Drupal Apprenticeship: New beginnings, nice legs and the evolution of humanity

Maria
Maria takes a sideways look at all things agile and collective.

I am Agile Collective's first official Drupal apprentice. They have organised a professional 12-week Drupal apprenticeship program, consisting of interesting, well thought-out modules designed to teach a complete novice enough to become a fully-fledged web-developer. 

Not only am I Agile's first apprentice, I'm also the first girl on the team. I arrived on Monday morning to find that the guys had cleaned the office in preparation for my arrival - I'm not sure whether to feel honoured or worried. 
 
This first week has been covering the basics: the company, the cooperative model, how the internet works, beginning HTML and CSS, and an introduction to Open Source and Drupal. I feel a little like a sponge, absorbing as much information as possible and praying that the important stuff sticks. Although a lot of this first week has been solitary work it's felt important to be in the Burford office because while I've been reading open source manifestos and watching elithecomputerguy I have been absorbing other conversations about ongoing projects, issues encountered, the dynamics within the company and between clients, not to mention the steady flow of banter and tea.
 
Some of the highlights: the above-mentioned elithecomputerguy, my 'mentor' spending half the day on Wednesday wearing no trousers, code academy, an animated discussion (with pictures) about eligible/attractive England cricket players, and an amusing inadvertent adventure to Northleach.
 
The week ended with a trip to Manchester for Drupalcamp NW.  Given that I had only begun my apprenticeship four days earlier I was feeling part amused and part terrified by the concept of DrupalCamp. As part of one of the modules I'd done a bit of research on Drupal, Drupalcamps and Open Source. I'd read a bit of blurb, watched a talk or two from previous DrupalCons, and in all of this kept coming across the opinion of Drupal users that Drupal and Open Source are going to change the world – I admit I raised an internal eyebrow at this. However, by Friday night (after one day of Drupalcamp and a couple of drinks) I found myself passionately opinionating the view that Drupal and Open Source are the logical and necessary step forward for the human race... so it seems that I too have become a (reserved) Drupal convert.
 
The Drupal community is something special, I certainly haven't got my head round it and to do so probably requires an anthropological study. Openness is written into its make-up in a way that is almost unnerving, and it seems that, in this community, your worth is not measured by what you do with Drupal and how successful you are, but by the amount you are willing to give back to the community. I can live with that.
 
Of the talks the highlight for me was Morten DK's spirited keynote entitled 'Angry Themer'. To be honest I had very little idea what he was talking about and what his problem is, however that someone can get so passionate about whatever it is at 9am is impressive and inspiring. It's true that a lot of the discussions at the camp went over my head, but I was really heartened to discover that I wasn’t completely out of my depth, there were conversations that I could follow, even if I couldn’t contribute much to them. 
 
So, in summary – it's all good. I look forward to coming in to the office in the morning and learning new stuff, and I am really grateful to team Agile for doing what they do, and for letting me be part of it. Tea anyone...?
 
DISCLAIMER:  The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the author.