A Plan for Helping New Drupal Contributors

The whole Drupalize.Me team was at DrupalCon this past week, and we certainly had a blast! I spent most of my time chatting with people, and handing out our sparkly pony stickers, so I didn't get to see many sessions. One session that I did go to, though, was the Boston Initiative presentation about the Drupal contribution ladder (Learn Drupal), along with one of their BoFs. It got me really interested about the work going on to get more people up to speed with contributing to the Drupal community. I've spent a number of years doing a lot of community work, and what got me excited about Learn Drupal is the great way this has been developed with the Boston community and the plan that they have for next steps. So many community efforts end up sort of wandering in circles at a certain point, including some of my own past efforts around documentation, so the thought, planning, and organization around Learn Drupal is pretty exciting to me.

The short of the project is that the Boston community spent the last six months or so trying out various ways of creating a step-by-step curriculum, or ladder, for working your way through the steps to becoming a contributor for Drupal core. They have started getting a framework in place to provide a guided plan to becoming a contributor, a web site (now at http://drupalladder.org/) to pull it all together, and an install profile to give everyone the same tools and Drupal environment while working through the ladder. They also have some ambitious goals. Our current percentage of active users who actually contribute to core is hovering around 0.1%. They want to get that up to a full 1% in 2014. They aren't shooting low. ;-)

One of the things that I think is key to the success of this project so far is that it was a focused group effort, in a relatively limited circle, so they could test things out and see what worked well. With that controlled practice they made some good discoveries that they can now articulate and share with other groups. The immediate goals, to be achieved by DrupalCon Munich in August this year, are to get at least 10 more local user groups regularly having meetups where they work through the ladder, clean up the web site so it is more usable, and to get the install profile up to a 1.0 release.

There is a lot of work to do, but I think this is very achievable and I want to help make it happen. I'm going to be introducing Learn Drupal to the Copenhagen Drupal community in April, and in that process also help them fill out the lessons and make sure we have the material we need for other groups to jump in and get started too. I'll also be hopping in the issue queue to help with the important work of getting the web site and install profile into better shape. They have a lot of good pieces in place, but a lot of it is preliminary and we need more hands on deck to get into a truly usable state. In addition to my personal commitment to helping this project grow, we here at Drupalize.Me will also be dedicating some of our regular working hours to helping out too. Look for new free Community videos that match up with the Learn Drupal lessons on the Drupalize.Me site soon.

I hope to see you in the Learn Drupal issue queue or chatting about your local group's involvement. You can become part of the fun by going to http://drupalladder.org/ and creating an account.

Note: This post was updated on September 23, 2014 with the updated URL to Drupal Ladder (http://drupalladder.org/).

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Is there any way for those of us who didn't attend DrupalCon to get a sparkly pony sticker?

Come meet us! The DrupalizeMe crew is very involved in our local communities, so you can attend one of our meetups. Additionally, we travel! We have some upcoming Camps on our radar and would be happy to attend your regional Camp. Send us the details using the Help&Support tab and we'll see what we can arrange. And we will bring sparkly pony stickers!!

The Sacramento Drupal Users Group is going to try and climb the ladder. Should be a great experience, and hopefully we can make the effort stick. BTW EatonCon was a blast. When it comes to moustaches, go big or go home. 8)

By http://learndrupal.org points to another site, not about drupal :)
Project learndrupal moved to http://drupalladder.org

Thanks! I've updated the post with the correct URL to http://drupalladder.org/.

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