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Learning Through Celebration

Cross-posted with permission from Drupalize.Me

During DrupalCon Prague I had the pleasure of giving a presentation about teaching Drupal 8 as part of the core conversations track. In the presentation I talked a lot about providing a good learning environment for people starting with Drupal 8, and removing the fear and uncertainty that are so counter to learning. One of the key points that I made during the presentation was that I want to see the leaders in our community step up and promote the things that they are excited about in Drupal 8.

I said:
"As a leader in the field, one of the most beneficial things you can do is to help get others excited about the changes that are taking place. Leaders in this context is a loosely defined term referring to those in our community who are willing to have a voice."

Then I asked the question:
"Why are you excited about Drupal 8?"

It is a well known truth that it is easier to learn something when you're excited about it. I'm guessing a lot of you have experienced that rush of excitement when learning something new that keeps you awake until the wee hours of the morning experimenting, and pondering solutions in pursuit of enlightenment. When we believe that the time invested in learning will pay off by giving us access to otherwise unavailable features, or the promise of making our work stronger, the tedium and stress of learning fades away. We're willing to take however many baby steps are required, or jump over any hurdles, in order to reach the fabled chest of shiny new toys on the other side.

Because we're excited by the possibilities.

I think that there is a lot that we as a community can and should be doing in order to help build excitement around Drupal 8. So I pose this question to all of you who have familiarity with Drupal 8; What are you excited about, and can you give an example of how you anticipate this will make your life/job/work/website better or more fun?

After my presentation I chatted with Gábor Hojtsy about this topic a little bit and he used the word celebrate which really stood out for me. And I think Gábor is absolutely right, we need to celebrate all the amazing things that have been accomplished in Drupal 8 and all the absolutely amazing people in our community who have helped make them happen.

Because this builds excitement.

Through celebration and by telling stories about the amazing work members of our community have done we can help to boost the excitement factor for Drupal 8 and provide a welcoming space for people to learn.

So how do we celebrate?
Talk about the things that you are excited about in Drupal 8. And not just what you're excited about but why, and how you anticipate it will make your work better as a result.

Here's a great example of that from Jeffrey A. McGuire, who spent the time to chat with three different Drupal 8 core developers and ask them questions like "What's the most compelling feature in Drupal 8?". It's both insightful and exciting.

Another thing we can do more of, share our gratitude for the people who have done things that either inspire us or who have worked on the things you're excited about. By celebrating individuals we give them the opportunity to tell us their story and learn what it is that keeps them up at night eagerly waiting for Drupal 8 to release. I'm willing to bet that when you hear someone talk passionately about a feature or idea that they are excited about that some of that excitement is going to rub off on you.

So even though it’s starting to sound a bit redundant; What changes are you excited about? Who inspires you to get involved, make changes, and be a part of Drupal 8? What will you celebrate?

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