Drupal Kata (our homegrown project learning program) is taking shape

gusaus's picture

Hi there -

Just to follow up for those who aren't already aware/involved (most of you), the Drupal Kata (http://drupalkata.com/) is up and running and we're starting to generate a bit of interest. That said, we're still very much in need of leaders, mentors, advisers, and apprentices in the areas of project/sprint/task management, education, business, and marketing. Developers, designers, themers, are obviously pretty key, but it helps when there are people to provide guidance.

These may be good points of entry -

Drupal Kata working group - http://drupalkata.com/drupalkata/documents
Creating the program from the ground up.

Drupal Learning Tracks - http://drupalkata.com/drupalkata/node/138
Add your name to any track you'd like to help shape.

Remaking the Drupal Dojo - http://drupalkata.com/drupaldojo/dashboard
This is our pilot project (and yes, we actually are making progress!).

Upcoming productions and events - http://drupalkata.com/drupaldojo/node/163
Ramping sessions and workshops up in November.

Sponsorship - http://drupalkata.com/drupalopenlearning/node/40
Another way you or your company can contribute and reap amazing benefits and immense satisfaction!

Questions, concerns, have no idea what I'm talking about? Ask away here and/or on the Kata site.


Our own ongoing, grassroots GSOC/GHOP style program

gusaus's picture

There are a few...ok...maybe more than a few...people still wondering what this Kata thing is all about. Best analogy is that we're building our own ongoing, grassroots GSOC or GHOP style program. It helps that we can borrow/improve on their program to fit the needs of our ever evolving community.

For anyone who tried to visit the Kata recently... The migration of http://drupalkata.com/ is complete - thanks to kvantomme and the Pronovix team!!

Gus Austin


kimadactyl's picture

As understand it, a Kata is a form of learning by rote - a pre-determined series of repeatable exercises. Is this really what the Drupal Kata is?

A Kata is also a

aaron's picture

A Kata is also a demonstration of one's abilities. Often a dance. Yes, to be repeated, but also a beautiful art form in itself.

Aaron Winborn
Drupal Multimedia (my book, available now!)

Some liberties with the terminology

gusaus's picture

Similar to the Drupal 'Dojo', which this program is meant to compliment, we're taking some liberties with the terminology. The Drupal Kata, as an ongoing program, will provide students the opportunity to acquire skills by repetition/practice over multiple projects.

There is something called CodeKata which provides some inspiration.

Gus Austin

Another vision of "Kata" maybe

bramface's picture

I envision Katas as activities that takes place in meatspace dojos: in Drupal Camps, Meetups, and even paid trainings. I use "Kata" as daresbalat does - a "form", a series of "training moves" that, done right, creates a result. (One problem in martial arts is that sometimes folks do Katas without knowing why, so the moves lack meaning. In Drupal, either it works or it doesn't, so that's a benefit.)

I see a Kata system of training work thus:

SCREENCAST REPOSITORY: A contributed directory of screencasts deemed worthy of use as Katas by the caster, who is also going to respond to feedback and perhaps re-record (or remove) erroneous material. Let there be a rating system so that great screencasters can be paid to create video documentation for websites.

  • KATA CREATORS: by "form" I mean Katas - ways of doing things. Certainly there are many ways to create an image gallery, but within the way chosen, there's the right sequence to follow to do it; so a screencaster would outline the steps she's going to take, and then take them. The Acquia webinars are like this - very fast and tight and definitive.

  • FORM EXPLAINERS: The Acquia webinars go too fast for noobs. A Form Explainer Screencast would slow it down, provide a little background - like the DrupalTherapy folks do, among others, or like Lynda videos.

  • FORM DEMONSTRATORS: This could basically be anyone who knows screencast technology and pacing well enough to re-record an existing screencast in a way suitable for a Kata - preferably with a time-stamped outline to markers that indicate stages so that one can "fast-forward" to the spot one left off.

PRESENTER CORPS: Folks list themselves in a central directory as willing to present topics - it's their job to create or identify the right screencasts and be able to take a room of students through the steps in a set period of time. Let there be a rating system so that great presenters can get an income stream from being asked to do this in places.

  • MASTER PRESENTER: A presenter who knows the material cold - a "black belt" in image gallery creation, if you will, who knows the depth behind every decision, not just following a recipe. This might be the Lullabot crew - and they get paid to do it. This is fine, because they're going to provide feedback to screencasters. They pick the right screencast for whoever their audience is.

  • STUDENT PRESENTER : A presenter who knows how to bring a room of Drupal students through the Kata - when to pause for questions, when to help a student troubleshoot, and when to move through so that everyone finishes at the end. The Student Presenter should know the Kata well enough to perform it three times through without error (though may not know all the background and alternative methods).

Anyhow, that's just a start. I'm going to flesh this out with Gus over at http://drupalkata.com/ - join us there?


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