Open Sourcing Drupal Training
How do you explain Drupal to someone completely new to both Drupal and to content management systems? What are the metaphors that people have found work best?
How do you go about introducing hooks and the menu system to developers? Views, Panels, CCK, Context?
Last week I had a lot of fun trying out various ways during a couple of full-day Drupal training courses I did at Brightlemon London. A great bunch of attendees made the courses very enjoyable and got me excited about the prospect of doing more but also concerned about doing it the right way.
Currently there is a huge need for training, because there is a huge need for Drupal devs. But who trains the trainer? I don't think we need a Drupal Trainer Certification program but I do think we need a space in the community where training is discussed and the means and methods to go about doing it are shared and improved. In a way it is about open-sourcing Drupal training.
Not all of us can benefit from the collective years of training experience organizations like Lullabot have - but we need to ensure that they way people are trained is appropriate and we definitely need a space where potential trainers can just double check things with others. Trainers will increasingly be the first point of contact for new members to the community. We need these members enthused, aware and versed in the ways of the Drupal. As Dries said in San Francisco it won't be long before Drupal is just somebody's day job - a bad training experience will guarantee that. We need more stuff like this from Josh of Chapter 3.
Back in my university days I was lucky to work with some great academics who were not only amazing researchers but also amazing teachers. They got me excited about what teaching can do - and I don't think Artificial Intelligence or even just Introduction to Programming would have had the same impact in my life if the teacher was not that good.
So this is about ensuring that as many people get a positive Drupal training experience as possible. I've asked for a Drupal Group to discuss this - not sure whether it will get approved but if other people think this is worth doing then let us start sharing information. Next week I will write up how I explain the basic Drupal concepts - I've done it a few times now and it seems to work but hopefully others have even better ideas!