Richard Pilbery is not a professional software developer. By day he is a professional paramedic and lecturer. However, he also is like many Moodlers out there likes to dabble with technology, specifically Moodle and the PHP code it is written in.
Richard presented how easy it can be to be a part-time (or hobbyist) developer and customize Moodle to suit your fancy at the iMoot 2015 in April. His presentation covers three topics:
- How to take an existing plugin and convert it to create an entirely new one,
- Looking under the hood of Moodle at the platform’s modular design, and
- Grasping what Moodle’s File API is all about.
Richard uses the example of an EPUB plugin he’s created to show how simple it can be to create your own. I appreciated is four-step process for making this a reality for yourself:
- Make sure you identify a need or “want” in Moodle that isn’t served by a current plugin or core functionality
- Find a plugin that “almost” does what you want, or at least has some of the functionality you want to achieve
- Convert the plugin to make it do what you’re trying to accomplish (this is the magic part)
- Test and tweak till you have it right and are willing to put it out in the world.
I’m not going to lie: if you’re not into software development, most of this presentation will likely go over your head (or just bore you to death). But what I like most about it is how it shows the power of the open source solution that Moodle is – anyone can sit down and contribute as much or as little as they like.
Watch the entire iMoot presentation below: