Now that the post-DrupalCon Vienna events are in full swing and next year's pre-DrupalCon Nashville events are in the works, I’ve started organizing and creating next year’s Webform related presentations. I find presenting at DrupalCamps challenging and rewarding. The challenge is getting up in front of a large group of developers and talking about my work, but the reward is I get to meet people who use my work to build awesome forms.
Attending Drupal Camps & Events
In the past, I’ve managed to attend a bunch of events including DrupalCamp NJ, NYCCamp, DrupalCon Baltimore, Design4Drupal, and Drupal GovCon. My last camp of the year is going to be DrupalCamp Atlanta on November 2-4, 2017. I decided to go to DrupalCamp Atlanta because they are offering me the opportunity to do my first training session called Learn how to build awesome webforms and a keynote panel discussion. Yes, I am uncomfortable with public speaking, however I’ve committed myself to doing it for longer and in front of more people; this conference is pushing me to up my game. The hope is that it will prove to be a good thing for me, and hopefully will, in turn, be a good thing for others too.
One technique I’ve learned to overcome my weaknesses is to leverage my strengths. My biggest strength is organizing information and the requisite tasks to get something completed. So I’ve committed to three hours of training; now it’s time to get organized.
Organizing Training Materials
I have done a lot of experimenting with the Webform module - the most successful outcome has been my video screencasts/presentations related to using the Webform module. A looming task for the stable release of the Webform module is modifying all these videos. Putting together three hours of training materials for DrupalCamp Atlanta is also becoming a daunting task. So I’ve decided to merge the redoing of my videos and training into a single project.
For the past few months, I have been cleaning up the Webform modules information architecture by moving and renaming tabs, sections, forms and elements. My goal is to create a fluid, intuitive workflow and user experience for a feature rich and admittedly complex module. For example, I realized that having a global 'Settings' tab and a Webform specific 'Settings' tab was confusing. The solution? I changed global 'Settings' to be labeled 'Configuration.' I can comfortably say the Webform module’s UI/UX is very close to stable.
My next task was improving the inline help text, which links to the existing video tutorials.
Managing the Webform Module’s Editorial
I am a bit dyslexic and work with a copy editor, Liz Berntson. She reviews all my blogs post and documentation. The challenge with editing a module’s documentation is everything is embedded in the code; Liz is not about to start learning how to write and contribute patches to the Webform module. I resolved this problem with a hidden module that exports all the Webform module’s editorial into simple HTML document that can be cut-n-pasted into a Google Doc, which supports comments and revisioning. Liz has done her editorial review but anyone should feel free to provide feedback and comments.
Getting Feedback from the Drupal Community
Getting feedback brings me to the goal of this blog post, which is to publish all my training materials online. My hope is that I will get feedback on my slides from the Drupal community and from all of the people attending my training at DrupalCamp Atlanta before I re-record hours of training videos. Everyone is invited to review and comment on all my new training presentations, the existing videos and documents on Drupal.org.