We're kicking off our 10th year of Drupal Career Online - the longest running long-form Drupal training program in existence. To help mark the occasion, we thought it would be fun to share some of the things we've seen over the past 10 years that our students (both DCO and private training clients) have shared with us that made us think, "yeah, you really should enroll in Drupal Career Online..."
- Not using Composer yet - this is more of a recent (Drupal 8+) development, but we're still surprised when we see folks not using Composer to manage their Drupal 8 codebase. The DCO teaches best practices for using Composer and the drupal/recommended-project core Composer template.
- Using the "Full HTML" text format for everything everywhere - it is just plain scary when we see this, as it usually indicates a lack of understanding of both Drupal core text formats and basic security practices. The DCO provides both instructor-led and independent-study lessons on text formats.
- Relying on a single layout tool - in Drupal 8+, there are multiple ways to layout a page. This includes block placement, custom templates, Panels, Paragraphs, and Layout Builder. Not understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each of the more widely used solutions can lead to "everything looks like a nail, so I'll use a hammer everywhere" solution, which can result in a poor implementation. The DCO covers the basics of each of these layout techniques.
- Fear of Drupal versions greater than 7 - "the drop is always moving” – Drupal is continually evolving (and so is the DCO!). Embracing emerging versions of Drupal, like 8+, keeps you current, makes you more employable and introduces you to modern web development techniques.
- Modules are enabled and you have no idea why - one of the primary skills the DCO teaches is how to find answers, mainly by helping you create and grow your Drupal network. From classmates, to the active DrupalEasy learning community, community mentors, to online Drupal etiquette; we show you how and where to efficiently find answers.
- Your site always has errors on the Status Report page - the DCO's "site maintenance" lesson begins with the Status Report page. We provide a step-by-step approach to troubleshooting Status Report (and other) issues that may appear on sites you maintain.
- Your available updates page has more red than green - updatings modules can be scary. Git, Composer, database updates, and testing methodologies can sometimes make the seemingly simple task of updating a module arduous. Maybe you're the type that "updates all the things at once" and then crosses your fingers and hopes everything works. The DCO provides a step-by-step methodology for updating both Drupal core and contributed modules.
- Your site has one content type that is used for everything (aka, "I have no idea what entities, bundles, and fields are") - this is often a red flag that the site's information architecture (IA) isn't quite what it should be. Our site-building lessons include a healthy dose of IA, focusing on Drupal core entities, bundles and fields and how to efficiently map an organization's data to Drupal.
- Pathauto isn't installed nor enabled - maybe you're not the type to get up every morning and scour Twitter for the latest Drupal news. Luckily, we are, and much of the best-practice-y stuff we find goes directly into Drupal Career Online. We'll talk about contributed modules that most sites should absolutely be using.
- You have no idea what cron is (or if it is running) - when we perform site audits, this is normally one of the first things we look for on the Status Report page. The DCO covers this and other topics focused on Drupal best practices.
If you're reading this and it is hitting a close to home, consider joining us at one of our upcoming Taste of Drupal webinars where we'll spend an hour talking and answering questions about the next semester of Drupal Career Online.