Training and Development for Drupal

Sample Training Curriculum

Helping You Help Yourself

We throw around the psychologist metaphor because teaching technology isn't a cut and dry science. Time was we could teach programming language and off one went to create programs - when now the purpose and context of development mean so much to a project. Before we provide training we learn a lot about a client, get to know them, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and help them set realistic goals. Like therapists, we facilitate, discuss, coach, laugh, cry and breathe with our clients as they face their various challenges. So, that's our modus operandi.

Drupal is adopted by new users every single day and many of them are newcomers to the web applications arena. Figuring out Drupal from scratch can be a tough job. To help, we offer guided training sessions in developing and administering Drupal sites so that you don't have to do it all on your own. Clients emerge with increased capacity and knowledge and are confident in setting their next course.

Therapy works. Let us coach you through the tough parts.

Drupal Installation and Configuration

With such a wide user base made up of individuals of all levels it is critical to provide training in installing and configuring Drupal from the bottom up. We discuss installation requirements, web hosting practices, data management, configuration, and a tour of fully functioning base features. This component is most effective for new users, especially when taken with a healthy dose of core system and modules training and is always included in all of our therapies.

Core Systems and Modules

Building an understanding of Drupal's advanced features requires that you wrap your head around its basic foundation. This component covers the first building blocks in a Drupal website by looking at the systems that make Drupal so powerful.

  • Users, roles and access control system
  • The node and field system
  • Basic content management and content types
  • Information design with blocks and menus
  • Categorization and Tagging
  • File Uploads and Management
  • RSS Aggregation and Syndication

This component is the foundation of our work in any of our therapies.

Contributed Modules

Contributed modules extend the functionality of Drupal and our Contributed Modules components will teach you how to use the most versatile and flexible tools offered on top of Drupal.

This component begins with a discussion on identifying, researching and selecting contributed modules for use on your Drupal sites. We quickly move forward to demonstrate and discuss some of the most frequently implemented contributed modules in the pool including, but not limited to, these examples:

Content Construction Kit (CCK)
CCK creates types of content, like dated nodes and events, image and media nodes, user forms and more. CCK meets the needs of developers building specialized sites in which the standard story, blog, page and forum topic will not suffice. CCK can be extended with any of the 100+ sub modules built for CCK, some of which are also covered.

As the module description says, Views is "a flexible method for Drupal site designers to control how lists of content are presented." Views presents an articulate method for filtering, sorting and displaying content based on content type, tag, date, etc. This module presents a very wide range of solutions for special site design needs and many of the later modules discussed will hook into Views as well.

Your Special Module Here
In many cases we can cover specific modules that you or your company select in advance. If your trainees need to learn something specific then we can put together a training element to meet those needs.

Understanding how these few contributed modules extend Drupal's potential is invaluable.

Theme Installation and Development

Themes are what set your new Drupal website aside from all the other Drupal users in the world, and there is greater and greater demand for sites that not only function excellently by look as diverse and unique as the groups that run them. No Drupal training should exclude a solid discussion and presentation on how to brand and stylize your site to distinguish it from the rest.

The compontent would include:

  • Simple themeing without writing code
  • Selecting and editing contributed themes
  • Understanding the theme engine
  • Transforming HTML templates into Drupal themes
  • Custom themes for nodes, blocks, content types, views and more
  • Theme stunt driving: whacked out PHP theme tricks

Drupal Project Management

This component covers the life span of your Drupal website development from conceptualizing the project to maintaining and upgrading the project after launch.

Site Requirements and Initial Development
Clients may have concieved the requirements for their website, now it is up to you the developer to make these requirements into a reality. This is a discussion of the best practices that will set your site development on the right course from the beginning. We'll discuss project management and development environments.

Finding and Hiring Drupal Talent
How do you find Drupal developers, especially good ones? Who within your business or organization already has some development skill? And how do you measure the depth and quality of either? We discuss some practice and technique for fishing for Drupal developers.

Custom Development
New demands are made on Drupal projects on a daily basis, and while Drupal makes site development more accessible for site operators, there are still times when you'll need to approach the Drupal development community with special needs. This is a discussion of how to work with open source developers and how to identify and reach them in the best possible way.

Upgrading your Drupal site
This is a discussion of best practices for deciding when it is time to upgrade, how to research for replacement contributed modules, backing up your site, updating database schema, and testing your new production site.

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