expected.

The survey also confirmed a portion of what I have witnessed personally working with DrupalEasy's interns and junior developers as well as my discussions with various DCSP employers: the time and resources required to train/mentor new Drupal talent is significant, and often underestimated.

To my surprise though, it also indicated that a majority of organizations of all sizes have utilized interns and/or junior developers in the past. I can only assume either or both of the following are true:

  1. The number of available internships and junior developer positions is dwarfed by number of available positions for experienced developers. For example, if all 18 DCSP participants immediately found full-time Drupal work, this would only satisfy about 1.5 days worth of “experienced” job postings on groups.drupal.org/jobs 
  2. Many of these positions are never publicly posted, the positions are filled using some other method. This wouldn't surprise me because I don't believe that DrupalEasy has ever posted a job posting, we generally find team members by word-of-mouth.  

Old Way

So, assuming that the number of available intern and junior developer positions is not enough to satisfy demand, how can we as a community ramp-up the number of experienced Drupal developers?

I think it is safe to say that a significant majority of the current expert-level experienced developers in the community (let's say those with a Drupal.org user account older than five years) crossed this experience gap on our own. Picking up small contracting and consulting gigs as we started off, then as our skills increased, the jobs got bigger, until we crossed the "I kick ass" threshold. Is this method sustainable?

More so, is this method possible for everyone currently crossing the "I suck" threshold? I think not. I'd argue that the skillset to be a successful contractor/consultant is not the same skillset as that of a Drupal developer. I believe that there are developers who have the potential to be Drupal development rockstars, but don't have the skillset to be contractors/consultants. Without a robust junior developer eco-system, how do these people cross the experience gap? One answer is more junior developer programs.

New Way

Drupal rockstarI think the Drupal community needs to make a concerted effort to develop junior developer positions (Jacob Singh’s session at DrupalCon Denver will be a good place to start). If we put in the same level of effort as we did to ramp-up classroom training opportunities, our task is complete. If we don't, then I fear that eventually, Drupal's crazy growth rate will slow due to the lack of experienced developer resources. Organizations of all sizes can profit from junior developers by having them perform tasks such as writing documentation, performing quality assurance, training clients, and other Drupal-related tasks commensurate with their current skill level. Drupal development shops (like DrupalEasy) need to decide if we're makers or takers. Do we want to just take Drupal rockstars, or do we also want to make Drupal rockstars?

I'm putting my money where my mouth is. I currently have 2 DCSP interns, and I plan on keeping them on as junior-level contractors when their internships are complete. It does take time and effort, but even for a smaller shop like ours, its worth it to nurture talent to help Drupal (and DrupalEasy) grow down the road. I also plan on providing junior-level contracting work for other DCSP graduates (shhh, don't tell them yet) and helping as many others as I can find contracting work via my contacts in the Drupal community.

Who's with me?

If you're heading to DrupalCon Denver, there will be a Drupal Workforce Development Programs BoF at 1pm Wednesday. 

Thanks to the following people for reviewing and providing input to this article: Ryan Price, Andrew Riley, Heather James, Jacob Singh, Chris Shattuck, Erich Ludwig, Don Vandemark, and Dave Terry.

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Mar 11 2012
Mar 11

Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

Mind the GapIn an interview with TechRepublic, Dries Buytaeart said, "In some ways Drupal is a victim of its own success with demand for Drupal experts to build and support sites using the CMS currently outstripping supply. The biggest challenge that we have right now is scaling. The demand for Drupal is so high that we need more Drupal experts in the world."

As someone who manages and trains Drupal developers, I've been thinking why, with the current job shortage in the United States and abroad, the popularity of IT careers, and a good supply of Drupal training,  how we could have such a shortage? We as a community continually feel an ongoing lack of seasoned experts, and it is, by some accounts hurting the growth and development of the Drupal project. So what exactly is the issue that we as a community can identify?  And what can we do to improve things now so that the shortage is not an ongoing theme in the future of Drupal?  

So my thoughts turned into inspiration, which led to some research and a few ideas I thought I would share, along with a bit of a call to action.

I’ve divided this blog post into a two-part series that covers what prompted this line of thinking, how and where I went for a few answers and perspective, and how we can perhaps harness the power of the Drupal Community to help solve the issues.

Since these posts may a bit of a long read, I figured I’d start off a tl;dr version; the Drupal community is doing a great job of ramping up training programs for people interested in learning Drupal, but experience with a group of interns, some digging online, and a quick survey to test my perceptions demonstrates that there’s clearly more work to be done with junior developer programs to provide valuable (and often necessary) work experience to get people up to the  experienced developers level.  

My First A-Ha Moment

Drupal Career Starter Program graphicAs part of the Drupal Career Starter Program (DCSP), we took 18 skilled IT workers and spent 10 weeks (7 hours/week) teaching them the basics of Drupal site building. At the conclusion of the workshop session, we placed 15 of the students in internships with Drupal-related organizations around the country.

Now that some of the internships are coming to an end, we're seeing that a very small percentage of the interns are being offered full-time work by the organization that they interned with, and we're asking ourselves why. I believe that part of the issue was due to some lessons we learned since this was our first long-term training course, but it was also our first aha-moment that there’s is an important issue in the Drupal community that needs to be addressed: transitioning new developers to experienced developers.

Our 18 students were all recently laid-off workers from Kennedy Space Center. With the retirement of the space shuttle fleet, over 7,000 workers lost their jobs. A significant percentage of those were skilled IT workers, proficient in various platforms and languages, but very few of them with any working knowledge of Drupal or PHP. Through an application process, we selected 18 students (from 70 applicants).

As this was our first attempt at the DCSP, we were bound to make some mistakes - it is now our job to learn from them. Part of that learning process is to share our experience with the community. Clearly, we need to do better in a few key areas:

  1. Provide additional instruction on using version control systems (and how to utilize them to get a local version of a Drupal site up-and-running on a local machine under a variety of circumstances).  
  2. Provide additional instruction on using Drush.  
  3. Provide potential intern employers with additional structure and information about what would make for a good intern experience.  

