February 2012

Feb 28, 2012

Why you (yes, you!) should attend our DrupalCon training

Tickets to our training at DrupalCon are selling fast, and I'd love these tickets to go to Build a Module.com members, so here's a few quick bullet points about what you'll get from the training:

  1. Access to 10 amazing Drupal mentors, including developers, themers and information architects.
  2. Plenty of one-on-one help for when you get stuck or have questions
  3. Learn at your own pace and never get bored or lost
  4. A free 3-month membership (or membership extension) to Build a Module.com
  5. Network with your fellow students (this is more valuable than you might think)
  6. Lunch is supplied at the venue, so you can leverage your lunch time to keep learning

The training is an affordable $350 with a $25 rebate for higher education students and faculty. I'd love to see you there, and if you have any questions, feel free to send me an e-mail.

Register for the DrupalCon training >>

Partnership with Drop Labs in Los Angeles

Drop Labs is an innovative all-Drupal co-working facility in L.A., and now members can get free access to the full Build a Module.com video library when they come in to work. If you haven't heard of Drop Labs, definitely check them out.

The Drupal Association Training Initiative

The Drupal Association announced a "Drupal Days" initiative a while back to help support a quarterly day-long slew of low-cost Drupal training worldwide. We think this is awesome! But for those of you who aren't necessarily trainers (or for whom training isn't a whole lot of fun), you can still help people learn Drupal with the Mentored Training model.

We offer a free 8 day pass to your students, and all you need to do is hang around while students watch videos and help them answer questions. It's also pretty easy to rope other Drupalists to help out since there's no prep work required. We've had mentored trainings happen across the world with unanimous success.

If you're interested in participating in Drupal Days by putting on a Mentored Training, please check out the details.

Wrapping up the Drush Make videos

Last week we talked about the benefits of using Drush Make to build reliable site scaffolding, and this week we dive into how to actually create and run a Make file, both from scratch and also using an existing Drupal installation as a starting point.

How to create and run a Drush Make file - 6:27

In this video we walk through the architecture of a Drush Make file and build one from scratch. Then we use it to create site scaffolding for a new Drupal site.

How to quickly generate a Drush Make file with drushmake.me - 2:29

Knowing how to build a Drush Make file from scratch is handy, but the online tool, drushmake.me, is a rapid method that acts as a nice checklist to insure you get all the modules and components you need. In this video we walk you through the interface.

New FREE Drupal video tutorial of the week

How to generate a Drush Make file from an existing Drupal installation - 3:27

Drush Make comes with a nice little utility that will generate a Make file based on a current Drupal installation. It's not perfect, but it will save you a ton of time if you're switching over to Make from a copy-and-paste system.

Feb 21, 2012

Come to DrupalCon and get amazing training!

We've already sold a number of seats to our DrupalCon Denver mentored training, but there's still some seats left if you're looking for an opportunity to ramp up on some Drupal before the Con. We're going to have a small army of skillful mentors, ready to help you with your questions, and a curriculum where you can go at your own pace - learning exactly what you need to.

Learn more about our DrupalCon training, or click here and scroll down to register.

New Drupal videos on Drush power tools

This week we dive into some awesome tools for Drush, including using local and remote site aliases (ie. control a remote site with your local Drush installation - awesome!). We then move on to look at using Drush Make - a handy Drush contributed module and extension - to streamline the process of setting up site scaffolding. This is some pretty fun stuff!

How to set up a global Drush configuration file - 1:52

In previous videos we looked at setting up a Drush configuration file to work with a single site. In this video we show you how to set it up to work with any site on your local machine.

How to set up a remote site alias for Drush - 3:43

Working with local site aliases is great, but the real power comes from using remote aliases. With a remote alias, you use your local Drush installation to control remote sites. It takes care of logging you into SSL and navigating to the right folder, you just pass it an alias and a command, and your 're good to go.

Why building site scaffolding is tricky and how Drush Make can save you time - 3:20

In this video we talk about the sticky points in creating a portable, re-usable site scaffolding to begin your projects with, and how a nice little contributed module and Drush extension called Drush Make can make the process simple and less error-prone.

How to install Drush Make and any Drush extension - 1:45

Installing a Drush extension is pretty straightforward, but in this video we show you how by installing Drush Make.

New FREE Drupal video tutorial of the week

How to use Drush aliases to simultaneously work with multiple Drupal installations - 4:35

Drush aliases are shortcuts that allow you to run a Drush command on a particular local site regardless of where you are on the command line. This can be a nice little productivity boost, and in this video we show you how to set it up.

Feb 14, 2012

Now more than 600 Drupal videos!

Our members know that every week our library gets a little bigger, and this week we're reaching a pretty awesome milestone - over 600 original Drupal video tutorials. Woot! For those of you who have been waiting in the wings for our library to get big enough, wait no more! With coverage of everything from setting up a Wysiwyg to using jQuery in a module, there's something for virtually any skill level, with even more on the way.

Thank you for your contest submissions

The response to our free DrupalCon ticket contest was fantastic. A ton of questions got answered in the Drupal.org forums, which is exactly what we were gunning for.

For those of you that submitted an answer in the forums, thank you so much! We hope that if this was the first time you participated in the forums, that you'll consider making it a regular thing. Winning free DrupalCon tickets is awesome, but the feeling of helping someone through a sticky spot is pretty close.

New Drupal videos on using and configuring Drush

This week we wrap up our chapter on performing common Drush tasks like installing Drupal, installing modules and themes, and updating everything with a single command. We also begin our chapter on configuring Drush (for you power users out there, this will be a lot of fun) and walk you through adding a short Drush alias for common command line commands.

How to add new components to a feature module with the .info file and Drush - 3:44

Sometimes it can be much faster to add a new component to a feature module with a little bit of code in the .info file, instead of hashing through the rigmarole of the user interface. In this video we show you how.

