The Learning Curve of Drupal: Parsing Features and Challenges

09 May 2023

Today's article discusses the learning curve of Drupal, which is relevant to newcomers. Studying the system can be difficult at first, but over time, you will understand the principle of work. There is a high demand for specialists in this field.
Many students worldwide are searching for the right learning platform to help them achieve their goals. There is no Drupal User Guide for every issue. There will be many problems that only you will be able to solve. Understanding your goal and walking toward it with a clear path is crucial.

Drupal Learn: Why can it be difficult?

If you study the forums or look at successful developers, you may think that learning will be very hard. First, it is necessary to understand why the system is considered more complicated and "viscous" for beginners. It may seem because of objective and subjective factors. We can list the number of sources of information at each stage. The second is the visual complexity of the code and syntax compared to other programming languages.

Difficulties will be encountered in every technical discipline you want to learn. However, they can also be avoided if you structure your learning process properly and pay attention to the disturbing factors of going around in circles in time. The most important thing is to understand what you are facing because this is the only way to keep your motivation and desire to continue on your path, no matter what.

And in fact, it is possible to sort out the difficulties because three essential criteria can hinder your learning:

  • a long wait for an answer. The system has been around for more than 20 years; therefore, finding active users willing to help you with advice on the forum can be challenging. Frequent answers to questions are everywhere, but a highly specialized module can be discussed with you by only one person. And that is for four months after you posted a message. You will have to find the information yourself and use it correctly;
  • you will get outdated information. Many active users posted solutions to problems much earlier than the latest versions of the language came out. Because of this, some solutions can not be considered relevant, some will not work at all now, and newcomers will invent others. It's hard to find one resource for studying all the documentation that professionals have accurately verified;
  • there is no documentation available. There is plenty of documentation, but it is written in a complicated language and is not always designed for beginners. Because of this, you will have to learn the suggested solutions and improve your language skills quickly. Finding a course or mentor to make your work more accessible is a great solution.

 All these things significantly affect your desire to dive headfirst into learning Drupal because they are natural obstacles. And each of them will require a lot of effort from you not to give up and keep going. This article won't tell you if your efforts will pay off (and they will). Instead, we will discuss how to visualize your learning for further development. It is essential to structure everything properly so that you understand where you are now and where you need to go.

Learning Drupal Step by Step: Breaking Down the Process into Individual Phases

When you start learning Drupal, the rule of inverse dependence in the schedule of required knowledge and available sources comes into play. The student needs to accept that over time. There will be fewer professional platforms to learn from and more knowledge to advance. In general, this rule works for all technical things. It is easy to learn in the beginning and challenging to become a high-level specialist.

It is best to divide the training in your head into four conditional stages, each of which must be completed to receive an employer's offer article. You are in the first phase. Rather difficult things will seem even more complicated than they are. But that's only until some advanced platform decides to explain everything to you in simple terms. You need to find one or use our helpful resources.

Stage 1 of the study: What is it?

The first training stage is tricky, but it is solvable if you use all the specialized tools. Fortunately, plenty of initial training materials have long been considered to be proven for beginners. Specialists use simple expressions and show examples of what you need to do and why. You will be able to learn the following:

  • navigate the system's terminology and structure your knowledge, which will significantly help you in the future while doing commercial work;
  • use various specific modules and features, such as using fields to develop new pages;
  • implement templates in your modules and understand how they work.

At this stage, as long as you have a strong motivation and want to achieve more, we recommend studying as much information as possible. However, it would help if you did it in as structured a way as possible and gradually. The idea is to find a ready-made training system or master your own so that you gradually get more knowledge and use it. Your foundation is essential in furthering your career development; therefore, you should not ignore this point. Don't try to jump right into the following phases if you haven't yet fully completed the first phase. Gradually you can start to move forward and feel your victories because you will be helped by a mentor or good guidance, of which there are quite a few at this level.

This is a lot of knowledge that can easily fit into a few weeks and understand the essence of the system. Forming a first impression and a small personal database is a critical stage, which will give the foundation for all further learning. Gradually your confidence will increase, and you will start to be interested in more important things, which will move you to the second phase.

Stage 2 of learning: Goodbye, Hello Word

After finishing the introduction, it's time to do self-study. Platforms can only partially provide you with some things at once because Drupal is immense. You are no longer led by the hand; now, the problems that arise are not part of the task but a real problem.

You will feel you don't understand anything and can't do it yourself. But this feeling will pass when you've mastered the essential skill for any professional. Learn to use Google to its fullest potential and look at other developers. The problems you will face most likely have their perfect solution.

