Surviving the Drupal Learning Curve

Speaker: Laura Haskell

Our Drupal community is as strong as our ability to share our practice with others. To successfully teach others, we need to first step back and remember the obstacles Drupal beginners face.

When it comes to conquering any new skill in the technology world, a common representation of the learning curve is the inverse relationship between confidence and scope of knowledge. As we set out on a journey to a new level of competence, we often start on an upwards trajectory with a plethora of hand-holding resources that can get us to a basic level of knowledge. However, this state can fade quickly into what has been called the "cliff of confusion" that slopes down into the "desert of despair." This dip is where we venture out on our own to experiment beyond the borders of what standard documentation can teach us and into a realm of solving our unique, project-specific problems. The scope of what developers need to know is at its peak, but confidence is low due to infinite paths to explore and sparse resources to target specific problems.

As a person who is just getting started with Drupal and is brand new to the tech community, I am very familiar with this territory. My hope in offering my experience and perspective is to call out what people beginning Drupal should know before they start and help shed light on how we can combat these obstacles to get people out of the "desert" faster.

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