I have seen so many threads saying "Why is drupal so hard to learn?" and I cannot agree more. I have been personally getting so frustrated using Drupal for the past couple of weeks.

I have a very strong programming background (no bragging just trying to make a point), and can code up complex software (embedded OS and stuffs) but using drupal seems such a big deal. Hundreds of terms and thousands of modules, no where it says how all of this fits together.

I read "many ways to do the same thing", in may experience it causes more harm than good by confusing people. So many layers a request goes through and so many variables are manipulated, 10s of templates it all makes such a big deal out of small operation of page rendering.

People say there is big learning curve, any great software should be a intuitive enough to get quickly started and learn specific things as needed (some say they reached half the learning in 5 years, seriously? I bet you could make 2 different new CMSs in that time. You can complete computer science under + post graduation in that time).

I did not take one week to learn all of (PHP + MYSQL + HTML + CSS + Javascript) combined but Drupal seems no where near.

I think a very vital piece that is missing is a good documentation (no, not the one which describes each function, but which is propely structured and a step-by-step guide). Some of the awesome folks here might say "there are no shortcuts", in that case why put any documentation at all, users might as well read the source code to understand things (its open source after all).

The point of a good software is to make doing things possible and easier. The 'easier' part includes to a very high degree the ease of use or understanding.

Thought I am not giving up on it as yet.


P.S: If someone has any pointer to a good free (Software is free, learn how to use paid, no ways) documentation, which explains how drupal works, modules and the flow of control etc (prefrerably tailed for a technical person) please provide.


WorldFallz’s picture

The best resources I have found include:

For coding for drupal I recommend spending the minor amount required to purchase the "pro drupal development" book -- the best resource I've encountered by far and well worth the price.

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mohangupta13’s picture

nodeone.se tutorial looks good. I will go through that and I will get Pro drupal book too.


John_B’s picture

(Software is free, learn how to use paid, no ways)

Why? Everyone needs to make a living. Paid training is good. If one takes you position to an extreme, you can pay thousands of dollars to go to MIT to learn Microsoft, but not to learn Linux? IMO the opposite is true: because the software is free, that means the people who make it must make a living other ways including delivering training, and it means the students have enough money left to pay for training. For Drupal paid training is a good idea and I am happy to pay for quality, just as I expect my clients to pay for help with free software.

If you will never make money from Drupal I do understand that you may not wish to pay for training (though some of us are even prepared to pay to study our hobbies, be it learning skiing, learning to play the violin, or learning Drupal). For those of us who make a living from Drupal, the idea that we take money but never give it a back (for example, for training) is I think a mistake which can hold one back.

If you are really unable or unwilling to pay for quality education, you are a bit limited in options for learning Drupal, but if you have a little money to invest in yourself, buildamodule.com is maybe a good resource of paid training.

mohangupta13’s picture

John, I am all in for making money. Quote "If you are good at something, Never do it for free".

But we must see that there could be better ways to make money. Google Search, Gmail, Drive, Android all are free (including the Google provided tutorials and awesome guides) still Google makes > 40B $.

My point was, Drupal may be a great sofware but the documentation is far from helpful. People may write great books and provide in-person training and charge for that, perfectly justified but for others some good starting documentation should be there.

I am shocked to hear multiple times that Drupal has a HUGE learning curve (in years), common even with MySQL or Linux, which are much much complex software than Drupal, one can get started to do reasonably decent stuffs in few weeks. To me this is a result of a great documentation. (Btw books still exist for both of these too).


John_B’s picture

Yes it is a bit short. But if you read all the documentation from the Documentation tab at the top of this site, then read all the docs on api.drupal.org you find it is better than at first sight appears, and you will be using Drupal effectively in a few weeks, in reality, although not expert. We can easily forget how long it took us to learn to use Linux cli / CSS / whatever.

Core developers are well aware there is room for improvement. OTH they are working their butts off, mainly unpaid, rewriting Drupal 8 from the ground up, and if you or anyone showed a flicker of interest in helping with documentation, the answer would be 'please please please do help, we need people like you urgently, you are very welcome :-)))))' I often feel guilty I am not doing it myself! Working on core documentation either for D7 or D8 (where it will be easier to get the attention of the core devs) might be a good way to learn and give back at the same time. But it all takes time.

surram’s picture

http://www.drupalasisee.com/ is a good site to get started with Drupal. Its simple and easy to understand

DocRPP’s picture

I have been messing with drupal for sometime now. Unlike you, I have no "code background". I didn't know php, mysql, jscript, or even minimal html or css when I started. And I am not the kind of person who learns in a systematic way from a set of tutorials.

So I started using it straight away. Using drupal front end admin interface, I could do a lot of stuff. When I am stuck at a place, I will just google something like "How to ----- in drupal" and a well written article by some drupal user on his blog will show up. Or I will get a link to a module. It is not probably the right way to do stuff, but trust me I learned a lot in three years. Now I can build a moderately complicated drupal website in very little amount of time. I learned some html, css and php, while using drupal because at one point the front end admin interface stops becoming flexible enough.

The point that I am trying to make is that there are excellent drupal tutorials, but most of them lie outside drupal.org and are rather spread out. So if you have a basic understanding of the drupal terms (node, entity, etc), then IMHO you may have better luck trying it my way. And you have coding knowledge to supplement (unlike me who was wondering for hours why the hook_form_alter() I wrote was not working, untill finally realizing that I forgot to add the & before $form_state!!)

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John_B’s picture

realizing that I forgot to add the & before $form_state

I think everyone makes many frustrating mistakes like that.

I have been using and rather like buildamodule.com. Most of it is not free.

Gsensei’s picture

I remember a few years back I took some Drupal lessons on Lynda.com and as I recall they were top notch. That is a paid site though so....

ReChardGoomez’s picture

I used drupalize.me video tutorial and they are easy to use. You may also find other sources like Youtube but drupalize is more professional. They have free tutorials as well.

peggyren31’s picture

I highly recommend Drupalize.me, Learn By the Drop, and Daily Dose of Drupal.

zalex8783’s picture

you have to subscribe to a membership on this website, although it looks more professional from i have seen and they also have a blog with interesting tips.

Ekrifos’s picture

+1 to drupalize.me, it helps a lot.