This time next month I aim to report on a project to assess IT training resources. I want to comment on whether the current standard of courses on offer is able to deliver the right kind of tuition for the needs of the modern developer. Of course I can't possibly hope to cover all courses at all levels in all disciplines, so I (actually, it's we) have chosen Java. I hope it's safe to say that this should be a fairly popular choice.
I say "we" because my better half, who has been a software engineer for more than a decade, will be sent in deep undercover (that's a joke OK?) to attend a course and dig as deeply as possible into this subject matter. I'm merely a would-be hack with the audacity to suggest that I might be able to help fashion a story around this topic.
So what factors should we consider? This is where I am looking for pre-report feedback please guys.
#1 Although Teresa has over a decade of programming experience, her Java years amount to only around half of this time. So will the course (Java Programming Language) which she has specifically selected, be pitched at the correct level?
#2 Will the course provide the necessary level of tuition to gain the Sun Certified Programmer for Java examination professional certification (this should be a ‘no brainer’ of course).
#3 When we attended Sun's JavaOne event last year one particular session was billed as an all-singing, all-dancing hour of everything you ever wanted to know about Java but were too afraid to ask. It wasn't of course - and the presenter even told the audience that he had deliberately put every buzzword in the title he could think of to draw the crowds in. Will the UK's training programme be pitched and delivered at a more realistic level and pace?
In search of some professional comment on what you should look for in a training programme I thought I'd extend the nepotism theme; if I am going to use my wife as a mole then why not use my brother-in-law Neil Tune (as he's an HR director) as a spokesperson?
According to Neil, “Getting value from an IT training course is no different from getting value from any training programme. First of all you need to be clear why you need to attend a training programme; to learn a new skill to for your role, to refresh & update yourself on changes, or to prepare for a new project or role in the future etc. Secondly, you can then try & identify courses that meet your need, make sure the course has clearly stated objectives & sufficient detail on the topics it will cover; also make sure that it is a provider that you can trust and whether your organisation has used them before. Thirdly, during the course you should not be afraid to ask questions & ensure the topics you want covered are covered - after all you are the customer. Finally you should make a note of your key learnings and plan how you will transfer to your role."
Thanks Neil – “key learnings” as a plural huh? Spoken like a true HR specialist!
Anyway Sun, for their part, say that upon completion of this course, students should be able to: create Java technology applications that leverage the object-oriented features of the Java language, such as encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism, create multithreaded programs and among a list of other skills, be able to create an event-driven graphical user interface (GUI) using Swing components: panels, buttons, labels, text fields and text areas.
Camberley in Surrey will be the location for this training programme and I’m already looking forward to being involved with it.