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Beginning Drupal with Jacob Redding - Training & Book

Jacob Redding has a great book, a cool interview and a training with us next week! Sign up here.

Beginning Drupal is a new book out by Jacob Redding, of Chapter Three. The Wrox site has some samples from the book. Jacob is an experienced instructor, and you can see that in the structure of the chapters and the exercises which guide a new learner through Drupal.

If you're an instructor, you may request an evaluation copy.

Jacob was recently interviewed by the fine folks at Drupal Easy. Mike Anello and Ryan Price are putting up some copies of Beginning Drupal to give away. You can enter to win a copy by listening and leaving a comment on the post: Interview with Jacob Redding.
You can, of course, catch Jacob and his colleague Jen Lampton, from Chapter Three delivering Acquia authorized training near Dulles, in Herndon, VA in a few weeks. Chapter Three is one of Acquia's training partners. Read more about the training events from August 16th - 19th 2010:

The great thing about the trainings we're putting on with our partners is that they are very hands on. A little less talk- a little more action. You learn by doing. There's only so far we can get by explaining how it works, you need to traverse the procedures several times before they click. You can get plenty of opportunity to sit and listen at DrupalCamps and DrupalCons- but you don't get a chance to be guided through the activities. A printed manual is there as a reference, with clear step by steps and screenshots; and an expert web developer is there to guide you and answer your questions. That's really what our training is about. If you'd like to find out more about the training, please contact us: Acquia.com/training/contact

Problem with the Drupal learning curve

kids playing Twister
What's so wrong with saying "Drupal has a steep learning curve?" Well, it's not the most helpful analogy. And it's one of my pet peeves. I agree, it is a myth. Yes it is.
We have to keep in mind that the curve is not the path, and the initial sensation of difficulty comes from getting one's habits unstuck. Using this tired analogy perpetuates a misunderstanding about Drupal. Instead, I'd like to talk about opening doors, welcome mats, and crossing the threshold. Once you've made it through, you'll see a big difference.
Why?
Because we all want to make Drupal better, and a little bit of knowledge is dangerous. The most egregious errors are made not by people new to web development, but from experienced programmers who sneak into Drupal from a side window and re-write entire parts of Drupal on top of it. These are amazing feats of mis-understanding we see in our Client Advisory Team... and it comes from not understanding the fundamental threshold concepts of Drupal.
Drupal is peculiar- and when you get to know it, it makes a lot of sense. New Drupal users need to get familiar with what are referred to as threshold concepts, to lessen that initial sensation of disorientation. Good trainers can scaffold the learning experience, to bring learners through this process, and teach essential best practices.
At our first Drupal training with our partners, Dataflow in Belgium, Wim Mostrey, the instructor, reported that participants were so surprised "Drupal was easy"! They kept on looking for the complicated way to do things. This is where scaffolding comes in.

Learn by Examples, the module

Budding Drupal developers will be glad to see: there are more contributions are springing out of the Examples project. Examples is a great resource for teaching experienced PHP programmers the capability of Drupal- from how to define a page, to using the Form API. It's also a great way to get familiar with Simpletest.

Connect to the Community

Are you connected to Groups.Drupal.org yet? (Affectionately called g.d.o in the community.)

Did you know on there are 317 geographical Drupal groups? (That's not including language groups.) Of those, 205 are city, regional or provincial groups: possibly a drive away for a meet up. That leaves 112 which are at the level of countries or continents which are capable of coordinating large Drupal events. I counted em!

And it's growing. Hello Ghana! Just added in July.

Where's Drupal's welcome mat?

I was on Skype when my jaw dropped. This wasn't the first time that an acquaintance asked me to take some time so he could "pick my brain" about Drupal. And it wasn't the first time that I realized someone had somehow broke in to Drupal via some sort of window, and missed the welcome mat.

Drupal training comes to DC!

Our CEO, Tom Erickson, announced right around the time of Drupalcon, that I was joining Acquia to fulfill a goal of ours - to provide Drupal education on a scalable, global basis.

We're very excited to announce an offering that we've been working on for some time now with our partners at Chapter Three and Carahsoft - Drupal Training in the Washington, DC area. With Drupal becoming a core platform for supporting President Obama's Open Government Directive and the demand on Drupal talent to support customer projects in the DC area, we feel that a "Drupal in a Day" class and "Drupal for Site Builders" class will be highly relevant.

Drupal in a Day $410 * gov't discount available book now
Date: Monday, June 28, 2010
Time: 9:00AM EDT - 4:00PM EDT
Location: MicroTek, 1101 Vermont Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Drupal in a Day will be an overview of creating a Drupal site from start to finish. Participants will start with a blank website and, already having seen the final site, will start with adding and managing users, creating user profiles, adding custom content and managing that content (including turning on and off comments, or setting comments to read-only). Participants will then create custom content types and look at Views to display this content in various parts throughput the site including creating custom blocks and custom list pages such as a blogroll or last five images added or latest blog posts added to the site. (more info)

Drupal for Site Builders $820 * gov't discount available book now
Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 and Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Time: 9:00AM EDT - 4:00PM EDT
Location: MicroTek, 1101 Vermont Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Drupal for Site Builders is a 2-day, in-depth extension to the first course. This course is designed both for users with no Drupal experience, and for those who are familiar with Drupal and want to expand their knowledge, digging deeper into their sites. The course provides in-depth discussions on Drupal’s installation process and managing users, comments, and content. Participants will also review Drupal's block system, and learn how to use taxonomy to categorize their content.

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