I could also add that we trusted the Microsoft Windows environment too much, as we were witness to numerous (seemingly random) issues in getting local sites up-and-running and behaving. Of our 18 students, 17 were on Windows, and much classroom and internship time was spent dealing with all the issues (I've since discovered Drupal Quickstart and am falling in love...)

All of these items are fixable by us and will be addressed in future editions of the DCSP.

Experience Gap

The other issue is that the Drupal community has what I’m calling the "experience gap", where newly trained, but unexperienced developers are often left to fend for themselves.

Dries' Drupal Learning CurveBack in 2007, Dries Buytaert posted his take on the Drupal learning curve. This graphic has been referred to by many people in the Drupal community over the years since it was posted, so I'm going to borrow it to demonstrate my point.

Developers new to Drupal want to get to the "I kick ass" threshold. Once there, I'm assuming it is safe to say that these people can be considered experienced developers. For many new Drupal developers, the first step along the path is some sort of training. Whether it is self-taught, a <shamelessplug>commercial workshop</shamelessplug> (there are currently 12 commercial Drupal workshops listed on http://training.acquia.com/events alone), peer-based learning through meetups and camps, or any other form of training, more often than not, this is the beginning of the path. Let's call anyone at this beginning point "students".

Experience gapI'm guessing that for the vast majority of new Drupal developers, the time they spend on the "student" portion of the path is self-financed. Granted, there are some organizations that will pay developers to learn Drupal, but I'm assuming it's a small percentage, but I don’t have any hard facts to base this one, so let me know how wrong (or right) I am in the comments below.

Tomorrow I’ll publish part two of this post with some insight that came out of Drupal jobs research, conclusions that came out of survey responses, as well as a few ideas on how we can all help close the gap.

If you're heading to DrupalCon Denver, there will be a Drupal Workforce Development Programs BoF at 1pm Wednesday. 

Thanks to the following people for reviewing and providing input to this article: Ryan Price, Andrew Riley, Heather James, Jacob Singh, Chris Shattuck, Erich Ludwig, Don Vandemark, and Dave Terry.

"Mind the Gap" image from Pommiebastards http://www.flickr.com/photos/pommiebastards/4061144276/

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Feb 28 2012
Feb 28

At the end of 2011, we were excited to hear that the Drupal Association was planning a series of global training days, when high-quality Drupal workshops would be scheduled all around the world and all on the same day. We believe 100% in this initiative and talked with Jacob Redding, the Executive Director at the Drupal Association, about how to bring it to Los Angeles. We quickly settled on some common goals, including how to work together to promote Drupal to as many newcomers as possible.

Everything was moving forward until we learned that one of the key pieces of the Drupal Association’s strategy is that Exaltation of Larks and other Drupal companies with well-developed training programs were being asked to produce these trainings at low- or no-cost to attendees. This one had us at a loss — literally! — and had us wondering how to sustain the growth of our training program without sapping resources from our consulting and development divisions, not to mention the attendance at our upcoming paid trainings.

One of the things we enjoy the most is a good challenge, and we immediately started coming up with ideas to make it work with our training program’s existing costs and our dedication to quality. In the end, we succeeded on all counts with two parts planning and one part luck.

We were lucky because we have a great training venue at Droplabs, a Drupal-friendly coworking space in Los Angeles that a few of the Larks and other entrepreneurs founded last year and that many of the Larks work out of. One of the events that Droplabs hosts is Drupal Coworking Friday, a free coworking day on the last Friday of every month — which coincided this time with the Drupal Association’s global training day.

With the potential for cross-promotion with Droplabs and the local Downtown Los Angeles Drupal user group, we went ahead and scheduled our Introduction to Drupal workshop. This was a lunch and learn-style workshop and providing lunch was the only hard cost that we had associated with the event.

We usually go through a large marketing and production process for our trainings, but this time we didn’t buy ads or book a large venue. Instead, we liberally borrowed parts of some of our favorite presentations and workshops that we’ve done many, many times: an introduction to databases and queries, sections from our Drupal Fundamentals course, and questions and answers about web hosting and the Drupal community.

What We Covered

  • When and why to use Drupal
  • Considerations when starting a Drupal project and how to organize a project
  • The basics of Drupal, from content management to membership (“user”) management
  • An introduction to databases and queries
  • How to organize a site using Drupal content types, Taxonomy and Views
  • How to turn ideas for features and functionality into achievable tasks using user stories and use cases
  • Which tasks are crucial for a successful Drupal website and how to organize them
  • How to choose the right Drupal version and modules for a project
  • The basics of web hosting and getting Drupal running on a local computer
  • How to connect with the Drupal community, its meetups, conferences and job fairs and online discussion forums and chat rooms

What We Learned

The best learning experiences are where everyone learns something, including the instructors. Here’s what we learned by doing this format compared to our usual one- and multiple-day trainings:

  • Unlike our other courses, which have clear prerequisites and a “ladder” structure, this workshop is going to be different every time depending on the number of attendees and their range of technical expertise. We can’t assume anything about what students do or don’t know.
  • This isn’t a “deep dive” workshop and it’s important that the entire class shares the same overview and moves forward together. We tried to avoid getting sucked into Drupal’s details, like technical recipes for specific functionality such as galleries, content workflows for newspapers, etc.
  • This is a 3-hour workshop. We’d originally planned this workshop to be 2 hours and that wasn’t enough time to touch on some more advanced topics that some of the attendees asked about toward the end of the workshop. Our group was yearning for information and all but 2 attendees stayed for nearly 3 full hours.
  • Everyone likes to have fun when they’re learning, and learning Drupal is no exception. You never know when the “aha” moment will be. When it presents itself, grab it and run!

