Santa Barbara Newbie Group

pia's picture

We want to form a loose group of Drupal users and beginners in Santa Barbara, and have irregular regular meetings. Perhaps once very two weeks about, and in the evenings or on a Saturday.

The purpose is to help each other learn Drupal and share experiences with each other. The group at UCSB is great but a little too advanced for our needs. We have websites we need to create, for fun, for profit, and other reasons, and believe we can learn better and faster in a group environment.

We will meet at my home in downtown SB until we grow too large. I can hook my Macbook to my TV so we can share and see. I have completed one website with help from a friend, and am going to go live with it. It also uses Ubercart. I am working on my second and third websites, one which also uses Ubercart.

I particularly want to conquer Views, and access levels. I have installed a number of sites, both locally (on Macs) and on live servers, so can probably help trouble shooting such issues.

Please contact me if you are interested.

Pia

Comments

Sounds great! This is what

christefano's picture

Sounds great! This is what the Drupal community is about: identifying a need and stepping forward with a proposal. Thanks for taking this step for the group!

How many people can you accommodate at your place? When you set a time, be sure to post an event here so that it appears in the calendar and so that people can sign up. The number of signups will indicate how many people to expect, but it also gives you the ability to send an email (called a broadcast) with any last-minute details to those who sign up.

I think this initiative will work better if there's an experienced Drupalista or two who can field questions or problems that come up. Such people can say, "right, I remember having that problem," and point out where the stepping stones are that they used to overcome or circumvent obstacles they've come across. If this is something you'd like, do you have a topic in mind so that you draw the right knowledgeable people to the newbie group? Will you serve pepparkakor? :)

I agree that the presentations at the UCSB-hosted meetings have tended to be more intermediate to advanced -- indeed, the UCSB folks have been using Drupal on a daily basis for years -- but we've actually made an effort at the last few meetups to make them more beginner-friendly. It's a shame you weren't at those meetings. I would have enjoyed hearing what you would have thought of them.

I personally love the UCSB campus (and I especially enjoy the sunset views of the Pacific at the Marine Science Institute) but it's a trek for many people and we've actually been looking for a downtown-y venue for about 2 months now. Understandably, it would be difficult for most of the Santa Barbara group members to know this since this has been talked about amongst the group managers as well as at the meetups (which have been at UCSB!).

Drupal meetings in SB

pia's picture

Hi Chris,

Re a more experienced leader/director - would you perhaps do that for us? :) I can accommodate about 10-12 people; squeezing and not minding too much perhaps a few more. I have held workshops in my home and had 15 people. If I can get to an IKEA I will definitely sever pepparkakor! Otherwise it might be Blue corn chips from TJ ...

The theme of the meeting is simple: With help get your first Drupal website going.

What I want with the group is a mix of people with different levels of knowledge and hopefully with different areas of interest; but all willing to contribute what they do know, so that we can all gain from each others' experiences. I have been learning Drupal for about 18 months now but cannot still say that I can do exactly what I want with it. I am good at setting up a Drupal site, but I have not conquered Views for instance. I have looked at a lot of themes, and I have had help to do a custom theme, I understand the principles but in order to reproduce it would need lots of time. Also, I work during the day, and can only spend weekends, evenings and occasional other time on these projects. Therefore, my learning curve is longer and perhaps steeper than someone who can immerse themselves in Drupal. And, I know there are others in similar situations.

I like the Marine building with its terraces and being able to view the sunset also- and will definitely attend the meetings there also. I only missed one, Chris - had to attend to business in San Diego - sort of Drupal related ...

The people meetings at UCSB work within the industry full time so to speak, and that means a very different comfort level with terms, jargon, activities, experiences, etc. and even though I enjoy hearing this, and even understood more than I thought, it's not applicable to what I want to do yet. Only need to get a few website up with e-commerce ...

So, I shall post a meeting as an event, and hope to hear from other Drupaliers (am I allowed to say that? :) )

Pia

Curious, curiouser and most curious ...

Agenda Suggestions

Grayside's picture

Another suggestion I'd make is posting to the thread of any upcoming meetup with requests for topics to be covered. If the more experienced members of the group know ahead of time what kinds of questions might be asked, we can try to do a little extra research to piece together a better answer.

If you want a general introduction to a topic, a request for a short talk on a subject is also more than welcome. I know I tend to think of more complex topics because those are the kinds of discoveries I'm making in my day-to-day work.

Speaking of introductory talks, I don't believe any of us at UCSB have used Ubercart. I know I've always wanted to know more, but most talks about Ubercart are for people that are actively using it so the conversation goes around my head. It would be great if you'd like to give a short Ubercart for Beginners talk on what you found and how you made it work for your project.

Oh, and everything Christefano said, except:

we've actually been looking for a downtown-y venue for about 2 months now

More like a year. We wouldn't have had a year gap between sessions if not for our struggle to find a venue not at the University that's big enough to handle 10+ people gracefully, and with a screen for presentations.

Go for it Pia!

apperceptions's picture

I'm finding that regular local, in-home, small workgroups are very productive and a great way to help and get help. Sometimes it's just two or three of us and we find ourselves digging deep into issues around a specific topic.

Santa Barbara Drupal

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