Drupal Association blog: Skills Upgrade: Drupal 7 to Drupal 10 - a community story

The Drupal Association has published this guest blog on behalf of author John Picozzi, in collaboration with Chat Hester, Stephen Cross, Nic Laflin, Mike Anello, and AmyJune Hineline.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”  - Margaret Mead

In my mind, the above quote distills the Drupal Community down to one sentence and perfectly describes its mission. Many in the community also use “Come for the code, stay for the community” to highlight that Drupal is more than just open-source software; it’s a community of committed citizens focused on helping each other, growing skills, and developing world-changing open-source software. As many are aware, Drupal 7 will reach end-of-life (EOL) at the end of this year. Many are working to move their sites to Drupal 10, while others are looking to “Level Up” their skills to work with the latest and greatest Drupal version. This story highlights the journey of one developer and how we as a community came together to help him (and hopefully many others) achieve Drupal 10 readiness. 

Our story starts with Drupal Slack and the following message from Chad Hester (chadhester). 

“Hey, I have an idea that I wanted to run by you… Since I'm looking for more contracting work, getting back in to Drupal development is on my radar. I haven't done development work since Drupal 7, though. I'm out of practice since ~2015. There are lots of people who learn Drupal for the first time, but I wonder if anyone has documented their experience re-learning Drupal. Perhaps that's something that could be good as a Talking Drupal mini-series. What do you think?”

I thought it was an interesting idea and told Chad I would take it back to the team at Talking Drupal to discuss. The Talking Drupal team, Stephen Cross (stephencross), John Picozzi (johnpicozzi) & Nic Laflin (nicxvan), discussed and loved the idea. Working with Chad, they refined the show format and structure to something like a scrum meeting, where each week they reviewed what was done, what challenges were faced, and what tasks should be completed in the week to come. While brainstorming about the mini-series format they also thought of community members who could be involved. 

At Talking Drupal, we strive to provide the Drupal community a platform for learning and awareness. We also include the community in creating that content as much as possible. To that end, we identified Mike Anello (ultimike) of DrupalEasy as a great choice for a mentor and AmyJune Hineline (volkswagenchick) of the Linux Foundation as a host for the series. After identifying all the folks we planned to include, Stephen started outreach, and quickly, everyone was onboard. Within three weeks of the above Slack message, we started recording our first episode. From that point, we started recording weekly and planned eight episodes. 

Everyone contributed to the goals of this mini-series and added their perspective. We wanted to ensure the series would help the community move from Drupal 7 development to Drupal 10 development. However, we also wanted to go above and beyond with real open-source contributions. Mike provided that via a capstone goal of having Chad contribute an automated test to a real-life contrib project. This goal was a perfect outcome and would not only empower Chad to contribute but could empower anyone who watched the series. Overall, we have set out to bring in community members to build content for others. Allowing community members to push/pull others forward in their skill set. 

Today, we are happy to share the first episodes of the Talking Drupal Mini Series: Skills Upgrade. A developer's journey from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10. Through this effort the community has come together to support its members to grow and learn. The power of the Drupal Community isn’t in the software we develop, it's in the people we empower. Those people are empowered to learn, grow, and use amazing open-source software. Indeed, I believe this group of thoughtful, committed citizens have done their little bit to change the world. 

Episodes will be released over the next few weeks. Thank you, and Enjoy!