Paak's DrupalEasy Fellowship Experience: An opportunity to learn, work within, and contribute to Drupal
In this first part of a four-part series, Paak talks about his background, the projects he’s worked on, and the vision for his professional future
There is no one way to change a career path. Palantir.net’s four most recent fellows - Paak, Tessa, Travis, and Yang - all joined us through the DrupalEasy program. With their different professional backgrounds and experiences, each offers a unique perspective into what interested them in Drupal and their journey to becoming integral members of Palantir.net.
In each of their written entries they share, among other insights, how they have each adjusted to a fully-remote workplace, how their own skills supported their success as a Fellow, and the importance of Palantir.net’s culture which encourages asking questions, remaining curious, and reaching out for help.
This is Paak's story.
Where I Started
Growing up, I was the person in the family that always had to fix things in the home. In a household that always had at least seven people, there was definitely always something that needed to be fixed. The enjoyment of learning and fixing things led to my first job where I worked at a computer cafe, learning both how to properly build computers and the intricacies of network security.
This experience made me realize how much I enjoyed fixing and creating things, so my next decision was to attend automotive school to become an auto mechanic. Although I loved being a mechanic, I always had an itch to learn more about the tech world; the fact that it is ever changing provided me with the opportunity to both fix and create, and the fast paced environment intrigued me.
So, looking for the best of both worlds - automotive and tech - I pursued a job working for a start-up company that helped people buy and sell cars. It was here where I honed my skills in website building, while learning the ins and outs about web development. Throughout my time there, I found I had a much greater interest in planning, designing, and building the website than I did in any other aspect of my position. This is where my true interest in website development was born - and fortunately for me, I was soon introduced to the Drupal community and the DrupalEasy program.
I decided now was the time, and I applied for the DrupalEasy scholarship. After meeting Mike Anello, the lead instructor and curriculum developer, I felt assured that I would be able to learn and master the main fundamentals of Drupal. He was absolutely right.
I am fortunate enough to have spent the last year with Palantir.net, and may not be here today without the pathway provided through the Fellowship option I was awarded. It provided me with the opportunity to attend the DrupalEasy course, and that changed my professional trajectory and opened doors I never thought possible.
How has my experience been so far? Well, Palantir.net has supported, encouraged, and nurtured my continuous growth and professional development, which inspires me to keep learning more about Drupal and web development. It keeps me excited to learn more every day.
Where I Am Now
If somebody asked me five years ago what I thought I’d be doing now, I probably would have said I’d be working in the automotive industry and, possibly, learning about technology. I’ve always been interested in advancements and progress that could have a positive impact in the future. Ultimately, my aim was to learn as much as possible so I could teach younger generations about what I’ve learned so they can advance themselves and contribute in their own creative and fundamental way.
Having the opportunity to learn, work within, and contribute to Drupal has reinforced my belief that it will continue to play a huge part in web development and will enhance the lives of others.
Palantir.net has given me the opportunity to learn different aspects of Drupal, including front-end and back-end development, Behat testing, and more. My goal is - and has always been - to learn as much as I can; beginning as an engineer and working my way up to become a senior developer.
While I’m unsure if I’ll be a front-end or back-end developer, I do know that I will reach a professional point where I am able to show others what I do and how my skills have helped me achieve my goals. My best hope is that it will encourage, inspire, and invigorate folks to contribute to and help build the Drupal community.