It is always pleasure for any author when other renowned authors in the industry write about you. Earlier I wrote a five part blog series on Developer Training and I have received a phenomenal response to the series. I have received plenty of comments, questions and feedback. I thought it would be nice to sum up the whole series as well answer a few of the questions received.
In this part we discussed the importance of training in the real world. The most important and valuable resource any company is its employee. Employees who have been well-trained will be better at their jobs and produce a better product. An employee who is well trained obviously knows more about their job and all the technical aspects. I have a very high opinion about training employees and it is the most important task.
In this part we discussed the most crucial components of training. Often employees are expecting the company to pay for their training and the company expresses no interest in training the employee. Quite often training expenses are the real issue for both the employee and employer. There are companies that pay for 100% of the expenses and there are employees who opt for training on their own expense during their personal time. Training is often looked at as vacation by employee and employers and we need to change this mind-set. One of the ways is to report back the learning to your manager and implement newly learned knowledge in day-to-day work.
This part was the most difficult to write as I tried to address a few difficult questions and answers. Training is such a sensitive issue that many developers when not receiving chance for training think about leaving the organization. The manager often feels pressure to accommodate every single employee for training even though his training budget is limited. It is indeed the responsibility of the developer to get maximum advantage from the training. Training immediately helps organizations but stays as a part of an employee’s knowledge forever.
In this part I tried to explore a few methods and options for training. The generic feedback I received on this blog post was short and I should have explored each of the subject of the training in details. I believe there are two big buckets of training 1) Instructor Lead Training and 2) Self Lead Training. The common element between both the methods is “learning material”. Learning material can be of any format – videos, books, paper notes or just a plain black board. Instructor-led training is a very effective mode but not possible every single time. During the course of the developer’s career, one has to learn lots of new technology and it is almost impossible to have a quality trainer available on that subject at that time. Books are most effective and proven methods, however, it always helps if someone explains the concepts of the book with a demonstration. In recent times I have started to believe in online trainings which leads to a hybrid experience. Online trainings take the best part of the books and the best part of the instructor-led training and gives effective training in a matter of hours.
In this part, I shared what I was continuously thinking about developer training. There is no better teacher than oneself. There is no better motivation than a personal desire to learn new technology. Honestly there is nothing more personal learning. That “change is the only constant” and “adapt & overcome” are the essential lessons of life. One cannot stop the learning and resist the change. In the IT industry “ego of knowing all” and the “resistance to change” are the most challenging issues. Once someone overcomes them, life is much easier. I believe that proper and appropriate high quality training can help to address the burning issues.
Opinion of Friends
I invited a few of my friends to express their opinion about developer training and here are their opinions. I am listing them here in the order of the blog post publishing date.
Nakul Vachhrajani - Developer Trainings-Importance, Benefits, Tips and follow-up
Nakul’s sums of many of the concepts which are complementary to my blog posts. Nakul addresses the burning question of developer training with different angles. I am personally very impressed by his following statement - “Being skilled does not mean having just a stack of certifications, but it also means having an understanding about the internals of the products that you are working on – and using that knowledge to improve the efficiency & productivity at the workplace in turn resulting in better products, better consulting abilities and a happier self.” Nakul also suggests the online training options of Pluralsight.
Vinod Kumar - Training–a necessity or bonus
Vinod Kumar comes up with excellent follow up on developer training. Vinod is known for his inspirational writing about SQL Server. Vinod starts with a story of a student who is extremely eager to learn the wisdom of life from a monk but the monk does not accept him as a disciple for a long time. The conversation between student and monk is indeed an essence of all learning. We all want to learn quickly and be successful but the most important thing in life is to have the right attitude towards learning and more so towards life. The blog post end with a very important thought about how to avoid the famous excuse – “I don’t have enough time.”
Ritesh Shah - Training – useful or useless?
Ritesh brings up very important concept related to training. Ritesh in his meticulous style explains why training is an important and lifelong process. Training must not stop at any age but should continue forever. The moment training stops, progress stops along with.
Paras Doshi - Professional Development Resource
Paras is known for his to–the-point writing, and has summarized the five part series very precisely. He read the five part series and created a digest summary of the blog post. If you are in a rush and have no time to read my five series – I suggest you read his blog post.
I am often asked what the best resources for learning new technology are. This is the most difficult question EVER. There are plenty of good training resources available. When it is about training our needs are different, our preference of learning is different and we all have an opinion. Additionally, we all are located in different geographic locations worldwide and there is no way one solution will fit all. However, let me list a few of the training resources which I have built so far and you can consume them if you find it relevant to your need.
SQL Server Books
SQL Server Video Tutorials
- SQL Server Questions and Answers
- SQL Server Performance: Indexing Basics
- SQL Server Performance: Introduction to Query Tuning
SQL in Sixty Seconds
Trust me worldwide web is very big and there are plenty of high quality learning materials available worldwide – trainer-led as well online. I suggest you explore various options and make the best choice for yourself. Remember, training is your personal journey and it should never stop.
Are you ready?
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)