This self-inflicted project to get to use BackdropCMS is giving me a lot to learn but I feel I am gradually making progress. I guess what I should be doing is carefully documenting each new step if only as an aide-memoire for when I have a 'senior moment' and forget something I have already learnt.
So what have I learnt so far? Here is a list with some assessment of progress:
1. Using GitHub and GitHub for Windows - still a lot to learn before it becomes second nature but I have been greatly helped by the book 'Introducing GitHub' by Peter Bell and Brent Beer which somewhat surprisingly describes itself as 'a non-technical guide'. It seems pretty technical to me and is a very helpful step-by-step guide explaining the meaning of all that new terminology (e.g. branch, fork, pull, commit) with a screen-by-screen guide of how to use it.
2. Compiling and installing a newer version of PHP on my Linux VPS - I can now do this and repeat the process provided I follow my notes.
3. Porting a Drupal module to Backdrop - thanks to careful and repeated viewing of Nate Haug's excellent video (Porting a Module to Backdrop - Basics : http://youtu.be/by8mMhIpARA), I can now do this successfully until I hit a problem where Backdrop core has diverged from Drupal 7. I then find I have a lot more to learn.
4. Learning to use PHPStorm as my development environment on my PC - I have just made a start and it is very much a matter of putting hours in now to learn this new tool which will undoubtedly save me many more hours in the future.
5. Joining the BackdropCMS team of contributors - I feel very proud to have been accepted as a member of the Backdrop CMS contributed projects organization
Finally, I am delighted to say I have been typing this into my Backdrop site using the renowned WYSIWYG editor 'CKeditor'. My port of this module is very much work-in-progress and I suspect here is a lot still for me to learn about the inner workings of both Drupal and Backdrop core.