I am finally retired and have a bit more time on my hands. I'm pretty good with CSS and building a site from Drupal 8 using it "out of the box". But I'm hopeless when it comes to additional PHP coding, and adding patches etc.

Lots of the advice I see on Drupal Answers goes over my head - can anyone point me in the direction of lessons in simple coding for Drupal?

  • 2
    I'd actually really love to help you out if we could ever meet in person. But unfortunately, for a fact-based Q&A this question is way too broad and will probably lead to only opinion-based answers, which are already covered in a whole library of books and tutorials "out there". Just find one that suits you. Or maybe start with a very basic custom module. "How to create a custom block programmatically" or "How to create a custom form programmatically" something like that would be a good starting point I think.
    – leymannx
    Aug 24, 2018 at 22:29

2 Answers 2


Welcome to the community! It's nice to see interest from people who come from other angles :)

Although this type of question isn't suitable for this platform, I'll try to answer anyway. If you want more help I recommend you try chatting on IRC with other Drupal developers and see what they recommend.

Unfortunately no one has managed to write a programming book for non-programmers, at least I'm not aware of any. If that were possible then no one would write programming books for programmers ;)

You'll probably need some PHP intro course if you want to start with Drupal, then pick up any Drupal development book that is beginner friendly.

You could probably also get by by using code snippets available online in tutorials and on drupal.org. There's plently already available if you're trying to solve common problems.

But the Drupal projects don't include only the engine part, there's the database side of things. You can try to learn basic SQL. There are excellent books you can find, and plenty of freely available intros online too.

You mentioned patches, that is a workflow side of things, versioning code, you need to learn Git for that. Also a lot of free online help in that department.

It's a long way to go if you're a newbie but want to get to a point where you can solve most Drupal problems yourself. If you're not doing it for your own pleasure, if you want to build projects for others, maybe honing your existing skills would be better, in partnership with someone else who complements you. There are plenty of Drupal programmers who can't CSS and don't have the breadth and depth of knowledge about existing Drupal modules, how to configure Views for common cases etc.


I'm not sure how long your question will be open, usually broad question are closed quickly.

But I can recommend to take a look at drupalize.me or buildamodule.com. Many aspects of Drupal are explained clearly, even when you're just starting with Drupal.

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