The Dish on Crushing it as a Drupal Developer
Whether you are with an organization switching to Drupal, or you have chosen to make Drupal the focus of your web developer career, your future can be a lot of different things depending on your goals, your focus and your personality. It’s never easy shifting your career, and with Drupal, there are no official, defined developer career recipes to guide you.
The good news is, the ingredients are out there. Within the open-sourcey, especially welcoming, social melting pot that is the Drupal Community, there are a lot of career resources, organizations, individuals, advice and success stories that you can draw on to help you make good choices. Here are a few tips to add to the mix.
Learn early on to do things the right way
Drupal is to web development what snowboarding is to winter sports. They say that it takes a lot longer to learn to snowboard than to ski, but once you get the hang of it, you learn advanced things more quickly, and are able to do a lot more (and have a lot more fun) on a snowboard than you could on skis.
Investing a good amount of time and focus on learning the foundations of Drupal and developing habits based on best practices will really help you reach proficiency, and let you go farther, faster in the long run. The key is making sure you take the time to learn best practices, and don’t go for shortcuts before you’ve got the basics.
Another part of learning the right technical skills is to learn key elements of Drupal, not just in the right way, but in an order that will give you stackable skills. Getting key concepts down at the start will help to not only build your abilities, but feed your confidence. At DrupalEasy, we call them the Big 5:
We feel that mastering these concepts is so important, that in our long-form career training program, the curriculum is designed with examples and excercises that specifically draw on the Big 5 as solutions over and over to ensure that they become second nature for every participant.
Don’t be shy, even if you are
The Drupal Community is unique. There is always an opportunity to help, and there always seems to be someone to provide a little guidance or an answer when you have a question. Make sure you become part of Drupal.org, find an IRC channel that you feel comfortable with, and go to local meetups.
We really can’t overstate how key getting involved in the Drupal community is to your technical and professional success. Once you register on Drupal.org, you can access myriad ways to get involved and help with the Drupal project. Helping to test, sorting out issues and contributing to documentation will not only help build your skills and confidence, it will build your reputation. Even before you are ready to contribute on the technical side, you can join your local Drupal Users’ Group and start by attending, meeting others, and eventually helping to organize events.
Drupal friends and mentors really come in handy as you progress along your career path, more so than in other industries because of the nature of Drupal. We all rely on each other to build, enhance, fix and grow the project, so the more we work together, the better the project, and the better we will be as Drupal professionals. We feel really strongly about this as well, which is why we require all of our Drupal Career program participants to get involved, and we provide everyone a community mentor to kick-start their community efforts from the start of the program.
Just do it, and do it again, and again
With anything, if you want to master it, you need to practice, and practice a lot. Build sites for fun and experience. Like snowboarding, it is especially hard when you first start out, but if you stick with it, and take the struggles as opportunities to learn and get better, you will surely succeed. You’ve also got a lot of potential help and guidance through the community (since you have already taken that advice to heart,) so take advantage of it early on and be prepared to give back when you can.
Our training programs stress this concept of practice, repetition of key skills as you learn more and more, as well as different methods to help you learn them. We are strong believers in building your skills and really understanding Drupal, and that means live instruction by practicing experts, lesson guides, examples, exercises and screencasts to help you soak in the material in different ways. However you learn, take advantage of resources, find different ways to absorb and engage, and practice, practice, practice.
If you would like to learn more about how to succeed in Drupal and our long-form training program, you can sign up for one of two, no-cost Taste of Drupal workshops coming up and explore the resources below.
Taste of Drupal free workshop
Drupal Career Online Program
Last week the Couchbase team released the new 4.5 version of Couchbase Server.
You can see all the new introduced features here:
- Exposing reverse entity reference fields in Drupal
- Drupal Session Handler: everything you need to know
- Couchbase 4.5 released: now x6 faster than MongoDB
- Making namespaced callbacks work in Drupal 7 (without hacking core and with bound parameters)
- Drupal 8 Couchbase Integration
- Distinct options in a views exposed filter: The Views Selective Filters Module
- Twig PHP extension binaries for Windows
- Benchmarking Drupal 7 on PHP 7-dev
- Drupal 8 Wincache Integration
- Build GIT on Windows from Sources
Entities were introduced from Drupal 7. I would say in Drupal 8 , entities are essential part takers like node, users, files, images and comments, etc.. Still sometimes you need to create custom entities according to your requirements. From the experience of working with some of the top level Media companies in the world, sometimes we need to create custom entity types. Example like recently we got the requirement to create the entity for string the analytic data of the Articles. Why we need to create the custom entity instead of using nodes or exiting entities, because the client doesn’t want to show the data in content administration page (‘admin/content’). Still it should be able…
DrupalCamp Bristol is back for a second year, with a variety of talks covering hot topics in the Drupal (and wider digital) area. This year we will be hosting the event over 3 days with a Business Day, Conference Day and Sunday Sprints which is open to all.Business Day (Friday 22nd July)
The event is aimed at business leaders and decision makers who are already familiar with Drupal, however client-side digital managers who are either responsible for a Drupal website or are considering using Drupal as a CMS of choice in the future will certainly find the day useful.
