Training and Development for Drupal

Drupal 7

If you've enjoyed Drupaltherapy's screencasts...

Dear Drupal community,

If you've enjoyed the Drupal 5, 6 and 7 screencasts I've produced in the last few years, then I'd like to ask you to direct your appreciation to a fundraising effort for a non-profit organization that uses Drupal in some pretty neat ways.

I've been the web developer for Cambridge Community Television's Drupal-based website since 2005, and I'm also the associate director. CCTV is a 501c3 private non-profit that helps Cambridge residents use new technologies to engage in local issues - through television, radio and the internet. I cut my teeth on Drupal 4-something in launching CCTV's first iterations of its community mapping tool and facilitated civic journalism program. CCTV has nudged along a number well-loved contributed modules from the Video module to the Embedded Media Module, and directly funded a number of helpful community efforts - such as a migration script for moving between Image and Imagefield modules. It's a little organization but it has spunk!

Now, I'm hoping it's not too inappropriate to ask my screencast watchers to, if they are so inclined, show any small amount of appreciation by pitching in to CCTV's fundraising efforts. A couple of dollars or whatever. They are moving to a new facility and it's very expensive and disruptive to their operations - including the tiny improvements CCTV is normally capable of making to Drupal and the community at large. If you're in the Boston area then I'll cook you a burger at a special donor BBQ at the end of the summer.

Thanks for letting me pitch this and thanks for any support you can lend CCTV.

Sean Effel

Drupaltherapy Training session in Boston: April 29,2011.

We're breaking the seal on our next wave of Drupal 7 training in the Boston area for April 29, 2010. Now that Drupal 7 has a full fledged release, and Drupalcon has settled down, we anticipate folks in this area will need another opportunity for basic to novice level training. Drupal "therapy" sessions take a holistic approach to learning the software package, starting at the ground level and moving up through the length of the day. If you're a new Drupal site admin, or fledgling developer, or recent Drupal evangelist, or just a straight up hobbyist, then this training might be great for you. Also, if you're one of the self-taught types that learns by doing, this workshop might help close a number of gaps for you. Take a look at the training announcement.

A note to you seasoned developers in the Boston area. These trainings are a great opportunity for that client of yours form whom you have just completed a new Drupal-based website. Trainings offered by third party trainers are a great value to your clients, while not competing for their loyalty as customers. If you've got some clients that need Drupal site admin skills, direct them to our April opportunity.

Book Review: Drupal 7 First Look

I've had the chance to read another Packt Publishing title called Drupal 7 First Look by Mark Noble. I thought I would put down a few thoughts.

I lead Drupal administration and development training on a fairly regular basis and I'm always a little sensitive to instructional books. It's not easy teaching through literature and it's especially difficult to connect the right learner to the right level of literature to be useful to learning. That has been my complaint with many of the Packt titles in the last two years. The top notch authors are very attractive to Drupal learners, but those authors present their concepts with an assumption that readers have the right background. With Noble's book, the intended audience is clearly defined and makes this book more effective that the other's I've read. I have considered including this book as part of the student training material package for workshops I lead.

For the Drupal site administrators who are intending to make the transition to Drupal 7 soon, this will be a great resource. Many of the new admin level features and methods are exposed and the screenshots are useful. The installation walkthrough would be helpful for those who haven't tried it themselves, though it was a little brief. Explanations of the new core modules were great.

The real value comes in the later chapters when Noble breaks down the API changes for developers. Chapter 7 describes some very specific API improvements within Drupal that will impact the work of many developers throughout the community - this chapter is a great guide to updating your own Drupal 6 modules. Theme changes are covered well in earlier chapters, too.

Altogether, I think the book is presented well to the administrator and developer level Drupal users. It would not be useful to new Drupal users as it skirts around some of the fundamentals of the software, but there are other books in Packt's catalog that would be good for that. Drupal 7 First Look can be found here.

Three New Instructional Screencasts

With some extra time on my hands I've produced some new screencasts on a few Drupal 7 topics. I found that video lessons like these go a long way for keeping my group therapy trainings on track. When a training client asks, "Hey, man, do you know anything about...", then I can respond with a "Sure, spend some time at this URL." If the screencast is solid and filled with great information then i feel great about referring people there when I can't give their questions the attention they deserve. I consult with a lot of new Drupal folks who need the following things, so here are the lessons for everyone to enjoy:

They are all CC licensed, feel free to sharealike. read more »

Date + Calendar Screencast (Drupal 7)

FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).

If you like this screencast, you can show it by pitching in to a special fundraising effort. (And here's why.)

You can add the ability to store and display date information in your Drupal 7 website with the use of the Date and Calendar modules, which in turn depend on the Views and CTools modules. Here is one quick demonstration of how you can enable and configure these modules in order to let your users post information that contains dates.

To make the best use of this screencast it would be awesome to have some prior exposure to the Views module for Drupal. You should also have working knowledge of Drupal including the installation of contributed modules.

Wysiwyg + CKEditor Screencast

FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).

If you like this screencast, you can show it by pitching in to a special fundraising effort. (And here's why.)

Drupal website developers are often called upon to help website users easily format text when they create new pages or nodes. HTML is the preferred way to format text but users don't always have proficiency with the markup language and sometimes prefer to have an interface that formats their HTML language for them - not unlike the formatting buttons in Microsoft Word.

This screencast covers one method of adding easy HTML formatting to your Drupal website with the Wysiwyg module and the open source editor tool called CKEditor. To make the best use of this screencast, you should have basic knowledge of Drupal 7 site configuration including how to create content and edit content and how to install new modules.

Pathauto + Token Screencast

FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).

If you like this screencast, you can show it by pitching in to a special fundraising effort. (And here's why.)

Drupal websites generate some ugly URLs filled with jargon and serial numbers. Wouldn't it be nice if Drupal site administrators could automatically generate more personalized URLs? Look no further because with the use of the Pathauto and Token modules you can make it happen.

This screencast covers one method of automating the creation of URLs for each node on your Drupal 7 website. To make the best use of this screencast you should have basic knowledge of Drupal 7 site configuration including how to create content and edit content and how to install new modules.

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