I learnt a lot at the recent Drupal & Education Camp and thought I'd share a few highlights here. Professor David Upton of the Saïd Business School delivered an excellent keynote. There's many years' experience here in analysing big project roll-outs - and what David had to say about the challenges of sensible, incremental software building (for success) against the backdrop of organisational pressures to deliver extravagant, big-bang roll-outs (which usually fail) was insightful as well as entertaining. Catch up on David's talk here.
I am really looking forward to attending the upcoming Drupal & Education Camp at Oxford next month. Drupal has a long-standing relationship with the education sector, especially in the US where it powers about 26% of all .edu sites. I've written before about Drupal LMS initiatives and similar Drupal distributions targeted specifically at schools and universities.
Brighton's first DrupalCamp took place 28-29 April and was a fantastic success for all those involved. The weekend gave delegates a great opportunity to meet and learn from peers. The wide range of sessions held something for everyone and I particularly enjoyed Richard Jones' talk on Commerce, Jonathan Brown's talk on Storage API (a revelation!), Kevin Elliot's clear and sensible talk on SEO, and Guy Schneerson's sage session on best practice when approaching Drupal projects.
Roll-up, roll-up for Brighton's very own DrupalCamp on 28-29 April. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about how Drupal can help you - developers will get a chance to meet and learn from some of the best Drupal devs. Sereno is proud to be a sponsor of this event.
Find out more and register for free at the Brighton Area Drupal Association.
We're working on some fairly big projects at the moment, a number of which are still at the design stage. We have a pretty solid approach to design here at Sereno but as new methodologies and tools emerge, it's important to continually question your process and make improvements. For example, while we have used a five stage project delivery approach for over ten years, the details of the phasing has changed a lot. Our phases are pretty self-explanatory and hold true for Drupal and non-Drupal projects: Discovery, Planning, Development, Quality Assurance, Maintenance.
Setting up your xdebug debugger to work on the IDE Netbeans can be somewhat fiddly. I hope these steps will help you out. They are for an Ubuntu desktop, but should be helpful whatever OS you're using.
(a) Install xdebug. For me, this just meant running:-
sudo apt-get install php5-xdebug
(b) Make sure that the xdebug.so file is set up in your php.ini file. To do this, first find the .so file:
Run the 'find' command to locate it:-
find / -name 'xdebug.so' 2> /dev/null
I am seeing more and more debate about learning in the cloud. I am not sure everyone really understands the cloud concept, and it's often used interchangably with Software as a Service (SaaS) or managed services. Which is fine really in this context. In essence, people really mean the same thing - learning content managed remotely and easily delivered anywhere. In many organisations, outsourced learning management is gaining traction, as L&D departments struggle to implement LMS solutions that really work for them.
Here at Sereno we've often kicked about the idea of offering Drupal training, & we're always open to learning about Drupal ourselves.
So signing up to Drupal video training from Drupalize.me a couple of months back was a no-brainer. Drupalize.me's offers quite a few one-off videos, which tend to be recordings of stand-up sessions from various Drupal events. While these can be useful, Drupalize.me's uniqueness lies in its video series, which really put clear water between its offferings and the freely available video learning that's already on-line.
We're pleased to be supporting the Drupal Discovery Day on 16th September - part of the Brighton Digital Festival next month.
The day's been put together by the Brighton Area Drupal Association - and it's going to be a game of two halves. A 'Hello Drupal!' session in the morning will introduce Drupal in a practical hands-on workshop. A conference in the afternoon is a programme of short talks about exploiting Drupal, concluding in a panel discussion at the end of the day.
It's by no means essential to run a social learning platform for yourself when you can easily adopt existing services, like Facebook, Ning or Twitter. There are also great free guides to using these tools, like as those provided by Jane Hart. That said, there are valid concerns about data protection, privacy & IP ownership that lead many organisations to consider running social learning platforms for themselves. In this article, I want to consider a couple of leading open source contenders - Elgg & Mahara.