So last night was the first meet-up we had for Learning Drupal Sydney, at Demonz Media in Surry Hills, NSW, Australia http://www.meetup.com/Learning-Drupal-Sydney/events/29076311/
Demonz Media were also kind enough to donate some beers and pizza on top of the training space. Which was great as it took a load of my plate.
The plan taken with Learning Drupal Sydney was to use the first three meetings to get some key understandings of Drupal across. When deciding on what material to use for the session, the choice was easy with “Hello Drupal”. The “Hello Drupal” material was prepared by the training arm of Acquia. The material was a perfect fit for trying to explain key Drupal concepts to people. It takes a good overview that everyone can understand from developers through to managers, marketers, content editors, etc.
The Hello Drupal materials are based on building a site with Drupal Gardens. Although, if you had your own site you can adapt the material to any Drupal7 website. Using Drupal Gardens was a fantastic idea as everyone had a laptop and access to wifi courtesy of Demonz Media. Which meant in 5minutes time you could have people up and running with a Drupal site and get straight into adding some content and displays.
The format of the training worked well. The presentation flow was key to the success of the “Hello Drupal” course I feel. It presents a few slides of information and the to help the learner understand what you just spoke about you break for a short while to perform some tasks in the back end such as creating a content type. This presentation flow and the use of Drupal Gardens really helped to get the group up and running and straight into hands on work.
The feedback received from the group on the content was very positive. I had some good feedback on the “Hello Drupal” course with people thinking it helped provide a good foundation for further learning. There was also a great comment on how the “Hello Drupal” night helped one person get excited about Drupal again.
All over it was a great turnout and mix of different people who all had their own use for Drupal, from personal websites, to company websites, online application for mobile apps and also just to find out what this thing called Drupal is. The night went well and I am looking forward to the next meet-up. I will be creating some of my own materials for the next two.
I would definitely recommended the use of “Hello Drupal” for companies to use with their clients as a great welcome to Drupal training session. It would not take much to adapt the training material to the clients site rather than Drupal Gardens. The other great thing is that it takes the time to describe the Drupal eco-system and how you approach building a Drupal site that makes it different from other CMS. It also goes into the community, user groups, camps, DrupalCon’s behind Drupal. I also thought it was great how the presentation discussed how to read module pages on drupal.org. Vital information when you first start looking for contributed modules and your trying to work out why you might use one over the other.
I think the team at Acquia have provided a great introductory first training session and introduction to Drupal. It is a fantastic resource for the community to have and I am looking forward to repeating the “Hello Drupal” workshops next year to new ears.