In Spain this summer, I gave a talk about new features in
debhelper. It seemed to help a lot of people get started. So
if you were not at DebConf, this is your chance to learn about
overrides, addons, and mimimal rules files.
The audio gets much better half-way through, and slides become visible. (We all also wake up a bit midway through -- it had been a late night!) The full slides are here.