learning Drupal in a week - my first job experience

my first day at work

Upon arriving I was welcomed to the office and settled in at a desk. Initially, I was tasked with exploring Drupal and what it could do. Acquia Dev Desktop was the first application I opened and after experimenting with some of the prebuilt sites I began to gather an understanding of Drupal and why it is used. 

I was then invited to attend an internal meeting. This allowed me to better my understanding of what exactly the company do for clients and how they communicate with them. I also learnt what their long term and short term challenges were. I was then shown the miggle workflow which consisted of tickets created by and for clients on a trello/taskworld style format. This allows for smooth communication between them and their clients.
I then continued to explore Drupal through tutorials and guidance. I became so engrossed in creating my own website and learning about users and how content types could be created, that I completely lost track of time and it was the end of my first day.

it’s not as easy as it seems - starting with hosting

The next day I was offered up a task. I was asked to migrate two websites from the miggle web servers to another web hosting service in order to free up space. Initially I thought that this would be fairly simple, however as I was soon to learn there was a lot more involved. Immediately I began researching different webhosting companies. I had to consider, cost, security, size, domain options, backup plugins. To begin with I found that GoDaddy was the best plan and began working on their cPanel. However, GoDaddy only used a vague description on how multiple websites are operated from one hosting plan. After evaluating the situation, we decided that GoDaddy would not be best web hosting service for this purpose and I began my research again. I came across Siteground which had a simple and easy to use process of multiple website setup using different CMS’s.  

playing with WordPress - and launching the site

Using FTP, I downloaded all necessary files required in order to move the websites and began to upload them to the new hosting service. With the files of one of the sites uploaded, I decided to give the test domain a try but was met with a page full of errors and barely any visuals. After lots of tweaking and researching I discovered that most of the problems were due to different versions of plugins and WordPress that were incompatible with the one used by the hosting services. This caused certain lines of code to need updating as a number of plugin command names had changed. Then I noticed that the code for the entire left menu wasn’t working correctly and there were missing images all over the site. By using “test echo” commands inputted at different places, I narrowed the error down to a particular line of code. There was a WordPress plugin that didn’t actually exist anymore. After removing this plugin, the site was all up and working. I was relieved. 

practical lesson

During my week at Miggle I learnt the “ins and outs” of web development. I learnt that what I previously thought was a small industry involves multiple different parties working in almost completely different areas.I look forward to my next assignment. This work experience has helped me evaluate my future career choices straying me further towards web development but more specifically the core coding behind it and how it works. The experience was different to what i was expecting; i was given more freedom than i thought i would be and it was all a lot more exciting than i anticipated.

Charlie Gilbert

I am a student passionate about computer science and web development. I study at Beacon Community College and take Maths, Further Maths, Physics and ICT. I enjoy building computers and have helped many friends in the past get into the coding and pc gaming environment. I am always working on some form of coding based project from web development to small scale game development. Im self taught in many different coding languages including JavaScript, Python, C#, DOS, and Bash UNIX. Currently my ambitions for my career are quite wide but generally revolve around computers.