We need to teach people Drupal 8. Now
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Drupal 8 is just around the corner and there is a whole army of people that need to get trained on how to use it. Fast. For people that are not actively involved with core development it can be daunting to see Drupal 8 looming in the future. Itâ€™s exciting because youâ€™ve heard about all the shiny new features, and know that youâ€™ll be able to do some really great things with it. But that transition comes at a cost, you need to learn the system first and there's always a productivity penalty when learning new things. This ends up making it scary to take on new projects using Drupal 8 and ultimately impacts the rate of adoption.
Over the last few years Iâ€™ve spent a lot of time teaching people how to use Drupal via training videos, workshops, and on-site training for clients and I think that this provides some insight into how we can ease the learning curve a little this time around that I would like to share. And I believe this is a good opportunity to have a discussion about how we as a community can improve the available training materials and more rapidly turn ourselves and the rest of the Drupal using world into Drupal 8 ninjas.
Some of my ideas include
Providing good, well documented examples demonstrating this is how it was in Drupal 7, and this is how it is now in Drupal 8. Allow people to build on the knowledge they already have so they donâ€™t feel like they are starting over.
Figure out how to teach the â€śwhyâ€ť of Drupal 8, not just the how. Learning how to work with the new CMI API via the documentation and copying some examples so that you can add some config variables to your module is just part of what we need people to understand. We also need to teach them why CMI, why it was architected this way, what decisions were made along the way, etc. If we want to see people make the most of the tools weâ€™re providing them they need to be able to know when itâ€™s the right tool for a problem that we havenâ€™t even dreamt up yet. And without the why those kinds of discoveries are difficult.
I can also talk about what I see as being some of the bigger learning hurdles for Drupal 8 so that we can start to come up with ideas for how to help people over those gaps.