A New Way to Plan Your Journey to Drupal 8
by Heidi Wong
Each day I hear something new about Drupal 8 -- the changes and great things it will bring. All of this got us thinking inside of Acquia’s Learning Services Team about what this means to education. With this amazing tool coming to the market, is the way we have traditionally taught Drupal really the right strategy for the future? Working with thousand of individuals with a different array backgrounds and skills, we realized that our focus needed to expand beyond simply teaching to the structure of Drupal. Instead, we now have to consider the needs and motivations of the individual learner, including the non-technical and business users.
Different Impact for Different People
Having the luxury of working with a vast number of clients across industries and experience levels, it became clear that the teams who build and maintain a complex site are difficult to slot into simple categories. Let's consider the highest level grouping: classifying someone as a Technical or Non-Technical user. Often this line of division is blurred and the individual's role will move back and forth between those classifications depending on a project's lifecycle stage and digital maturity. So, in making sense of these complexities, we've developed a training structure that takes a project's lifecycle and digital maturity into account.
Global Categories of Technical and Business Users
Technical users encompass a vast breadth of Drupalists who think about the technology and the hands on “How do I get this done?” When learning about Drupal 8, their motivations range from “How do I upgrade my current site?” to “How can I leverage the new capabilities with Drupal 8?”
Business users drive requirements for site and define its the business goals. When thinking about Drupal 8, they are tasked with considering: ”Can it help me achieve my goals?” and “How hard will it be to deliver the needed functionality to reach my goals.
Levels of Learning and Life Cycle Stages
It would be great if everything was that simple, but we are talking about people -- and people are complex. If you peel back a layer, it becomes apparent that there are different skill levels in each of these categories that impact the way people are seeking and absorbing education about Drupal 8. It was a relief that see that we are not the only ones who noticed these multiple personas; the Drupal Association has recently come out with its definition of Drupal User Personas.
Learning Personas, and technical or non-technical categories do not give us enough guardrails to define the content that will provide immediate value to our clients. So building from our experience we have created
learning journeys driven by the lifecycle of their site or the client's stage of Digital Maturity. A great deal of work from many of the smartest people I know went into this model to make it as simple as possible, so that we can provide practical results to our clients. This model helps us deliver Drupal 8 education that is designed to provide what each member of your team needs.
Real education for real people that works in the real world
Let us think about a real world example that we all face: multiple third-party integrations. Drupal 8 has been built to make third-party tool integrations easier and more productive. While it is easier it still requires knowledge and work. Different learning personas need different skills to gain all the advantages of integrations with Drupal 8. Our learning approach will be designed to drive the right knowledge, at the right level, to the right people to make the data flow.
Did you notice the real work revolution in 2014? Mobile search and content consumption blew the desktop out of the neighborhood. That means the audience you are trying to reach is consuming on mobile so your site’s content to should respond to their desires. The great news is that Drupal 8 builds on a foundation of mobile and responsive design. Does your team know really understand responsive design? How many new skills or knowledge do they need? Providing education in service of the person not the platform helps overcome this challenge.
To help you start this journey and make it successful, please join us for the webinar "Start Here: How to Prepare for Your Drupal 8 Journey" on Thursday, March 19 at 1PM Eastern Standard Time. Together we will explore the new features and functions of Drupal 8 and how they will impact each of these learning personas.