Although the workshop “sold out” and all the seats were technically reserved, there were a few no-shows. We always expect this to happen with low- and no-cost events, but we didn’t expect those available seats to be immediately filled by walk-ins and people who were attending Drupal Coworking Friday but hadn’t heard about the workshop.

Our experience was so positive that we immediately added it to our list of available courses. Not only are we planning to offer this workshop again, we’re going to do it every month! We’ve already scheduled the next one for March 30, 2012, which happens to be another Drupal Coworking Friday.

Feb 23 2012
Feb 23

This Friday, February 24, 2012 many of our community leaders are hosting low-cost or free Drupal Trainings through a new initiative we are forming called Drupal Days. While the Drupal Association will officially launch its Drupal Days program in June, 2012, the Drupal Association is very pleased and encouraged to see trainings taking place this week all over the world. This is a key initiative for the association to promote Drupal even more broadly this year. Drupal Days are full and half-day trainings introducing people to Drupal, or those wanting to learn more.

These trainings are ideal for anyone wanting to learn more on Drupal, including IT Leads, IT Engineers, Sysadmins, Webmasters, Web Editors, Content Creators and more. Or perhaps a company that has recently switched to Drupal and needs to learn more.

Drupal Day Trainings that are happening around the world on February 24th, 2012: Leuven, Belgium

Bordeaux, France


Dublin, Ireland
Kawasaki, Japan
Nairobi, Kenya

Dakar, Senegal


Saint-Louis, Senegal


Geneva, Switzerland
Kampala, Uganda
Brighton, UK

Get Involved!
Are you a training organization or a well-organized community leader? We’d love to see you involved in the next Drupal Days coming this June. We want to bring Drupal to new developers, engineers, themers, designers, end-users, and future community-organizers to our community but we need your help. Get involved by participating in the open discussion happening now.

Stay tuned for future dates for more Drupal Days trainings in June, September and December 2012.  You can find Drupal trainings year round from many partners around the world at http://drupal.org/learn-drupal.

There will also be many trainings at DrupalCon Denver, (March 19-23) in Denver, and DrupalCon Munich, (August 20-24), 2012.

Feb 08 2012
Feb 08

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pahudson/2217562952/

As part of the amazing support in the Drupal Community, all presenters have been requested to attend (or watch recordings of) webinars on how to give good presentations, led by Emma Jane Hogbin of Design to Theme.

Below is a summary of the two hour-long videos, which I initially intended as personal notes, but later realized others might find useful as well.

Audience and Message

  • Talk to your session chairs about your audience
  • Start with the question: What's the point of your presentation?

Pick a Style

Context, Content, Conclusion and Action

  • Know your audience (let them know what to expect)
  • Know your content
  • Have a passion for your story
  • Have a hook to remember the presentation
  • Have at most three things people must remember
  • Ask people to take an action based on your presentation

What

makes you giddy with excitement

about your presentation?

Resources

Format and Style

  • Slides support your story
  • Slides are not the story

Now, for Every Slide, Ask Yourself:

  • What's the point of this slide?
  • How does this slide and its imagery support my story?
  • Can someone at the back of the room read this slide?
  • Is it high enough in contrast that people will be able to perceive the content? (Are you sure?)

Content of Slides

  • Do put important information in the center
  • Do use the largest possible font
  • Do provide focus within the slide itself
  • Do embed videos, instead of using live demos
  • Do use images to support your message
  • Do ensure everyone can participate

Delivery of Slides

  • Not everyone in your audience will be able to see or read your slides
  • Always describe the content of the slide as best you can without interrupting the flow
  • Ensure "jokes" are accessible to everyone

Design Inspiration

In Summary

  • Ensure your presentation has message or story for the audience to take home and share with others
  • Ensure every slide supports your message
  • Ensure every slide can be "perceived" by the audience
  • Use any format you like, but be consistent
  • Use the intro/outro slides provided by DrupalCon for video editing purposes

One Last Thing

  • Don't forget your presentation deck is due on March 1
Feb 07 2012
Feb 07

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pahudson/2217562952/

I am incredibly honored to have been selected to speak at the upcoming DrupalCon Denver on the topic of International NGOs Leveraging Drupal for Social Change

As part of the amazing support in the Drupal Community, all presenters have been requested to attend (or watch recordings of) webinars on how to give good presentations, led by Emma Jane Hogbin of Design to Theme.

Below is a summary of the two hour-long videos, which I initially intended as personal notes, but later realized others might find useful as well.

Audience and Message

  • Talk to your session chairs about your audience
  • Start with the question: What's the point of your presentation?

Pick a Style

Context, Content, Conclusion and Action

  • Know your audience (let them know what to expect)
  • Know your content
  • Have a passion for your story
  • Have a hook to remember the presentation
  • Have at most three things people must remember
  • Ask people to take an action based on your presentation
What makes you giddy with excitement about your presentation?

Resources

Format and Style

  • Slides support your story
  • Slides are not the story

Now, for Every Slide, Ask Yourself:

  • What's the point of this slide?
  • How does this slide and its imagery support my story?
  • Can someone at the back of the room read this slide?
  • Is it high enough in contrast that people will be able to perceive the content? (Are you sure?)

Content of Slides

  • Do put important information in the center
  • Do use the largest possible font
  • Do provide focus within the slide itself
  • Do embed videos, instead of using live demos
  • Do use images to support your message
  • Do ensure everyone can participate

Delivery of Slides

  • Not everyone in your audience will be able to see or read your slides
  • Always describe the content of the slide as best you can without interrupting the flow
  • Ensure "jokes" are accessible to everyone

Design Inspiration

In Summary

  • Ensure your presentation has message or story for the audience to take home and share with others
  • Ensure every slide supports your message
  • Ensure every slide can be "perceived" by the audience
  • Use any format you like, but be consistent
  • Use the intro/outro slides provided by DrupalCon for video editing purposes

One Last Thing

  • Don't forget your presentation deck is due on March 1

Aaron co-founded CivicActions in 2004. In his role as Chief Experience Officer, he is responsible for company culture, team-wide professional development, talent acquisition, company retreats and marketing. Aaron also serves in a business development capacity, advising clients on digital strategy, agile software development, and mindful leadership.

