At Contentful we’re always looking for ways to show our developer community some love. Through interviews, surveys, and feedback loops we listen to what you have to say.
One thing we’ve learned is that developers new to our content platform can't wait to roll up their sleeves and start building.
As a result, we’ve launched a new Developer Learning Path for developers who want to play while they learn.
Using a Premium-tier account or a free Contentful space, developers can join us and build their first project using the web app and features like command line interface tools, migration scripts, and client libraries.
It's a fun, hands-on approach to learning that gives developers the basics they need to start building their first Contentful app straightaway.
Hands-on learning gets developers into the Contentful app and coding faster
We designed the new Developer Learning Path to be totally accessible. Our motto was: We often learn best when making by breaking. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things.
Each course consists of short lessons with interactive modules, videos, and knowledge checks. Using a project called Jumpstart Shop, a full-blown fictitious ecommerce website, we take developers behind the scenes. This approach lets us showcase the web app setup and mimic real-life approaches taken by some of our customers.
Developers can follow along and build the ecommerce project with us or use the lessons as a guide for their own project. It's a great way to get into the app and quickly understand first principles.
In the first two courses, developers learn the basics of developing in Contentful and experiment with key features by building a simple ecommerce app.
The courses cover what you need to know to start building with Contentful in your preferred language. And when you’re ready for a deeper dive, you can visit the Contentful Developer Portal to find documentation, watch more videos and tutorials, and connect with our developer community.
Course 1: Intro to Contentful for Developers
In the first course, Intro to Contentful for Developers, we cover the basics of developing with Contentful by starting a project in the Contentful web app. We’ll walk you through signing up for or getting into the web app, getting your access tokens, and creating your first space.
Then we’ll create a simple content model together and peek under the hood to see what content types, fields, and validations look like as JSON.
The new Developer Learning Path gets developers into the app right away.
Once we have our content model, we’ll create content, practice querying and retrieving with the content delivery API, and show you how and when to create CDA tokens.
At the end of the course, you’ll be able to navigate the web app, create a space and a simple content model, and retrieve content from Contentful using APIs. We even provide a downloadable Miro board template you can use with your stakeholders to brainstorm and build your own content model.
Course 2: Managing your project with code
In the second course, we shift gears and start managing our project with code. This is where we play with tools that can really speed up development and let you do some cool things.
Managing your entire content model with code is a powerful practice. It enables developers to safely and efficiently iterate on digital products while enabling concurrent content creation and management by the editorial team.
We’ll show you tools that make this process a breeze and get you started using migration scripts. There’s so much you can do with migration scripts!
Developers learn how to add fields to a content type in the web app...
We’ll also show you how to use client libraries (SDKs) to speed up development and where to look for inspiration when you’re building content models. What’s more, we explore the capabilities of the GraphQL API with a sample content model and application.
How were the courses developed?
Based on our research, we knew these courses needed to cover a broad amount of content and include best practices for anyone to start any project using any tool or language. But we also know that shorter videos have higher engagement — two minutes is the sweet spot, according to Wistia.
We turned to solution architect Bilal Nadeem, senior technical trainer Chigozirim Kawa, and solution strategist Jim Ambras to dig into exactly what developers need when they’re getting started — and what they don’t. Their insights, combined with interviews with developers and feedback on past courses, helped us decide on a project-based approach that would get developers into the tool and building with a series of short, engaging lessons.
We chose an ecommerce site as our demo project because it relates to how a lot of customers use Contentful. We made sure that everything we're covering can be applied to any project. Developers can build the demo site with us or apply what they’re learning to their own project.
Then we leveraged our entire toolkit of e-authoring tools and platforms — Evolve, Camtasia, Canva, and Adobe Creative Suite — to bring our vision into reality and build the courses. We’re excited to launch the first two courses and see what developers think.
Who should enroll in the new Developer Learning Path?
Anyone with a Contentful account can visit the learning center and sign up for the Developer Learning Path, whether they just signed up for a free space or are using a Premium plan account. These courses are perfect for developers who want to get up to speed with Contentful quickly and jump-start their first project.
We want to support developers who learn best by using new tools to build things. This Developer Learning Path is an opportunity to experiment and have a little fun while learning. It’s a sandbox to make — and break — stuff so that you’re more comfortable and confident with your own projects.
Come build something with us!
All the courses are live now with everything you need to get started in Contentful. Once you complete the courses, you can keep building with support from the developer community and extensive developer documentation and resources.
We’ll launch two more courses this summer, diving into more key concepts with the same hands-on approach. Sign up for Contentful and explore the new Developer Learning Path today. We're excited to see what you build!