Making the Switch to Drupal: The Developer's View

May 17
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The activities in this session are typical activities from the on-the-job training Acquia provides through client advisory and professional services. This is a distillation of the most essential concepts from both the Jump Start and Architecture workshops. In those situations, the advisers are actively mentoring experienced developers who are new to Drupal. The mentoring process provides developers with a fast on-ramp to best practices and proper development techniques to become more efficient.

Instructors: Erik Webb (erikwebb), Joshua Brauer (jbrauer), Jacob Singh (JacobSingh), Jeff Beeman (jrbeeman)



With a combination of presentation, discussion and hands-on activities, developers will reverse-engineer and augment a Drupal site. Developers will get familiar with key tools of the trade for site maintenance. They will learn about site building, module and theme development; about Drupal’s structure “under the hood”, and how to architect a flexible site. They will find out about opportunities for developers and how they can apply their experience from other areas.

Even well-seasoned Drupal developers can be tempted to start creating a site with the modules and implementation strategies they’re familiar with, making important decisions that dramatically impact content architecture before they’ve taken a look at the bigger picture. Through several exercises and real-world examples, participants will learn strategies for designing flexible content types, views, and taxonomies, and we’ll demonstrate what a truly flexible architecture can provide. We’ll talk about how seemingly simple requirements and integration with external systems can dramatically influence architectural decisions.


Who will gain the most from this course?

This day long course is an introduction to Drupal 7 for experienced Developers who are new to Drupal. This course will appeal to those who are experienced with web development in languages such as PHP, Java, or .NET, and knowledgeable about HTML and CSS. No prior experience of Drupal required.


What will you learn?

At the end of this course, participants will be able to...

  • Identify typical skills needed for and tools used in Drupal development
  • Explain the Drupal page model and articulate what an example page in a Drupal site constitutes.
  • Articulate the benefits of a ‘configuration before coding’ approach to development;
  • Understanding how to pick the right modules as well as where and when to employ custom code in module or theme development.
  • Understand how to design flexible, scalable content types, views, and taxonomies.
  • Be able to navigate the Drupal community and find help, collaborators and opportunities


What will you get during the course?

In this session, participants will use a pre-made completed website which they will reverse-engineer to understand how a typical site works. They will extend and augment this throughout the day.

A printed manual will outline typical procedures and reference materials and key terms within the community.

Additionally, best practices will be augmented with well-explained code examples as a reference guide to efficient development.

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