The event will be held within Colston Hall's prestigious Lantern room, and will feature lunch and refreshments throughout, along with a social event later in the evening at Colston Yard. Thank you to our kind sponsors for providing the bar tab!
This year we welcome the following talks:
- New and improved … and amazing! Selling tech as business value, not shiny widgets. - Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire (Open Source Evangelist, Acquia)
- Elementary, my dear Watson (the movie guide to accessibility) - Léonie Watson (Senior Accessibility Engineer, The Paciello Group)
- We hold these Online truths to be self-evident - Andrew Godleman (Transport for London Online)
- Story mapping and sketching: humanising the requirements process - Mike Dunn, Will Scott (UX Consultants, Sift Digital)
- Personalisation: The Holy Grail - Ben Wilding (MD, Cameron & Wilding)
- Client Panel: a Q+A session with digital managers and product owners managing Drupal websites
The event is primarily aimed at agency teams who use Drupal regularly, such as developers, PMs/AMs, and other agency team roles, and will consist of both high level talks and in-depth technical talks to suit all. This year we are welcoming a larger number of speakers over 3 individual tracks.
The event will again be held at the University of Bristol's School of Chemistry, and will feature lunch and refreshments throughout, along with a social event later in the evening at Zero Degrees. We are still looking for a Saturday Social Sponsor - please get in touch if you are interested.
We are also pleased to announce a Quiz this year as a change to the closing session. Prizes will be given to the best teams!
If you are interested in staying for the weekend and would like to get involved with Drupal community contribution, then please feel free to attend the Sunday sprints. Torchbox have kindly provided their offices from 10am to 4pm and refreshments will be provided. Tickets are free, although we ask you to sign-up via Eventbrite to register your interest.
Looking forward to seeing everybody there,
The DrupalCamp Bristol Committee.
Written by: Rick Donohoe, Account Manager
Microserve is a Drupal Agency based in Bristol, UK. We specialise in Drupal Development, Drupal Site Audits and Health Checks, and Drupal Support and Maintenance. Contact us for for further information.
The TWG coding standards committee is announcing two coding standards changes for final discussion. These appear to have reached a point close enough to consensus for final completion. The new process for proposing and ratifying changes is documented on the coding standards project page.
New issues for discussion:
Updates on existing issues:
- Stop disallowing camelCase for local variables / parameters - is approved and in the core queue for official core approval.
- [Policy, no patch] PHP 5.4 short array syntax coding standards
- Should we require a blank line after <?php? is approved by core and sniff implemented in coder - ratification of this rule is pending.
- Allow camelCase also for local variables / parameters (the committee is drafting a comment)
- [policy, no patch] Standardize indenting on chained method calls has been moved to the core queue for core approval.
- Add type hinting to function declaration coding standards has been moved to the core queue for core approval.
- [Policy, no patch] Delete permission to pad spacing in a block of related assignments has been marked "needs work" and discussion continues for now. Committee to reevaluate.
- [Policy, no patch] PHP 5.4 short array syntax coding standards Currently marked "needs work" but discussion appears to have stalled. Committee to review at next meeting.
These proposals will be re-evaluated during the next coding standards meeting currently scheduled for July 12. At that point the discussion will likely be extended, or if clear consensus has been reached one or more policies may be dismissed or ratified and moved to the next step in the process.
On behalf of all contributors to the MongoDB module suite for Drupal over the years, I am pleased to announce the 8.x-2.0-alpha1 release of the MongoDB package for Drupal 8, six years after we started this project on Drupal 6.
This release is the first step to an initial stable release of the MongoDB package for Drupal 8, containing:
- mongodb a module exposing the new PHP library as Symfony services exposed to a Drupal 8.x instance. It is designed as a minimal and consistent connection layer on top of the PHP library for MongoDB, for all modules targeting MongoDB on Drupal 8.x, be they contributed or bespoke.
- mongodb_watchdog a PSR-3 logger storing event data in MongoDB. On top of the features already present in 6.x and 7.x versions, it introduces a per-request report showing all events logged during a request, in order.