Jan 09 2012
Jan 09

Evolving Web is excited to announce the start of our Drupal training program. As an Acquia training partner, we will offer training in site building, module development, and theming. So far, we have two trainings scheduled at our office in Montreal, Hello Drupal! on January 16th and Drupal for Developers on January 27th.

Drupal for Developers

Over the past few years, we've attended countless career fairs and events for computer science and software engineering students at local universities. One thing we've noticed is that a lot of students are interested in web development, but aren't learning it at university and don't know where to start learning it on their own. We've also met lots of programmers from the IT world who want to get into web development and want a way to jump-start the learning process. While open source projects like Drupal are easy to download and start hacking away at, they are also complicated pieces of software that can be intimidating.

To help address this, we're offering a Drupal for Developers course, the first of which is scheduled for January 27. This one-day course is targeted at developers who are new to Drupal but have a programming background. It will lead students thorough Drupal's hook API, basic module development, and how to build websites 'the Drupal way' by using APIs rather than writing a lot of custom code.

By offering steep discounts to students and promoting the trainings at schools in Montreal, we're hoping to attract a crowd of up-and-coming Drupalers to our first set of trainings.

Getting Started: Hello Drupal!

Hello Drupal! is a free intro to Drupal course. The goal of the course is to introduce people to Drupal and get them excited about delving more into Drupal site building or development. The Hello Drupal course attracts students with a wide variety of backgrounds from journalists looking to create their own blog to small business owners to programmers new to web development.

Hello Drupal includes a lot of hands-on exercises that get students right into building their first Drupal website. We offered this course at DrupalCamp Montreal in 2011, and are planning to continue offering it as a way to attract a larger Drupal community in Montreal. The first is scheduled for January 16th.

Site Building and Beyond

There's always a lot of demand for site building courses to get users off the ground building a robust site architecture with content types and views. In addition to site building courses, we also intend to offer courses with an emphasis on Drupal's multilingual features. There's a huge demand for multilingual websites in Canada, particularly in Montreal and Ottawa. To give you a taste of this, we will present a webinar on Building Multilingual Websites on January 11 as part of the Acquia webinar series. If you're interested in Drupal's multilingual capabilities or are in the process of building a multilingual website, please join us.

If you’re interested in attending other Drupal courses or in scheduling a private training for your organization, we encourage you to contact us. We’re excited about increasing our suite of training curricula and reaching out new Drupal adopters in the community.

Jan 01 2012
Jan 01

2011 was a big year for us at Exaltation of Larks. In addition to our regular consulting and development work, we kicked off our public training program in January of 2010 and have offered public classes on everything from Drupal fundamentals to back-end development and everything in between.

In 2011, we trained organizations in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Irvine and San Diego and our training clients are companies including LegalZoom, Disney Interactive, Thomson Reuters, The Annenberg Foundation and Warner Brothers; universities including UCLA, UCI and UCSB; and many Los Angeles-area creative and advertising agencies.

Training Scholarship Program

Our trainings aren’t just for big organizations, however. We want to help train as many people as possible, including unemployed job seekers and people in need, and help them become the developers, themers and architects of tomorrow. To this end, we started our training scholarship program in September.

In 2011, we gave away seats at our trainings worth more than $10,000 to our scholarship students and to local area Los Angeles Drupal user groups to raffle off at their meetups. This has been a tremendously rewarding experience for us and we look forward to doing more of the same in 2012.

Upcoming Trainings

Our first training of the new year is on Drupal Scalability and Performance and it’s at SANDcamp, the San Diego Drupal Camp, on January 26, 2012! If you’re interested in making Drupal go really fast, this training is for you. We’ll provide the servers you’ll get to optimize for performance and all you need to bring is your laptop.

We’re also working with the Drupal Association to bring their worldwide “Drupal in a day” training initiative to Los Angeles in February in an effort to introduce people to the Drupal project and solve the Drupal talent issue that many companies are facing. Follow @LarksLA on Twitter or Like Exaltation of Larks on Facebook to hear more about this initiative.

Request training in your area

In closing, are you interested in our trainings but aren’t able to make it to one of our public classes? Sometimes it’s easier and more cost-effective for us to come to you. We’ll even work with you and your team to tailor our curriculum to better fit your organization. Contact us to request training in your area and we’ll follow up with you:

Thanks, and we’re looking forward to seeing you in 2012!

Oct 03 2011
Oct 03

To celebrate today’s release of Services 3.0 for Drupal 6 & 7, we sat down for an interview with Blake Senftner, a Services expert who is providing our Developing RESTful Services and Web APIs training in Los Angeles on November 3, 4 & 5.

We’re also offering 10% off this training: just use coupon code SERVICES10 at checkout. The discount code expires on October 15th.

Christefano: What was it that got you interested in Services?

Blake: Well, to be honest it’s because of Services and Drupal’s other APIs that I’m using Drupal at all. I come from a 3D animation background — I did both feature films and console video games — and I needed the ability to create Web APIs for a distributed computing environment for my own startup.

C: When was that?

B: I started working with Services 6.x and the XMLRPC Server, getting the first version of my distributed environment operating with that. It worked fine and I wasn’t looking forward to the move to RESTful until a buddy at Disney Interactive sat me down and explained REST to me.

