Meet Heather James: Building Bridges to Drupal
by Jeffrey A. McGuire
Heather James, Acquia's Manager of Learning Services, has been in and around Drupal since the version 4 days. She says people new to Drupal "have an easier time at this stage coming to Drupal" than they did 6 years ago. Nonetheless, her early experiences learning how to use Drupal are still reflected by the questions people ask learning Drupal today. This, combined with her excitement about Drupal's potential and her background as an educator, motivated her to become a Drupal trainer. She is passionate about education ("When you're teaching, you're building a bridge from what people know to what they don't know.") and says about her job at Acquia, "I feel like I have a patron who helps me do the things I like to do, which is get out there and teach people."
This podcast was recorded in June, 2012, at the Oxford Drupal Education Camp.
Heather is the proud maintainer of Hello Drupal!, a free course (download the course and trainer materials here!) designed to "help us communicate the basic concepts of Drupal to the type of person who would come to a Drupal camp without knowing anything". She can often be found giving this and other courses at Drupal community events. The group in Ireland who put it together in its initial form (including Heather), called it the "n00b nursery", but somehow that name didn't catch on.
The course is designed to be presented to mixed (skill, knowledge, and experience levels) groups of people interested in Drupal. Once they have done either the 90 minute or 3 hour version of the course, they're "qualified" to really benefit from other sessions at a Drupal Camp, for example. They will then know enough of the jargon and understand what is going on under Drupal's hood to take it from there.
Other Drupal training courses Acquia offers include "Drupal in a Day", "Drupal for Project Managers", "Drupal in a day for Developers" (for people familiar with other frameworks, languages, or systems to get started with Drupal), and more.
Heather writes (great stuff) about Drupal
Heather writes regularly about Drupal training, Drupal in education, building teams, and more. She's been writing a new, killer blog series recently called "Drupal How-To". Go check out these excellent posts:
- Drupal How-To: Basics, Tweak the Defaults for Adding Images to Your Site
- Drupal How-To: Get Inline Images on Your Drupal Site
- Drupal How-To: Responsive or Adaptive Images
- She's done a bunch more good blog posts, too.
- Follow @hjames and @learningdrupal on Twitter to keep up with what Heather is up to.
- Flexinode rears its once-beautiful head once again. For Drupal history buffs: http://drupal.org/project/flexinode
- Views, Drupal's UI-based query-builder: http://drupal.org/project/views
- Hello Drupal!: http://training.acquia.com/hellodrupal
- Acquia Drupal training courses: http://training.acquia.com/courses
- Acquia is Hiring a Director of Learning
Credits, thank you's
Additional voiceovers provided by Moshe Weizman, Michael Hofmockel, Francesca Ballarin, Victoria McGuire, and Oliver McGuire. Thank you!