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You work for a company, government agency, or some other organization. You have tasks, like:

  • Process warranty claims
  • Let customers know about a new product
  • Hire new engineers

Information systems (IS) can help.

Sometimes, work sucks

Quilting Suppose you work for a city government. You’re asked to organize the city’s first quilting expo. You have to find quilters to show their work, quilting supply companies to sponsor the expo and set up booths selling their wares, allocate exhibitors to tables in the venue, find contest judges, advertise the event… Argh! So much to do!

Most of the work in organizing an event is lists and advertising.

  • Keeping lists up to date. Lists of exhibitors, contest judges, contestants, demonstrations…
  • Telling the community about the event. What it’s about, where it will be, when, where to park…

You use spreadsheets to track exhibitors, publishing programs to design flyers, etc. Still, you’ll be doing a lot of list and advertising paperwork. Twenty emails a day, changing this, that, and the other thing. A judge wants a chair cushion, a contestant will be late, a sponsor wants to change some wording… Ten phone calls a day, asking for changes. For each one, you open a spreadsheet, find a list, change something, and save. By 5 p.m., you’ll be telling people where to shove their quilts.

Oh, and that’s the expo part of the job. There’s your regular city government job, as well. Argh!

Suppose there was an IS to help you organize expos. Not just the quilting expo for this year, but for next year, the year after that, and the year after that.

With less manual work, the cost of running an expo would fall. When costs go down, there are new opportunities. Things that were money losers become profitable. You could run events for hiking and birding, home brew beer and wine, you name it, using the same expo IS.

Reducing the suck

In this course, you’ll learn how to build simple systems for tasks like organizing expos. In fact, that’s one of the IS you’ll build. You’ll let the computer handle the routine details, saving your time for more important things, like sleep.

You’ll use the Web app Drupal. Actually, it’s not so much a Web app itself, but a tool for building Web apps. Drupal was originally designed for making basic Web sites. You’ll use it for that. However, in the last ten years, Drupal has evolved into a tool for building complete IS.

This is not a Drupal course. This course is about IS. To make IS, you need a tool. Drupal is it.

There is more to Drupal than we’ll cover. If you want to go further, there are books and courses galore. Drupal is one of the Big Three open source content management systems. It’s used in the private sector, education, government, you name it. Check this list.

BTW, if you’re a programmer, Drupal is sweeeeeet! It’s objecty, MVC, responsive, RESTy, all the good stuff. There’s strong demand for Drupal developers.

Summary

Automation makes information work cheaper to do. People time is more expensive than computer time. So, have computers do what they can do, and save people time for things that computers can’t do.