With XMLRPC, you create remotely callable functions and the logic feels very “atomic” in that you’re doing one function at a time, with no “system” or architectural framework. Within a RESTful structure, though, you’re creating and working with “resources” — which are very much like objects in an object oriented sense. Where XMLRPC is working in data, REST works on “things” that have a complete CRUD lifecycle — create, review, update, and delete operations. Just that simple CRUD framework provides a structure that makes working in REST conceptually easier.

C: Give an example of how using REST makes things easier.

B: Okay, an example would be with my XMLRPC service, I had a function that could create a 3D model. That was all it did. The same thing in REST by default supports creating, editing, deleting and updating. Just because that comes with REST and is part of the concept of REST, you automatically think in lifecycle frames of references. With an XMLRPC, all you think of is “I just want this one item.” There’s no architecture in that. There’s no lifecycle in that.

Oh, I also had a client that saw my earlier XMLRPC API and wanted something exponentially more sophisticated. Envisioning that in XMLRPC was causing me to consider a CRUD framework for XMLRPC, but luckily my buddy at Disney had that talk with me. That’s why I switched to REST.

C: When did you start working with Services 3.x?

B: I was digging through the sources, examples and issue queue as soon as a usable 3.x version was available. That was probably around September or October of last year. There may have been working versions earlier than that, but that’s when I started. The maintainers of the Services project are amazing and overworked and I hope the training we’re doing helps alleviate their workload.

C: How long did it take you to get your first “hello world” working?

B: Oh, geez. [Blake checks his email.] It looks like it was just shy of 4 weeks before I had satisfactory handshaking and then another 6 weeks before I had a full CRUD resource working with Relationships, Actions, Targeted Actions, and Authentication. Of course, I was also developing my client’s project at the same time, but the Services work was a continual focus because we had so much riding on it working.

That’s a big reason behind my offering this training. I speak with Drupal developers all the time at my Droplabs co-working space, and very few of them have the time or clients with the vision to commit the time to learn Services. Services is the key behind offering “software as a service”, as well as backends for mobile apps and console games.

C: We’re really excited to be doing this training. What do developers need to know in advance, and what do they need to bring to the training when they sign up?

B: You probably need to know at minimum how to create a basic Drupal module. To make anything interesting, you probably want to know enough to create a Forms API-driven interaction. It could be creating a custom content type or anything that exposes forms from your module. If you know that, you have everything you need to jump into Services with gusto.

Bring a laptop with a local development installation or a way to remotely access a Drupal installation where you’re a server admin and can install and deploy modules. It can be Drupal 6 or Drupal 7. Your choice.

C: Thanks for answering all my questions!

B: Sure, I hope it’s helpful. I look forward to developing with you!

Exaltation of Larks is providing this 3-day training (2 days of classroom-style training with an optional third day of hands-on mentorship on student projects) on November 3, 4 & 5, 2011. If you have any questions, visit us at http://www.larks.la/training or contact us at trainings [at] larks [dot] la and we’ll be happy to talk with you. You can also call us at 888-LARKS-LA (855-527-5752) with any questions.

Sep 28 2011
Sep 28

Anello Consulting is proud to announce the start of the first session of our Drupal Career Starter Program (DCSP). This Drupal training and internship program is designed to teach the basics of Drupal, including a strong foundation on community involvement and practical experience.

The DCSP kicks off on October 4 on Florida’s Space Coast to give laid-off IT-savvy Space Shuttle workers an opportunity at new careers. Brevard Workforce, the local workforce development board funded by the state of Florida, is using federal grant funds to provide scholarships, and potentially paid internships, for the 19 carefully selected participants. The goal is to keep these skilled workers in the area while expanding their skills from the shrinking aerospace industry to self-guided, opportunity-rich careers in Drupal.

We carefully designed an application process that allowed for a maximum number of people to qualify for consideration. We weren't looking for a particular skill set - we wanted to be able to accept students who had at the very least a small set of applicable skills as well as a strong desire to learn something new as well as to be part of an open-source community.

We developed this idea as an ideal combination of our skills at Anello Consulting. While I specialize in Drupal development, training, and media, Gwendolyn Anello's specialty is economic and market development for government and industry. With the shortage of qualified Drupalers and the plethora of local folks looking for new careers, our proposal to the workforce board brought Drupal training into the fold of funded career development training. Over the course of several months, we were able to secure a contract for a pliot program for the DCSP with the support of several companies willing to lend support and possibly provide internships.

We designed the 10-week, 20 session (70 hours total) course to teach the students a strong Drupal foundation, confidence to dive in deeper in their interest areas, a strong community-involvement aspect, and to give them enough background for them to hone in on the specific Drupal niches that appeal to each student. In addition to the classroom training and self-study, we've also teamed up with BuildAModule.com to provide steeply discounted memberships for attendees to access Drupal video tutorials for the duration of the course. Anello Consulting is planning on using this course as a pilot to build on for other regions that have high unemployment rates. Mid-way and after the course, we’ll monitor and report on the success of the program with participants and a few weeks after the course, touch base with the host intern companies to see how we can improve things.

The program could set a precedent with workforce boards, and hopefully help to mainstream training programs through funding from other agencies.

If you are interested in supporting the DCSP by hosting one or more of our future interns, especially telecommuting jobs for the Space Coast workers, please let us know.

Sep 22 2011
Sep 22

Tomorrow is the last day of Summer but the Drupal training scene is as hot as ever. We’ve scheduled a number of trainings in Los Angeles this Fall that we’re excited to tell you about, and we’re happy to publicly announce our training assistance program.

First, though, we’re sending out discount codes on Twitter and Facebook. Follow @LarksLA on Twitter, like Exaltation of Larks on Facebook or sign up to our training newsletter at http://www.larks.la/training to get a 15% early bird discount* toward all our trainings!

Los Angeles Drupal trainings in October and November, 2011

Here are the trainings we’ve lined up. If you have any questions, visit us at http://www.larks.la/training or contact us at trainings [at] larks [dot] la and we’ll be happy to talk with you. You can also call us at 888-LARKS-LA (888-527-5752) with any questions.

