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The Big Picture: Drupal 8 Migrate in Core

Wildebeest Migration

Migrating from major version to major version of Drupal core has always been a significantly large task for all but the simplest sites. The upgrade path that has traditionally been part of Drupal core has always been limited in what it can do, so most sites were forced to use alternative methods to migrate configuration and content. Sometimes these migrations were manual, sometimes automated, and most often a combination of the two.

Drupal 8 aims to greatly reduce the friction of migrating sites from Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 by adopting a proven and extensible approach to site migrations. The Migrate module has been the go-to tool for migrating a large number of sites to Drupal 7 from earlier versions of Drupal as well as from other content management systems (including custom ones.)

This blog post aims to provide an overview of how the migration system in Drupal 8 works, our current progress, and how new contributors can get involved. The Migrate in Core initiative began in earnest about a year ago at DrupalCon Prague, when it was decided to use some code and concepts from the Migrate and Drupal-to-Drupal Data Migration modules as a starting point for a new and improved upgrade path.

At the current time, the Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 migration is almost complete, while the Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 migration is just getting started. There are a few blocking issues that we're trying to get past in the next couple of weeks (including files migration and link field migration). We feel that we'll be able to leverage much of the work we've done on the Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 migration for the Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 migration. In fact, we have a great issue for a new contributor to help us kick of the Drupal 7 work just waiting for someone to tackle.

Run, Don't Walk to Drupal 8 Migrate in Core Sprints

DrupalCon code sprint photo

Have you always wanted to get involved with Drupal core development but don’t know where to begin? Have a Drupal 6 site that you’re looking to upgrade to Drupal 8? The Drupal 8 Migrate in Core initiative aims to provide a robust and extensible migration path from Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. A lot of work has already been done, but we’re looking to increase our throughput by training up some testers and developers to contribute to the cause.

To that end, we’ve planned two in-person events and an ongoing virtual event where you can get some facetime with other contributors to get you up-to-speed on the current progress and how you can help. Development experience isn’t required! It takes all types of contributors to complete a project of this scope. We have opportunities for manual testing, documentation writing, UX, theming, patch testing, and patch creating. If you need more of a challenge, I’m sure that chx, benjy, and mikeryan can find something for you to sink your teeth into!

If you can’t wait to get started, please check out how you can properly configure your system in order to contribute. Even if you just want to do some manual testing, you’ll want to check this out. Once your system is ready to go, then find me in IRC (#drupal-migrate) or find us at an upcoming event.

Drupal Career Online: Pros and Cons of Acquia Dev Desktop Version 2

Pros and Cons

Since we started our long-form Drupal Career Starter Program in 2011, we've always struggled a bit trying to find a single local Apache-MySql-PHP stack that is powerful enough for day-to-day Drupal development, easy to set up, and that works for a wide range of people new to local web development.

We're always on the lookout for a local Drupal development stack that will help to reinforce the lessons and best practices that we strive to instill in all of our students. It's pointless to teach students methods and processes that aren't typically found in the community, so being able to bring students up-to-speed as quickly as possible with things like Drush, Git, and commonly-used workflows is of the utmost importance.

Generally, we've stuck with a combination of Acquia Dev Desktop (version 1), Uniform Server, and DrupalPro, depending on each student's skill level and previous experience.

Until recently, we've always had more Windows users than Mac or Linux users (combined!), and usually didn't run into any problems until we introduced Drush, Git, and other Linux-y command line tools, at which point Mac and Linux users spent a lot of time attempting to help Windows users get Drush installed.

When Acquia Dev Desktop 2 was made available, the list of features definitely piqued our interest. Integration with Acquia Cloud is nice (similar to what Kalabox does for Pantheon), but what we were really excited about was the Drush integration.

Since we are using Acquia Dev Desktop 2 for the first time with our 2014 Fall Drupal Career Online program, we thought it would make sense to run through the pros and cons from a training perspective.

Drupal Career Online: a Surprise Advantage Over In-Person Training

DCO 2014 students

What do you get when you combine a state-of-the-art open source content management system with a seemingly endless need for developers, an instructor passionate about developing Drupal talent with solid fundamentals and best practices (yours truly), six eager, geographically diverse students (pictured above - more on them in future blog posts), and a modern online classroom environment (the topic of this post)? If the content management system is Drupal, then the only answer is the online version of the Drupal Career Starter Program: Drupal Career Online.

