Thoughts on training

Yesterday was my first day of corporate training. It was surprisingly draining. On my feet almost the entire day, facing the same crowd, waiting for their questions... After the training, I was so zoned out! Fortunately, it was just a short walk to Powerbooks in Greenbelt. To top it all off, I discovered a chocolate bar quite near there!

The trainees are remarkably independent, preferring to work on the exercises on their own or in small, informal groups instead of listening to me explain the solution. My role is more of a facilitator. I point them to the documentation. I also walk back and forth looking for people who are stuck at a problem or are faced with a trivial bug they can't find and fix, and I give them small hints.

For this group, it seems very important to gain mastery of the basics first - so we'll stick with the promised coverage and we'll have plenty of exercises. That works out for them because they'll have time to gain confidence. That works out for the training company as well because they'll have an opportunity to do Advanced Perl Scripting.

It was a very good thing that I'm used to this style of teaching - embedding lessons in exercises that build on each other and involve several concepts. If I expected to lecture, I'd have been dead on the first day! With that in mind, I had a lot of fun preparing more exercises for them. I worked until one in the morning. A phonebook at my side, I came up with all sorts of phone-related exercises. I hope they take it well; they might just be sick and tired of anything that looks like work after all!

I met Dominique yesterday and we swapped notes on training. From what little I know of it, I rather like corporate training. It gives me a chance to spread the good news of UNIX. ;) That said, I like school teaching, too. Maybe I can do part-time teaching and part-time training in the future.