What did I learn today?
Today I saw the value of a something I always preach to instructors: Noticing and keeping in balance persistence and seeking help. I’m wrestling with Drupal on a project and not sure that I haven’t gotten myself into the wrong weight class. There are so many good things about Drupal, and one day I’m sure I’ll be smooth like butter with it all, but for now I’m very frustrated with the system’s steep learning curve. It has never made sense to me that enterprise-class systems tend not to have simple points of entry. WordPress has the opposite problem, of course, but I’m pretty convinced that the majority of projects are simpler, in an IA sense, than their PIs would like to think they are.
In any case, I was able to make headway by making a foray into the wilds of the Drupal instance for the project, hacking down a few vines, and then returning to a clearing for rest and to look for others who had had the same problem I was encountering. (This is another frustration with Drupal: Their internal terminology is basic enough that searching for a crux returns project pages, long-outdated-version support board threads, and only a smattering of useful information. More foraying and vine-chopping in its own way.) Along the way, of course, I learned some things I wasn’t looking for but that will probably be useful to me down the road. Doing this also helps me articulate questions for the PI and team so they can make intelligent decisions about important implementation details.
In a meta way, I probably can never learn this lesson often enough.