One of the key challenges that the industry is facing is the unavailability of skilled human resources. 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.
It is therefore, that after completing graduate or post-graduate school, employees often find themselves in another kind of school. This school is incorporated into the workplace, and provides a unique learning experience – one that allows you to practice things as you learn. This school provides what most organizations call “developer training”, and I am a strong supporter of this arrangement.
Developers v/s Test Engineers
There is this never ending war between developers & test engineers. Hence, let me first clarify what I mean by developer. The way I look at it, a test engineer develops test cases and scenarios and in case of automated test methodologies, they write actual code to realize these test cases. So, they are also developers in my opinion – it’s just that their work product is different.
The Benefits of Developer Trainings
Developer training has a lot of benefits – some tangible, others intangible.
- Training benefits both – employee & employer
- Employees who effectively use the trainings provided to them make the workplace more efficient & productive – resulting in a happier employees and efficient teams
- Well-trained employees rise to the occasion in times of need and deal with problems independently. Employees in good morale are good for the organization
- Training employees is not as costly as hiring new employees
This raises many questions that need to be dealt with. These include, but are not limited to:
- Trainings are expensive, so who pays for them?
- What are your duties and liabilities towards your organization for providing you the opportunity to learn?
- As an organization, you cannot train all your employees at the same time – so, how do you choose who gets the training in this round, and who doesn’t?
- Once your training has been approved, what do you need to do in order to gain the maximum benefit out of it?
Pinal Dave’s Series on Developer Trainings
Pinal Dave, a.k.a. “SQLAuthority” (B|T) tackles multiple aspects of Developer Training and answers the questions mentioned above about in the series he ran last week. Here are direct links to his posts:
- Developer Training – Important & Significance – http://blog.sqlauthority.com/2012/05/28/developer-training-importance-and-significance-part-1/
- Developer Training – Employee morals & ethics – http://blog.sqlauthority.com/2012/05/29/developer-training-employee-morals-and-ethics-part-2/
- Developer Training – Difficult Questions & Alternate Perspective – http://blog.sqlauthority.com/2012/05/30/developer-training-difficult-questions-and-alternative-perspective-part-3/
- Developer Training – Options for Maximum Benefit – http://blog.sqlauthority.com/2012/05/31/developer-training-various-options-for-maximum-benefit-part-4/
- Developer Training – A conclusive summary – http://blog.sqlauthority.com/2012/06/01/developer-training-a-conclusive-summary-part-5/
I would recommend that you give these posts a very detailed reading, and make maximum use of the vast amounts of Developer trainings available to you. What’s more – Pinal has made some very interesting cartoons to explain the fundamentals of developer training. Enjoy them to the fullest.
Confused by looking at the various options? Here are some quick & easy tips:
It can be overwhelming to look at the various training options available to you, as a developer. So, I thought it best to share some of the methods I use to get my dose of training:
- Take out a couple of minutes from your daily schedule – simply taking out 10 minutes from the lunch break and 5 minutes from the coffee breaks results in 15 minutes of training time!
- Join the local user groups! This is perhaps the easiest way to expose yourself to the latest technologies for free
- Work with your employer to fund you for paid training opportunities
- Refer the posts mentioned below from Pinal Dave to learn how to work with your manager for the necessary funding and arrangements
- Make it a point to visit at least one national or international developer conference/community meet. For developers and IT professionals who work with Microsoft products, the 3-day TechEd is an ideal event to attend
- Subscribe to on-line training. Companies like Pluralsight (http://www.pluralsight-training.net/microsoft/) provide on-line training at reasonable costs. You can take these trainings from home, when commuting to/from work – all you need is a laptop, an internet connection and a credit card!
- There is a lot to learn from the forums – make sure to regularly follow at least one forum and attempt to answer the questions being asked by those in need. You will learn a lot, and the participants will thank-you for resolving their queries – it’s for the mutual benefit of all
- Finally – do not forget to share whatever you have learnt! As Pinal says, always remember that : The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you
These are just some of the tips that use. What methods do you use for getting your dose of developer training? Do leave a note as you go.
Until we meet next time,