Beginner trainings:

Intermediate training:

Advanced trainings:

All our trainings are $400 a day (1-day trainings are $400, 2-day trainings are $800, etc.). We’re excited about these trainings and hope you are, too. Here are some more details and descriptions.

Training details and descriptions

   Drupal Fundamentals
   October 31, 2011
   http://ex.tl/df7

Drupal Fundamentals is our introductory training that touches on nearly every aspect of the core Drupal framework and covers many must-have modules. By the end of the day, you’ll have created a Drupal site that looks and functions much like any you’ll see on the web today.

This training is for Drupal 7. For more information, visit http://ex.tl/sbd7

   Drupal Scalability and Performance
   October 31, 2011
   http://ex.tl/dsp1

In this advanced Drupal Scalability and Performance training, we’ll show you the best practices for running fast sites for a large volume of users. Starting with a blank Linux virtual server, we’ll work together through the setup, configuration and tuning of Drupal using Varnish, Pressflow, Apache, MySQL, Memcache and Apache Solr.

This training is for both Drupal 6 and Drupal 7. For more information, visit http://ex.tl/dsp1

   Drupal Architecture (Custom Content, Fields and Lists)
   November 1 & 2, 2011
   http://ex.tl/ccfl1

Drupal Architecture (Custom Content, Fields and Lists) is our intermediate training where we explore modules and configurations you can combine to build more customized systems using Drupal. You’ll create many examples of more advanced configurations and content displays using the popular Content Construction Kit (CCK) and Views modules.

This training is for Drupal 6. For more information, visit http://ex.tl/ccfl1

   Developing RESTful Web Services and APIs
   November 3, 4 & 5, 2011
   http://ex.tl/dwsa1

Offered for the first time in Southern California, Developing RESTful Web Services and APIs is an advanced 2-day training (with an optional third day of additional hands-on support) for those developers seeking accelerated understanding of exploiting Services 3.0 to its fullest. This is THE training you need if you’re using Drupal to create a backend for iPad, iPhone or Android applications.

This training covers both Drupal 6 and Drupal 7. For more information, visit
http://ex.tl/dwsa1

Training assistance program

In closing, we’d like to tell you about our training assistance program. For each class, we’re setting aside a limited number of seats for students, unemployed job seekers and people in need.

For more details about the program, contact us at trainings [at] larks [dot] la and we’ll be happy to talk with you. You can also call us at 888-LARKS-LA (888-527-5752) with any questions.

* Our early bird discount is not valid toward the Red Cross First Aid, CPR & AED training and 2-year certification that we’re organizing. It’s already being offered at nearly 33% off, so sign up today. You won’t regret it and you might even save someone’s life. ^

Aug 23 2011
Aug 23

Part of the reason I love Drupal is that it treats everyone as a potential developer. The fact that the code is publicly available, that it is created collectively in the issue queues on Drupal.org, and the documentation is relatively easy to access are all parts of the equation. With some time and interest almost anyone can get involved and start building sites.

I believe that this is one of the biggest values of Drupal. A value we work to leverage for our clients. We are Drupal evangelists so teaching and encouraging folks to build sites is just part of our nature. We can't help it. We have structured this into our interactions with clients through our public and private trainings and try to build this into all of our client relationships.

That is why we are so pleased when our clients can take that next step from users to site builders. I outlined New York's Downtown Community Television Center took this next step. We not only built their site but also trained them and included them in our development workflow. Now they are able to enhance and maintain their site with limited assistance from us.

Similarly we are proud to highlight our relationship with Tern Bicycles and to announce their new site: http://ternbicycles.com.

We began our relationship with Tern by building their former flagship site. See our writeup on Drupal.org: Dahon Folding Bicycles Since the launch over a year ago the folks at Tern have been very busy. They've launched several new products and a new line of bicycles.

During that time their team has also learned a large amount about building Drupal sites. We gave them guidance on setting up a development environment and best practices. They used some of the great Drupal documentation and built their Biologic Accessories line http://www.thinkbiologic.com with limited assistance from us. They did much of the site building and most of the theming for: http://ternbicycles.com 

Below I discuss with Tern Bicycle's Terry Chen what it was like learning Drupal and moving from a user to a site builder and themer.

What was your technical background before using Drupal?

I was in charge of a large static site, which compromised of over 1,500+ pages.  I am well versed in writing html and css code.

Why did you select Drupal to use to build your sites?

The 1,500+ page site was manageable but slowly becoming unwieldy.  The main goal of the new site would be to easily translate and build a site for different countries.  

We looked at the big content management systems on the market and actually decided to use Joomla!.  We based our decision on the recommendation of a co-worker who has had previous experience working with Joomla! and the numerous criticisms about how difficult it was to learn Drupal.  We feared that our less tech-savvy customers would not be able to use Drupal.

We knew that whatever system we selected would have to fulfill our present as well as our future requirements.  After we made our decision, I installed both systems on my computer and strangely enough I didn’t understand Joomla! but understood how to use Drupal pretty quickly.  I could also see how powerful and flexible Drupal was in comparison.  I knew right away that Drupal was the software for our organization. 

My co-workers didn’t completely agree with me but backed me up and every day we are grateful that we decided to use Drupal.

What were you able to build with Drupal?

Since 2009, we have moved all of our sites (except one), externally and internally, to Drupal.  We currently are running 6 different sites powered by Drupal for our company.  We have 2 internal sites and 4 external sites running on Drupal.

What was the most challenging element of building a site with Drupal?

I am most familiar with Drupal 6.  As mentioned before, Drupal is an extremely powerful program.  However, sometimes it is too powerful and at times it becomes confusing what the best way is to build the site.  We had to quickly learn which modules to use and how to effectively use them.  Also there was uncertainty of not knowing if a developer would stop development of a module.  Zivtech quickly steered us down the correct path. 

