Learn the essential features and structures of PHP, and how they are expressed in Drupal in this one day course. This is a great primer for the Module Development course.

Why is Drupal written in PHP?

Depending on your background, you might be surprised (or scared) at the things you can do with PHP. The language is noted for being very flexible and easy to learn. The ease of learning is due in part to the good examples available in the project documentation.

Though Dries Buytaert, the founder of the Drupal project, is a Java programmer he chose to write Drupal in PHP. He saw that scripting languages like PHP lend themselves to be accessible to people with a range of skills and backgrounds. If Drupal were written in Java, it is arguable that it would not have grown at the rate it has.


1 day


You may be wondering is this course right for me? Do you already know the essentials of site configuration and site building in Drupal? That’s really important. You can review our course descriptions for the Site Building courses to make sure you know the prerequisites.

This course is ideal for people who already other programming languages, but are new to PHP. This course is also suitable for those who know PHP but want to understand how to “read code” used in Drupal.

You may not be able to see the difference between what is a standard PHP function and what is a Drupal function. You may be able to hand code in another language from scratch, yet find yourself searching for examples to copy and paste to modify something in PHP. That is simply because you may not be using PHP everyday, and haven’t built up practice.

This course is NOT an introduction to programming.

If you’ve never programmed in any language before, then this isn’t the right course for you. If you want to get your feet wet with code, we recommend you start in the front end. Our Drupal 7 Layout and Theming course introduces essential PHP concepts you can learn right within the template layer.

By the end of the training you will be able to: 

Read PHP in a Drupal context; and employ the essential features of PHP to comprehend and extend Drupal. Including:

  • Variables in PHP
  • Conditional statements
  • Arrays
  • Loops
  • Objects
  • Functions
  • Globals
  • Drupal coding standards
  • HTML functions
  • Database queries

What is provided: 

Some events provide lunch and refreshments. Check the individual event listings for details.

Depending on venue, participants will either be provided with a sandbox environment in a computer lab, or they will use their own computers.