Why and How and When

joshk's picture

NOTE: Clearly this is a collaborative effort and I am totally open to adjusting/changing this as we discover what works. I am also actively looking for other experienced Drupal developers to lend time and energy to this, as well as (obviously) hustling up a good crop of apprentices.

Why Apprentices?
Everywhere you turn, people talk about the shortage of Drupal talent. There are various groups dedicated to regional meetups, drupal camps, even formal training events. This group is trying to answer the talent shortage by creating an online community dedicated to transferring knowledge from existing experts in the community to newbies who want to learn.

This is not a support forum, but rather a combination of structured training and collaborative real-world problem solving. It is meant to make Drupal apprentices into proficient developers, to help them help themselves and ultimately help others. It is a place for Drupal gurus to provide mentorship, and for Drupal newbies to build connections in the developer community and contribute back in a meaningful ways.

Beyond the general goal of getting more developers up the learning curve, this group will help apprentices solve problems with their real-world projects, as well as undertake group efforts that will be beneficial to the community at large. It may also serve as an informal training track for the growing number of paying drupal positions out there in the marketplace.

How Will It Work?
The group will be organized here on groups.drupal.org where we will post projects and document our progress. It is my intention to work with apprentices to post story nodes which they will maintain to become useful descriptions of projects, the problems encountered, and the solutions found. We'll also post nodes here for group/community projects.

In addition to this forum, we will also have regular (probably weekly) meetings/work-parties in IRC channel #drupal-dojo. These meetings will have an agenda, and follow a similar structure to what I and others used to great success in organizing the DeanSpace/CivicSpace project, and has been used by other developer programs (e.g. topcoder) to great success. These meetings are in no way mandatory for group participation.

During working/meeting time we'll probably try to be more formal about it, but the channel should stay active in off hours. We hope that #drupal-dojo can become a sort of "tier-1" place for drupal development questions, as the level of conversation in #drupal proper can be kind of intimidating.

When Does It Start?
As soon as possible. I need to find at least one more experienced developer to help out, as well as at least five apprentices. Once we have that minimal critical mass, we'll set a weekly meeting time and get down to business.

Prerequisites:

  • Working knowledge of PHP/MySQL; more if you want to specialize in coding.
  • Working knowledge of HTML/CSS; more if you want to specialize in theming.
  • A basic understanding of how Drupal works (e.g. what a hook is, the difference between a core and contrib module, etc)
  • Willingness to stick to the coding standards
  • Your own Drupal project site which you will work on.
  • A positive attitude. ;)

Comments

Not Dojo, the javascript library...

patrickfgoddard's picture

This group is a great idea, but for a second, I thought maybe this was a project for integrating Drupal with the javascript library, Dojo (http://dojotoolkit.org/), but it's not.

Just to clarify...

Let me know

sime's picture

Hi Josh, I've got a trainee starting with me now and I think we should get involved in this. While I wouldn't call myself a drupal ninja, I can probably be a backup mentor for the group too.

I await further instruction.

screencasts

Bill_drupal_dot_org's picture

I came across the reference to Lesson #1 screencast... I can see/listen to it as it downloads, but is it possible to archive this screencast to my harddrive so I can watch it in pieces (and more than once?)

Thanks much.
Bill

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