What has been the most rewarding part of working with Drupal?

When I get website requests, I can now say, “Yes, that’s possible”.  Our site has gone from looking nice to being a real tool. 
It has almost become too easy to build a site.  Last summer I built a full site in about 2 weeks.

How did Zivtech make it easier to build off of what we created for you?

I worked with Zivtech on two sites for our organization.  The first site we were complete newbies to the world of Drupal.  We needed a lot of hand-holding and Zivtech taught me what the best practices are when building a site in Drupal. 

I learned so much from that experience that for our latest project together, our new Tern Bicycles website, I told them that I could work on the design, theming and site configuration while they worked on the heavy coding on the backend. 

And this is why I love working with Zivtech.  Not only are they great teachers, but also the team is flexible enough to work in the way that we need.  In a short time, I went from being a passive member in the development process to being an active participant.  Zivtech has slowly dragged me into the world of git and Terminal.

Aug 05 2011
Aug 05

Drupal Camp Los Angeles 2011 - August 6-7th This weekend, August 6-7th, we’re at University of California, Irvine (UCI) for DrupalCamp LA. This is our 4th DrupalCamp LA and this year we’re sponsoring, providing a pre-camp Site Building with Drupal training, at last count, presenting (and co-presenting) 12 sessions.

Exaltation of Larks’ executive team, including Lee Vodra, Cary Gordon and myself, Christefano, will be there with members of our team and close to 250 other attendees who are attending more than 50 presentations, activities and Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions.

Here’s what we’re up to this weekend:

Pre-camp Training

Today’s pre-camp training is Site Building with Drupal 7 and we filled the classroom to its capacity. This training marks the first occasion that Chapter Three’s curriculum for Drupal 7 has been used in Southern California and the response was tremendously positive.

We’re already preparing to offer this training again in Los Angeles immediately following DrupalCamp LA. We’ll continue offering Drupal 6 trainings for the foreseeable future, too, but this class showed us that the community is hungry for more Drupal 7 training.

Sessions and BoFs

Oliver Seldman is leading our pre-camp training and is presenting, as well:

Steve Rifkin is presenting a number of sessions, participating on several panels, and is coordinating conference volunteers each day:

Lee Vodra and I will be leading a Drupal Coworking BoF and we’re looking forward to sharing the experiences we’ve had since founding Droplabs (the Drupal event and coworking space that Lee proposed during the opening announcements at DrupalCamp LA 2010) with 5 others in the LA Drupal community.

I have a few sessions and BoFs, as well, and I’m leading the Sunday code sprint:

Sponsoring

This is our 4th DrupalCamp LA and our 3rd time sponsoring. We’re very involved in local communities and sponsoring DrupalCamp LA this year was even easier than before. Since last year’s camp, the LA Drupal user group formed an unincorporated association and has its own bank account, managed by the LA Drupal Association.

Putting together a DrupalCamp is a lot of work and DrupalCamp LA 2011 is no different. I’m grateful to all the organizers, but especially to John Romine, this year’s lead organizer, sponsor liason and venue coordinator. John’s contributions have been invaluable, to say the least, and DrupalCamp LA 2011 wouldn’t be possible without him.

I have no doubt this will be another great camp. Drop by our sponsor booth and say hello!

Jun 01 2011
Jun 01

We’re offering Los Angeles Drupal and Drupal Association members a discount code that’s good toward our June trainings in Los Angeles. Use coupon code TRAINME and get 10% off!

These two trainings, Drupal in a Day and Drupal Module Development, are being offered by the Drupal experts at Exaltation of Larks and Chapter Three and will be taking place at Droplabs, a new Drupal event and coworking space in Downtown Los Angeles. Droplabs was created this year for and by members of the LA Drupal community.

Here’s what we have coming up in June in Los Angeles:

   Drupal in a Day
   June 20th, 2011
   http://ex.tl/diad-june-20

This introductory workshop will touch upon almost every aspect of the core Drupal framework:

  • Discover how to add, edit, and moderate content.
  • Learn how to create user accounts and understand Drupal’s permissions system.
  • See how to set-up menus, and position blocks on a page.
  • Create human-readable URLs, and categorize your content using Drupal’s taxonomy system.

Drupal in a Day is on June 20th, 2011, and is $400. At the end of this one-day class you’ll have a completed Drupal site, which looks and functions a lot like many sites you’ll see on the web today!

   Drupal Module Development
   June 21-23rd, 2011
   http://ex.tl/dmd-june-21-23

This three-day workshop teaches you how to create a comprehensive Drupal module. We’ll use and explain each of the top ten Drupal hooks, the menu system and the Form API. You’ll learn how to conform to Drupal coding standards. You’ll write secure code by using Drupal’s built-in functions to sanitize data for display.

You’ll learn the correct way to save and retrieve data, including how to add your own custom database tables. We’ll also practice using theme system from your module. Depending on interest, we’ll show you how to expose your custom data to Views, demonstrate how to create SimpleTests for your module, or teach you the proper way to upgrade your custom database schema.

What you will learn:

  • Drupal coding best practices
  • Understanding hooks
  • Using the Form API
  • Saving custom data
  • Providing themable output from your module
  • Techniques for keeping your site secure

Drupal Module Development is on June 21-23rd, 2011, and is $1200. Enroll today, and if you’re a member of Los Angeles Drupal or the Drupal Association you can use coupon code TRAINME to get 10% off!

We’re excited about these trainings and hope to see you there. If you have any questions, contact us at trainings [at] larks [dot] la or visit us at http://www.larks.la/training

Apr 11 2011
Apr 11

Dear Chapter Three,

I'm looking for a job and I'm fairly tech savvy. I've considered taking classes for web design and media, but a friend told me that I should learn Drupal... but I've never heard of it before. What exactly is Drupal and where do I start?

Sincerely,
Jonny

Thanks for writing Jonny!

