Echidna is Going Back to School

An image of an Echidna teacher at a blackboard.

One of our key foundational principles here at Digital Echidna is a desire to always be learning and continuously improve. One of the best ways to learn something is to teach it -- so that’s why the Drupal training course we offer in partnership with Fanshawe College, is a win-win-win situation.

Win #1: We get to reinforce our knowledge by teaching students about Drupal, which allows us to coalesce our thoughts and prepare information.

Win #2: We get to give Echidnas the opportunity to present and teach in front of an audience, which allows them to get some great practice in public speaking and teaching.

And win #3 may be the most important -- the opportunity to foster the next generation of Drupal developers and help continue London’s development and positioning as a hub for technology in southwestern Ontario.

This is the second year that we are running a 12-week course in partnership with our friends at Fanshawe College. The course is an optional, free course offered to all students in Fanshawe’s Interactive Media Design and Production & Interactive Media Specialist programs. It covers  a lot of topics including an introduction to Drupal, Drupal 8 site building, Drupal 8 layout and theming, and Drupal 8 module development.

I’m proud to be part of the training team, which includes Echidna developers Anya, Caitlyn, Jordan, Martin, Scott, and Tanner. And we’re thrilled to be able to continue this relationship with Fanshawe College.

We believe in the power of these professional/educational partnerships. Executed correctly, they represent a win-win for both parties. For students, they get to experience a new program in their educational path -- and one that can offer them real-world benefits and increased job opportunities. We know that because Digital Echidna annually brings aboard a number of interns from Fanshawe College -- three-quarters of whom have gone on to long-term employment with the company.

For us, there’s a benefit because the graduating talent pool comes previously exposed to the CMS that represents the foundation of our development philosophy. Drupal is not always taught in school, so exposing students to this programming language during their education means that they can hit the ground running when they join us, either as a placement or as a hired staff member. And even if they don’t join the Echidna team, the skills and knowledge they acquire will help them stand out as they enter the workforce, since Drupal is used at many leading organizations.

We often talk in this blog about the value of having two amazing educational institutions in London -- Fanshawe College and Western University. They continue to put out well-trained and highly desirable job candidates year after year. But we don’t believe that’s a one-way street. Maybe it’s our open-source mentality talking, but contributing back to the community that supports us is an important part of who we are. And that’s why we’re always happy to support the post-secondary institutions in this city.

Today’s the first day of this edition of the Drupal course and we’re all excited to teach the next generation of Canadian developers. And if you have any questions or would like more information about what we’re doing, I’m happy to share any insights I can with you! Just contact me.

Echidna’s going back to school and we couldn’t be more excited.

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