Getting Ready for the DCO

Prior to starting the Drupal Career Online course, there are some skills that can be defined as prerequisites and some as nice-to-haves.

This document outlines both categories of skills and provides some online learning resources for each skill. While this list is a nowhere near comprehensive list of online learning resources for the skills listed below, the learning resources we link to are some of our favorites.


  • Basic command line skills - has an excellent set of screencasts demonstrating basic command line usage. For the DCO, the first 3 videos are especially useful. On Mac OS X, we recommend using the built-in Terminal application, on Windows, we recommend installing and using Cmder.
  • Local development environment - as professional Drupal developers, it is important to be able to build Drupal sites in a personal environment. Often, these environments live directly on the developer's computer. As Drupal is a web application, it needs (at a minimum) both a web server and a database server to run. Depending on your situation, setting up a local web server and a local database server can be challenging. We recommend one of the widely-used Docker-based solutions used by many Drupal professionals: DDEV or Lando. In class, the instructors will be using DDEV, and we feel that DDEV is slightly easier to use for beginners. Installation instructions can be found at: Windows users are strongly encouraged to install via WSL2. Mac OS X users are strongly encouraged to install via Homebrew.
  • Basic HTML and CSS skills - Codecademy has an excellent interactive tutorial for learning basic HTML and CSS skills. In addition, we recommend the (non-interactive) Learn to Code HTML & CSS site for their excellent tutorials.


  • account - as is the home of all things Drupal, being familiar with the site and having a user account on the site is very helpful. Create an account here and familiarize yourself with the site.
  • PHP - Two out of the 11 lessons of the DCO involve PHP code. While it is not a strict prerequisite for the DCO, it will only help students succeed as well-rounded Drupal developers. LearnPHP is our favorite free, interactive tutorial and PHP The Right Way is a stellar set of tutorials for intermediate and advanced concepts.
  • Git - this is the industry-standard version control system used by Drupal professionals. git - the simple guide is a great place to start and Understanding Git Conceptually is an outstanding read once you understand the basics.
  • Javascript - the DCO doesn't include very much Javascript as part of its official curriculum, but some basic knowledge will only help students. Codecademy has a free, interactive tutorial, and we also strongly recommend this set of tutorials from Wes Bos.