Learning Drupal

Drupal Classes at a Crossroad

Mon, 11/10/2008 - 3:29pm

As some of you might already know we have been holding classes in our office to teach our new guys the ins and outs of Drupal.  After a short time we had reached a crossroad of sorts though - and a decision needed to be made.

In the beginning, it was our plan to spend quite of bit of time on one topic, going in depth...  For example, we had allotted 3-4 weeks on Views, but after a week of Views, we decided that wasn't realistic for a couple of reasons.  One, we weren't learning enough of other things to help out with lots of projects.  Two, it was like cramming information about heart surgery into someone's head who had just started learning Biology.  Without some basic exposure to other aspects of Drupal, it's difficult to grasp the really deep stuff.

So we chose a slightly different path, I think.  I'll call it the "Get the Job Done" path...  Or maybe the "Drupal High School" path.  Being in high school, we all had to learn several subjects (even if we didn't like them) enough to pass the tests and have a general knowledge of them.  I guess it's a good way of producing well-rounded people.  Myself, I thought I didn't know anything about Drupal, then as I sat through the class with a guy who started from scratch, I realized how much basic knowledge I had.  Without that foundation, it's hard to learn in depth.

Instead of multiple weeks of Views, we now have decided to teach more general and basic things.  Last week we went through creating galleries (gallery of nodes vs. node gallery).  In the coming weeks we will be going through items we use on many websites, such as setting up a calendar, creating forums, node references, and possibly Ubercart (which is the product we use for our E-Commerce).

Growing isn't easy.  But with flexibility and a willingness to learn, our new Drupal talents are starting to stretch and flourish.  I would like to find some resources that I might add to the class - if any other Drupal shops out there have a standard list of modules that you implement on the websites you design and develop?  I would love to know.

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