This week marks the start of the first session of Drupal Career Online, an immersive 12-week online training program designed to take people passionate about technology and turn them into Drupal professionals. The curriculum is the result of continuous development and improvement over the past three years, and now features a dedicated web site, PDF handouts and reference documents for every lesson, weekly self-assessment quizzes, screencasts covering important concepts and a healthy dose of Drupal community involvement.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Developers) Drupal Career Training

With four sessions graduating more than 60 People over the past four years, there's no doubt that the Drupal Career Starter Program can bring aspiring developers from zero to hero in just a matter of a few months. Imagine what it can do for you, or your people, who are already developers, but need to be trained up in Drupal. We have, and are making it highly accessible in a live, online format designed to fit into working schedules.

The upcoming Drupal Career Online training program kicks off in just about a month, and your organization now has the ability to choose the developer(s) that match well to your team and leverage our unique, holistic training to turn them into a solid member of your Drupal development team.

Drupal Web Developer Career Series Part 2: Trailblazer Stories and Advice

This is the second of four (ok, it was three, but there is so much good information!) weekly blog posts that encapsulate the advice, tips and must-do elements of career building in the Drupal Community from the panel of experts collected for DrupalEasy’s DrupalCon Austin session; DrupalCareer Trailhead; Embark on a Path to Success. It will be listed with other career resources for reference at the DrupalEasy Academy Career Center.

Drupal Web Developer Career Series Post 1: Drupal Jobs Landscape

DrupalEasy was really jazzed to host the career how-to session with community leaders, living Drupal success stories, and a panel of talent-hungry recruiters from Drupal organizations around the world At DrupalCon Austin. Drupal Career Trailhead; Embark on a Path to Success provided so much great information on mapping out your Drupal Career, and so many people asked about follow up, that we realized it warranted some further dissemination.

Don't Be Afraid! We'll Walk You Through It! Migrate in Core Testing Sprint at DrupalCon Austin

Getting involved with Drupal core development is scary. There's a lot of really smart people involved and it can be intimidating. The learning curve can be steep and an "easy" task can turn into hours of frustration. Your inner voice tries to convince you that you don't know enough to contribute to Drupal core, and your fear of embarrassing yourself has you referring to Drupal core contributors as "them" instead of "us".

Luckily, the Drupal community provides a cure for all this. DrupalCon sprints. Imagine a day where the entire community comes together looking (stalking, perhaps) for new contributors, regardless of their skill level, sits them down at tables with some of the most experience developers in our community, and takes the time to take them from zero to productive in less than a day. Sound exciting? It should - and if you're going to be in Austin next week, then there's only one place you should be on Friday, June 6.

Florida DrupalCamp 2014 - Six Years In, Stronger Than Ever

More than 300 people from all over the country converged on the sixth annual Florida DrupalCamp the weekend of March 8-9. We made some changes to several aspects of the camp based on feedback from previous years, most of which attendees embraced.

Perhaps our most significant deviation from previous camps (and from most DrupalCamps) was that we did away with the keynote speaker. We had a couple of reasons for doing this. First, our venue's auditorium wasn't large enough to hold all of our attendees (or to even come close). Second, we found that it is difficult to find a single keynote speaker that a large majority of the attendees will be interested in. Our solution was really well-received: double-length sessions with "featured speakers" well-known in the community.

Light a Candle

Right now, there are nine, highly motivated people on the East Coast of Florida who are burning the midnight oil... focusing evenings on classes and labs, and days on projects and resources to master the Drupal skills that build new careers and make them valuable members of the Drupal Community. They are the select few of the 2014 Drupal Career Starter Program, and in less than two months, most will be ready for work experience as interns.

Feed Your Organization's Pet Drupal Project a Willing New Site Builder

Most Drupal shops always seem to have a few pet projects on the to-do list that are perpetually 2-3 months off - those pesky bill-paying client projects always seem to get in the way. If only there was some way to throw some person-hours at them as a way of gaining some momentum and making some progress. It's actually not that difficult to find the right developer (if you know where to look), the payoff could be great (especially if it can be an additional revenue stream for your organization), and it could help max out your karma score.

tl;dr: We're getting ready to graduate 18 such developers - contact me if you'd like to see if one of them is a good fit for your organization.

Bringing on a new Drupal developer who is hungry for experience could be the perfect solution since many of the posted job openings for Drupal talent are for (seemingly) everything but junior developers.

Filling the Drupal Talent Pool

fountain image Thomas Edison said, "There is far more opportunity than there is ability," which still holds true in many technology sectors today, especially in the Drupal Community. For years we’ve sailed onward with a pretty lean "experienced" talent pool – sometimes overextending ourselves, our employees, and our contractors. We’re good, but we lack numbers. And if we keep on this way, we are not only going to lose market share for Drupal, we’re going to lose talented people to burnout and discontent.