What is Drupal?

Getting started with drupal
Drupal is an open source system for building websites and it fits into the category of Content Management System. A CMS is, simply put, a system for managing content. There are a ton of free CMS out there like Drupal, as well as a number of proprietary CMSs which charge for the privilege of using their system. If you want to compare, there are countless articles outlining key differences (like Jen's post last week: Wordpress vs Drupal).

Drupal stores pieces of content (referred to as 'nodes') in a database and lets you call from that to display the content anywhere you need it. This could be a single page (ie. the about page) or a page that has a list of content (ie. latest news articles, blog posts from December - just about anything you can imagine). By trusting Drupal with your content, you're able to focus on what your visitors will see and how they will interact with your site.

Drupal lets you get 80 to 90% done without having to know a lick of code whatsoever. For beginners, if you don't mind using one of the hundreds of contributed 'themes', you may not have to touch code at all. This is largely because Drupal is made up of 'modules' which are bits of code written by thousands of other people in the Drupal community. These modules allow you enable just about any features you could want on your site just by downloading a module and configuring it for your site.

What is the Drupal community?

Drupal has a very strong and compassionate community, which means we take care of people willing to learn. There are tons of avenues for getting help in Drupal, not least of which are the forums and issue queues on Drupal.org. If you prefer chat, you can also get help via IRC. Once you're part of the Drupal community, you'll probably feel inclined to help out beginners - even if just because so many people helped you. I found this to be true and have heard it from many other people as well.

The second Monday of every month, we have a SF DUG (Drupal User Group) get-together where people share what they've been using Drupal for lately, walkthroughs and tutorials covering various topics or what's been happening in the community. There's also a job board through the DUG and an ever growing "Users Helping Users" sub-group.

Ways to learn Drupal

We at Chapter Three are all about giving back to the community. Many of us have contributed modules and themes back to the community. We're all about presenting at Drupal camps, cons and meet ups, and many of those listed on our website have slides or videos embedded. We even have trainers that we send all over the world to train and consult in both private and public venues. We have a list of recommended resources for beginners and pros alike. For those of you who are just starting out, I especially recommend the book Using Drupal. In fact, from that link you can find a great video and free sampler to download.

You'll have to check our training schedule, but it looks like we're leading a Drupal in a Day training workshop on May 9th. It's specifically for beginners and covers everything you need to know to get started. You leave with a booklet that covers everything we talk about and a website sandbox that you can play with (build, break, rebuild, whatever) with for at least 90 days after the class. The class lasts the whole day and quite honestly, it's the best way to get your feet wet in Drupal. You'll leave with a solid foundation in Drupal basics and be prepared so build your first solo site! We had a series of classes last week that were sold out, so if you're interested, act fast!

Hope this helps Jonny! If anyone has any questions, please reply to this post in the comments below.

Mar 02 2011
Mar 02

On March 15 and 16 I'll provide the follow-up training on the introductional Module Development course I gave during the Drupal Dev Days. Learn how to get custom functionality using Drupal’s hook system, as well as how to extend or alter contributed module functionality in this two-day Acquia Drupal Module Development training.

Jan 31 2011
Jan 31

I'm a freelance Drupal developer who loves enabling organizations switch to free and open source software.

Dec 20 2010
Dec 20

Today, we're handing out some great holiday presents from Chapter Three. The following people must have been nice this year, because they will be getting free Drupal training in January!

Lisa H. - You get a free seat in our Drupal in a Day class on Jan 4th.

Steve M. - You'll be getting a seat in our 2-day Drupal for site builders class, Jan 5th & 6th.

Justin G. - Please join our Panels for Site builders class on Jan 7th.

Derek W. - Come join us for a 2-day Drupal Theme Development class on Jan 10th & 11th.

Tom B. - Learn how to become a Drupal Ninja at our Drupal module development class on Jan 12th, 13th & 14th.

Drupal training makes a great gift - just ask any of our happy recipients above. If you are interested in giving Drupal knowledge for the holidays (or signing up yourself) you better hurry up and make a reservation, there are only a few seats left.

Happy Holidays Drupalistas!

Jul 31 2010
Jul 31

We really liked the concept of the Drupal card game pioneered by NodeOne. It is a great starting point for coaches to teach teams the value of collaboration. If you make an external reward system (e.g. winning team gets a bag of sweets) and you let teams play a couple of games, you can make a meta-game in which teams can experience the difference between different playing styles (and therefore the value of collaboration).

For the Donation+ fundraising we wanted to give something back to our donors that would speak to their Drupal geekpride and that would be fun. We talked with Rustan Håkansson, the developer of the Drupal card game, who warned us that it is difficult to fine tune the rules of a game and that it is especially hard to come up with a game that will actually be enjoyable. Since the Drupal card game is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license, we decided to make a reprint of the NodeOne card game.

Since we wanted to give something that would be unique and not a copy of something other people already had we decided to go all out and make individual illustrations for each of the different cards in the game. Our colleague Gergely Kurucz is working on a deck of cards that will have illustrations as awesome as the ones you can see in the illustration.

Practical:

  • From the 2nd-26th of August we'll hold the "Most awesome Drupal 6 sites award" a community award of which we'll announce the winner at Drupalcon Copenhagen. The top 20 most popular sites will get a card in the 3nd edition of the Drupal card game. But more about that later.
  • If you've been paying attention you might have noticed that we skipped from the 1st straight to the 3rd edition. If you want to get your hands on the 2nd edition of the card game you'll have to attend Drupalcon Kopenhagen, and keep an eye on the NodeOne people.
  • You can get a hard copy of the , your contribution will help us build a more awesome documentation system for our community. We'll print the 3rd edition in the beginning of October after we close the Documentation+ fundraising round.
  • If you don't want to miss out on the action or you want to get some sneak peaks of the game cards follow us on Twitter.

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