Drupal 8 is on the edge of transformation and it’s just a couple of months before Drupal 9 will take over. However, the version update will not eliminate the workings of Drupal 8 and instead deprecate gradually.
This brings a lot of new attention to the software and many look forward to being a part of the Drupal Community. In case you are one of them, then these are some advice for novices in the world of Drupal by our very own experts at OpenSense Labs.
#1 Git and Version System in Drupal Projects
As a seeking Drupal developer, Git is your starting point. You got to commit and train yourself with git in order to brush your Drupal skills. You have to understand how branches and tags help you in finding the correct module/theme you have to use on your website.
#2 PHP Language
The programming language, PHP, is a basic one to acquire before getting into Drupal. However, with Drupal 8 being built on Symfony, a developer should be familiar with the PHP frameworks, too. The existing Drupal core and modules help you implement changes without needing to code.
#3 Drupal Security Guard
Security is one of the strongest suits of Drupal. However, in order to maintain it, you require the highest level of expertise that tirelessly keeps up with the threats. You should be able to contribute to the maintenance of the Drupal site along with the updates that help in keeping the website secure.
#4 Package Managers
Making work easier for developers, package managers are useful in the installation of external libraries and frameworks. Composer is one of the package managers that can be installed for tools like Drush.
#5 Command Line interfaces (CLIs)
Knowing how to manage CLIs helps in administering repetitive tasks. With Drush, Drupal’s own CLI tool, your implementation becomes better and efficient. Another important CLI tool is Drupal Console.
#6 Twig Templating Engine
Since Drupal 8 moved to the Symfony framework, Twig became a necessity for development. The knowledge of templating with Twig engine will give you an edge over others.
#7 Drupal Modules Bank
One of the primary points of Drupal is the abundance of modules. For each and every website needs, there are multiple modules that can assist you. With different versions and maintenance requirements, the knowledge of modules becomes an asset. As a Drupal developer, you should be aware of all aspects of how the modules can be optimized and the website can be enhanced in the best way possible. There are 2,816 number of themes and 44,291 active modules on drupal.org for you to try your hands on.
#8 Theming Ninja
An interesting concept in itself, Drupal theming is a vital part of the web development process. You should be well aware of its working. Given the customization clients seek these days, theming is your go-to friend to tailor the needs.
#9 Debugging Pro
Debugging is a skill to master for Drupal developers. With a lot of breaking and fixing requirements that do come your way during the process, knowing how to debug helps in avoiding the friction within the team and also with the client.
#10 Core Functioning Fun
For a developer to enter the open source space, the core functionality of the CMS should be a strong case. As Drupal has a different CMS functioning, the flow is an important thing that you should be comfortable with.
#11 Contribution Cases
Not a skill, but it is advisable for the budding drupal developers of today. Drupal community is a fantastic place to learn and grow your expertise. You also get to meet other developers in the industry and gives an opportunity to directly gain exposure from the experts across the globe.
#12 A Style Guide Expert
After theming and modules, the style guide is the next thing to pick up. To achieve an excellent user experience and comfort, the design has to take the center seat in web development. But as a Drupal developer, you have to build the style guide and pattern libraries which has a basic typography and color palette. Keep in mind, there are a lot of minute details that define how your style guide will come out to be.
#13 Utilize Configuration System
A configuration system aligns the development process in a seamless fashion. The workflow adopted by the developer via the conf system helps other team members to update and test configuration locally. However, the key is to make the entire team understand it and have them participating in the process.
#14 Core and Non-core Stuff
Once you still Drupal, there are two folders titled ‘modules’ and ‘themes’. One might get confused that they can put the contributed modules and themes in them. However, do not make that mistake. There are separate folders of the same name in the ‘sites’ folder. The former folders are the core Drupal installation which needs timely updating. Do not mix the core and non-core folders of code that can pose to be an issue later.
#15 Maintenance Mode
You should keep your site hidden in case you are planning to put it into maintenance mode and it’s still developing. However, do not log out of the site or you will not be able to access it either.
And that’s a wrap of advice from our end. Now it’s your turn to deep dive into the world of Drupal and try it first hand. Witness it, enrich it and share your experience with us at [email protected].
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