At First, Let Yourself Be "Bad" At Drupal 8

At First, Let Yourself Be “Bad” At Drupal 8
Accept the Inevitable Parts of Learning

Ancora imparo — “I am still learning.” - Michelangelo

Dabbling and hacking with new technology has been my own deconstructive routine since tearing apart ATARI cartridges so they’d be easier to carry as smaller chips. I began dabbling with Drupal in 2007, and recklessly hacked it (yes, core) badly enough to be dangerous until grabbing a Pro Drupal Development book for almost immediate improvements. I haven’t quit learning Drupal since, and it has been a long, arduous but rewarding journey.

It’s important to note the difference between stopping and quitting. I’ve had my reasons to stop learning certain modules or themes because responsibilities change by project or job. I’ve also felt like quitting outright from frustration. It’s OK to stop and it’s OK to quit. 

Dries would say that Drupal’s lifespan is a long, extended journey beyond Drupal 8 and 9. But how will I stay motivated to continue learning after each major change, as some of my hard-learned technical skills deprecate with each new version or innovation?

I’d like to move a little more beyond dabbling and hacking with Drupal 8. Wrap my head around it one day at a time. I still struggle to move beyond Drupal 7, to set down old habits for new ones that I’m not sure I WANT to learn yet. How do I stop “being bad” at this, and move on the path to mastery with or without the drive or motivation?

During this session, I'll draw from how I've learned to “accept the discomfort and disequilibrium that is an inevitable part of learning something new,” with Erika Andersen's "ANEW Model" *:

  • Aspiration - are there benefits to learning Drupal 8?
  • Neutral self-awareness - listen to what you’re telling yourself—is it accurate?
  • Endless curiosity - get an itch to learn something new!
  • Willingness to be bad first - to be “comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Let's also discuss and share some of our own learning experiences, failures, and what motivates each of us to continue learning.

I'd hope we all leave this session feeling “comfortable with being uncomfortable,” with the intrinsic motivation to learn and master Drupal 8 and beyond!

Andersen, Erika (2016-03-08). Be Bad First: Get Good at Things Fast to Stay Ready for the Future

(ATARI cartridge signed by the "combat" game developer, Joe Decuir.)

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