Radu Camerzan - Teaching Drupal - the road to mid-level.
The road to
By Radu Camerzan
A Drupal Developer
On 23 June 2018
Programmers are self-taught, why teach
• We’re speaking about junior programmers here. Mid ones should
already be able to learn/specialize on their own.
• It’s faster and you get to pick the direction. This way your team will
be able to cover “more Drupal”
• Mentoring is a form of teamwork. You will be able to see if the
person is a culture fit or where it may be a good one.
Define what we want to achieve
• Knows HTML + CSS + PHP (basic)
• Knows how internet works
• Can create a branch in git
• Can install contrib modules
• Can use Google to find
• Knows the Drupal way
• Can identify bottlenecks
• Can resolve a merge conflict
• Is ok with patching a contrib
• Uses Google to find solutions
If they know PHP, why teach them Drupal?
• Drupal is the car you’re driving. PHP is the engine + wheels + other
stuff inside it. Good Driver != Good Engineer.
• The “Drupal Way” of doing things. The community has grown up with
modules, coding standards, APIs that you can leverage.
• Learn another way to do stuff. If they have prior experience – they
might improve Drupal or find things they like in Drupal.
Prepare for the journey ahead
of you (mentor + student)
• Make time for support – you still
have your main job to do
• Establish rules – interruption is
bad for the flow, plan for it
• Set up the environment – a good
editor must auto-enforce
• Give feedback – good and bad
one, they’re both needed for
Things I teach
• Not know how to do something
• Not hit your estimates
• Seek help
• Copy/paste a solution
• Write smart solutions
• Write custom modules
It’s NOT OKto:
• Fail to deliver because of it
• Refuse to give one
• Try to solve it by yourself first
• Not read it and understand it
• Refuse to adhere to standards
• Not do your contrib research
What if they’re actually smarter than you?
• Double check this. You can try changing mentors, up the game, give
more serious goals.
• Congratulations, you hit the jackpot! No really, as a teacher you hit it
– you just got your student to surpass you. Time to let go.
What do you get as a teacher from it?
• Teaching someone means improving
yourself. It’s just another way to do it
– and it touches more skills than
simple coding: communicating,
planning, controlling. You’re gonna
need those as a Team Lead ;)
• Networking. Yes, you get people that
are “below your level” – but only at
first. You never know when the wheel
• Growing your personal brand – people
usually remember good teachers (or
awful ones). Try to hit the first
Drupal needs you!
…but in case you need me, here I am:
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/radu.camerzan
• Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rcamerzan/
Disclaimer: it may take a while for me to come back. Be
patient and I’ll be there for you!