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How does it feel like learning Drupal: Feat. Nilesh Gupta

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  • July 4 2022
  • 4 min read
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Drupal is considered one of the most comprehensive content management systems today. Still, a lot of newcomers face difficulty in learning it. But at the same time with the right guidance and mentorship, one can develop the skills and expertise needed to be a Drupal expert and accomplish the challenging goals and objectives of a Drupal project.

So, today's agenda for writing this article is to give an idea of how it feels like to learn Drupal. Let us today explore how an aspiring Drupalist starts his journey with Drupal and how he foresees his future in it.

In order to gain more clarity on it, I spoke with one of OpenSense Labs (OSL) Drupalist, Nilesh Gupta who shared his personal experience in walking towards this CMS.

Below is what he shared with us that can be taken as a guide for anybody looking to choose Drupal.

Q: How did you hear about Drupal?

Nilesh: Well to be honest, I wasn’t much familiar with Drupal initially but it was only after I attended my interview here at OSL, I came across this wonderful CMS which has various exciting features and functionalities that are immensely essential for building interactive websites and applications. So, that’s how I actually built my interest over Drupal and found a lot of career opportunities in it.

Q: How did you take the first step to learn Drupal?

Nilesh: I personally feel that you cannot simply learn Drupal by reading about it or just going for an online course. I mean reading books and enrolling in such online courses can be helpful but it isn’t just enough. 

So, if you really want to understand how to exactly use this particular CMS, then you’ll have to get hands-on experience in it and that can be only received by exploring the various features and functionalities of Drupal with the help of somebody who already knows it well.

In my case, I have been very fortunate since I got a very efficient and cooperative instructor in OSL, who cleared all my queries right at that point when they arose. So, my journey of learning Drupal has been very interesting since every single day I get to explore something new.

Q: How did OpenSense Labs help you in Drupal learning?

Nilesh: OSL has made a huge contribution to my Drupal learning. Initially, when I joined as an intern I was given the opportunity to start my Drupal learning by getting involved in the simpler and smaller tasks that raised my confidence to a great extent. 

I have closely observed how every member of our team happens to put an unique approach towards every project that brings in some great ideas and possibilities. 

In these eight months of tenureship with OSL I have had the chance to explore various exciting Drupal features and functionalities and worked on different projects that helped in boosting my confidence to make a successful career in Drupal. 

Q: Did you come through any challenges and how did you overcome them? 

Nilesh: Well, when it comes to challenges, it’s a very obvious thing that when you learn something new, you do get stuck but then that’s quite normal again. So, talking about my challenges, I kind of had issues in Drupal module development. And as we all know that Drupal module development is very important since it enables you to easily create personalized functionality for your Drupal website.

But thankfully, I had some people with excellent Drupal skills and expertise in my team who made it possible for me to learn module development despite the difficulties. To know more, read: Is Drupal difficult to use?

Q: How do you plan to make meaningful contributions in the Drupal community?

Nilesh: As a developer, I would love to get completely involved in the Drupal community and make a meaningful contribution. Now, when it comes to the contribution you can actually contribute in many ways. So, let’s say if you’re somebody who likes to fix issues, then you can go for developing, and also the contributions can just be in the form of both contributed modules/themes and patches to the core.

Then next, mentoring can prove to be an effective way to contribute. So, when someone mentors as a contributor, along with the individual he/she tends to help the entire Drupal community as a whole. As a Drupal core mentor, you can even motivate new core contributors by working on the core process, tools, and community for a better experience for the new contributors. Read to know more about how to be a willing mentor here.

Now let’s talk about testing. It can be one of the best ways to contribute and there are various ways to help in Drupal (such as reviewing patches). Then you can go for contributions in regards to Drupal translation. If you know multiple languages, then you can contribute by maintaining Drupal core or contributing to module translations.

Lastly, donations can also be a significant part of the Drupal contribution. Are you even aware of the fact that during the challenging times of the COVID – 19 pandemic, Dries Buytaert has pledged $100,000 in individual contributions to the Drupal Association? And just after a week of taking this pledge, 29 organizations of the Drupal community pledged another $100,000.

So, for every $1 you donate, Drupal gets $3.  Isn’t that really great? Well, this is how I look up when it comes to Drupal contribution. Read how Covid impacted Drupal to know more.

Learn more about Drupal:

Conclusion

After interviewing Nilesh, I got to know that Drupal does really have so many exciting features and functionalities, and people with different expertise when coming together to work as a team, can bring up some out-of-the-box ideas in developing websites or applications and reach their clients’ expectations.

It was also very interesting to know how a Drupalist starts his/her journey with Drupal and eventually comes to the point where they do not have to look back and regret their decision of choosing Drupal as their career path. So, more power to the Drupalists around the world!
 

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