Full-fledged manuals will come across very seldom, and you will have to use old forums and long-abandoned discussion threads more often. Therefore it is recommended to prepare an in-depth study of both the problem and possible solutions. The second stage is considered to be shorter than all the others simply because you will soon learn how to google correctly and look for answers. Your confidence gradually diminishes because previous accomplishments are no longer in sight, and new problems keep popping up. Even simple goals sometimes require several days of your thoughtful approach to them.

Now you've jumped off the cliff of the Drupal learning curve. It won't get any easier from here, but it will be more enjoyable.

Stage 3: Learning Drupal Development

You have fallen off the cliff of your training and are at the point where beginner's despair reaches its limit. Most developers call this stage the hardest, most protracted, and most frustrating. You have many, dozens, or even hundreds of questions.

To begin with, you already have a specific knowledge base that you can use in your projects. You know what a hook is, but you have no idea how to choose the right one. And so in all areas of learning: many questions and minimal answers.

Yes, you can start using profile resources and publications that will make your life a lot easier and allow you to learn something new. However, the constant feeling of lack of progress will grow in you every day. It is challenging for a person to keep doing their thing without clear signs of new results. But along with this, you begin to understand what it is to be a developer.

Now all your problems and desires are individual. You will only be able to use other people's code or examples sometimes because your project is too different from theirs at this stage. Now you must overcome yourself and learn how to use the information thoroughly. Your mindset will have to change because common examples will be parsed down to the details to apply the knowledge gained to your case.

There is not one manual with all the answers. However, your ability to use Google will determine how hard this stage will be for you. It is only when you get to the point where you understand the logic of the system and learn to solve your problems on your own that you will move on to the final phase.

Stage 4 of training: Confidence grows

In simple terms, the beginning of the fourth stage can be described as follows: You have learned to ask the right questions to get the correct answers regularly. Thanks to this, all strange or confusing mistakes became transparent and understandable over time. You can now gain self-confidence and gradually realize that you, too, can solve the problems that arise.

Your self-confidence and skill graph are finally increasing rapidly because you are starting to learn Drupal in the right direction. At this point, you should move away from the concept of "I know how to use this module" or "I can make the right web pages." Now you'll be able to firmly say, "I'm going to start this project."

Don't be fooled by the euphoria of understanding many of the details. The stage is still incredibly complicated, and many users drop out here. But now you clearly understand what you need, where to get it, and how to proceed.

Technical documentation will now come at you from a completely different angle because you know the basic concepts and how to read them. You know how to apply the general to the particular, and you can find a solution to a problem, even if you are the first to encounter it. You can clearly say you are a specialist and get a job offer. This is the crucial stage where you will create real commercial projects, get money in your account, and gradually develop further.

What's next?

They say that a developer is a constant apprentice. This is true because you will need to constantly learn new areas of the profession. The desire to continually grow and develop is an essential trait of a good programmer who wants to improve his life and achieve new professional achievements.

Now it all depends on the specific project or role of the company to which you decide to dedicate yourself at this stage. Depending on their needs, you will learn new aspects of Drupal and improve existing solutions. Over time, you will be able to become a highly specialized specialist, which is always in short supply on the market. This inherently unattainable point is the pinnacle of a programmer's career.

Development, study, and study again will be required for everyone who wants to become a worthy specialist in the labor market and never have problems with work.

You can also recommend the well-known approach of constant change, where you become a professional at everything. In this case, the developer is not trying to build a career in one institution. Gradually, companies change, new projects are taken on, and old ones are completed. This approach ensures that you don't get bogged down in routine and continue your self-improvement all the time. Try to put your skills, abilities, and progression first in your career.

How do I get out of the third stage?

The idea is first to study specialized publications, forums, our portal, and other sites. Understand the basics and as you approach the third phase of your training, try to find a good mentor. This is expensive and hard, but having someone to discuss and talk to about the arising problems pays off. This will help you avoid the typical difficulties that every technician encounters.

But not everyone can afford it and can only offer to become familiar with automated error retrieval tools. Technical documentation is always tricky, but if you learn how to work with it correctly - you can solve any problem. Also, ask questions and feel free to communicate with anyone else who is also interested in Drupal. Other people's experiences can sometimes help you more than any text written by someone else.

Let's summarize

To summarize, being a Drupal development specialist is a complex, lengthy process that not everyone can handle. And it would help if you did not worry that you can not do it or you can not do it. In many ways, you can't pass without a good tutor, so it's tricky. Here's a short introduction to the system to help you get started.

However, we wish those who wish to continue on their path of study good luck and patience. This exciting and informative profession will allow you to acquire unique and valuable skills in your life's journey. And thanks to our material, you know what lies ahead and how you will cope. Remember that effort is always rewarded!