How to download and enable a module or theme using Drush - 2:14

Installing a module can be pretty quick, but Drush makes it even faster. In this video we walk you through the fairly simple process of enabling a theme or module.

How to update Drupal core and contributed modules using Drush - 3:58

Updating Drupal is one place where Drush really shines. Instead of moving files around or running a patch file, you can run one deceptively simple Drush command and get your entire Drupal site up to date. We show you how in this video.

How to set up a Drush configuration file (drushrc.php) and use shell aliases - 3:59

Now that you've got the basics of Drush down, we begin configuring and extending Drush with this video on using the drushrc.php file to create an alias for one of the Git commands we used extensively throughout this series.

New FREE Drupal video tutorial of the week

How to download and install Drupal using Drush - 5:35

We've looked at some of the more common uses of Drush once you have your Drupal site up and running, but in this video we walk you through the process of using Drush from the start to download and install Drupal.

Feb 6, 2012

Several months ago I wrote about a unique method of training based on replacing live lecturing with pre-recorded videos. For the uninitiated, this frees up trainers to assist students the whole time, cuts way down on preparation time, and allows students to move at their own pace which increases focus and engagement (see the short video here for a bit more info). Back then it was a theory, but now it's been tested in several different environments and proven as an incredibly effective way to both teach and learn Drupal. Plus, it's way more fun than traditional training.

This is a quick outline of what's been happening so far, what's coming up, and how to get started if you want to organize or participate in a Mentored Training for your community or organization.

How to offer a free, effective Drupal training in your area

Nearly every Drupal community sees the need for training in their area, but it's a headache to either develop a curriculum, get access to existing curriculum or get an experienced trainer in at the right time. But never fear! You (yes, you!) can conduct a effective, proven training in your area with very little effort and awesome results.

You don't have to get up in front of a class, you don't have to memorize anything. Just leverage your experience in Drupal to help students as they work through a proven set of video lectures. If it sounds odd or lame - it's not. Students work at their own pace, they have a great time, and mentors also enjoy being able to simply show up and help students without extensive and exhausting preparation.

Setting up a Mentored Training is simple. It has a basic structure that you can follow exactly or adjust to meet the needs of you and your students. Build a Module.com will also give you free access to our entire video library for you and your students for a full 8 days so students have the chance to ramp up before the training, or wrap up what they were working on after the training is complete.

If you're interested in mentoring or participating in a Mentored Training in your area, a great place to start is by posting a suggestion on groups.drupal.org (see here and here for examples).

Learn more about how to conduct a Mentored Training on the Build a Module.com resources page.

Mentored Trainings so far

There's been a few mentored trainings so far, with quite a few more coming down the pikes. If you're considering organizing one in your area or for your organization, please leverage those of us that have had some experience as resources to answer questions and help wrap your mind around the logistics.

San Francisco, BADCamp 2011 - Our first Mentored Training was at the Bay Area Drupal Camp in San Francisco. We had 6 mentors and 55 students at the full-day training. During a feedback session after the training, what we heard from students was unanimously positive. One thing they really appreciated was the extensive one-on-one time they got with the trainers. We discovered that a full third of the students came over-qualified for the training, which worked perfectly in an environment where there was more advanced material available. The mentors unanimously felt the same way. Two of the mentors quickly began the process of organizing trainings in their own in Portland and Denver.

Minnesota, Advantage Labs Client Training - Advantage Labs in Minnesota piloted their first Mentored Training for 15 clients, specifically around learning about Views. The video base allowed less experienced clients work through Drupal basics, and they created a virtual snapshot of the example site partway through the "Build Your First Drupal 7 Web Site" video collection to allow more advanced users to hit the ground running.

Edinburgh, Scotland - A Mentored Training event was put on in Edinburgh for would-be mentors to evaluate the Build a Module.com material for a future pre-camp training. The event was small, but it sounded like it went very smoothly and the consensus was that it would be a great format for the upcoming camp.

Upcoming Mentored Trainings (and trainings in planning)

If you're in the planning stages for conducting a Mentored Training and don't see it listed here, please let us know so we can add it to our calendar.

DrupalCon, Denver, March 19 - We have a great line-up of talent for the DrupalCon training. With 10+ mentors with experience in site building, theming, coding, Information Architecture, it's a great opportunity to take a flying leap up the learning curve and get some great one-on-one help. Learn more or sign up.

Denver Community Training, February 18 - The Denver Drupal community is conducting a full-day mentored training with some great mentors in an awesome community. Donations are welcome, but attendance is free. This can be a great way to ramp up for the DrupalCon event as well. Learn more or sign up.

DrupalCamp Florida, February 12 - While 50 or so talented Drupalists build amazing free sites for a few non-profits, the future site owners will be working on their Drupal chops by using the Build a Module.com videos to train. The videos will also be available to the 50+ coders and themers making the sites happen (because even ninjas need help sometimes). For more information, contact Kendall.

Phoenix, Arizona (in planning) - Several community members in Phoenix are in the process of organizing a Mentored Training for the community. If you're interested in mentoring or being a student, please contact Matt at Ashday Interactive.

Portland (in planning) - Another great community is planning a mentored training. If you're interested in contributing, go ahead and post to the discussion page.

Glasgow, Scotland (suggested) - As a follow up to the Edinburgh training, there is some discussion about another Scotland. See this comment for more for who to contact about participating or helping to plan.

Australia (in planning) - We don't have the exact details, but there's been some training plans at an upcoming conference. Please feel free to send us an e-mail and we'll forward your info to the organizers.

India (in planning) - We're collaborating with an organization to provide mentored trainings in India. If you are interested in participating or contributing, please send us an e-mail and we'll pass it on to the organizers.