Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Training (?)


In the world of Internal Technology, one thing you can count on is change. And with endless change comes endless training.
Over the years I've been to all manner of training classes, seminars, road shows, demonstrations, workshops... you get the idea.
But I have never been to anything as mediocre as the SMS 2003 / MOM workshop I just got back from. Don't get me wrong. For someone who has never seen SMS or MOM and has no means to see it until they purchase it, I imagine the seminar would be worthwhile.
(Right now, as an aside, let me say that no comedian makes me laugh harder than Ron White. I'm just sayin.)
But for someone like me, who has access to the software, the class was little more than an exercize in frustration.
To begin with, the material. It was like a paint by numbers, where you only got to see the current number you were painting and never the big picture. It was literally : Do this. Click this. Go here. Look at this. No examination of what you were doing, why you were doing it, or what was going on behind the scenes while you were doing it. Granted, it is a quick three day overview. But a little more depth at the expense of some of the leaving early that went on would have been great. I mean, some people flew in for this stuff. Where were they going at 3:00pm?
Second, the Virtual Environment. Every lab starts off with a five minute wait while the virtual environment fires up. And sometimes after that wait you get to wait another ten minutes while you watch your application load. One memorable exercize took literally 30 minutes to load MOM. I don't need to practice that. Get it pre-loaded. Sheesh.
Lastly there was the instrctor. And when I say instructor, I really mean PowerPoint slide reader, because he did little more than that. "I'm just going to lecture out these slides and let you do the labs" was his favorite phrase. Then he'd move on to tell us about all the classes he taught, his farmland, his car, his motorcycle. Any question too far outside the parameters of the book brought on a "Well, I played with that at home but didn't really get anywhere".
The only good thing about the training was interacting with the other guys in the class, comparing notes. And, it was free. But even at free, I felt like they owed me some money when it was over.