These days technology changes at an exponential rate, particularly if you’re in the software industry. Keeping up can be a real challenge when you’re already managing a full-time development or testing job. Whether you’re looking to become a rock star with the new tool your company is implementing, be a ninja at an existing tool, or are looking to move up to a more senior position, the big question is “how do I make that happen with an already full plate?” The answer is training!
We’re big advocates of training of all types at Falafel Software and we have more than our fair share of experts willing to share their knowledge and experience. As if you needed more convincing to attend training, beyond flying somewhere warm, or spending a half day at home on your comfy couch getting your mind-blown in a training class, I’m going to share with you some reasons why you should register ASAP from some of our top teachers.
Why should you attend training?
Aside from becoming an expert, you may be wondering why you should consider attending training. There really are an endless number of reasons why, especially for the software industry. “We are in the field of technology, it changes by the day if not even the hour. Training comes in handy to get a jump on new technologies and become comfortable with them,” said Carey Payette, a Senior Software Engineer at Falafel Software. With this in mind, I was curious to know what the rest of the team thought and asked them about it as well. The answer was the same from everyone – training is hugely important, not only to stay on top of the endless new technologies, but also for personal development and satisfaction.
“One of the main benefits of training is that the student will be able to have devoted time to learning where they can keep focus on learning a specific topic,” said Payette. “We live in a busy world and time is hard to come by. Even if you try to learn while on the job, you may end up doing things in a non-ideal way and never really grasp the complete concept,” she continued.
Here are some of the personal benefits of attending training:
- Staying current with updates and best practices
- Cutting time in the learning process
- Seeing examples play out in front of you
- Spending dedicated time focused on the technique, not on the end business goal
- Boosting your resume by working towards or earning certificates
- Learning real-world situations from both the instructors as well as the other students
- Networking with other students as well as with the instructor
- Increasing your productivity at work by applying the learned principles
There’s also the benefit of context based learning as Noel Rice, Master Consultant pointed out. During training, you have the chance to ask questions like “Why are we using technique X? How does technique X compare to technique Y? When is the best time to use technique X? What are the costs and drawbacks of using X? What are the key elements to make X work? How does X fit into a larger application scenario?” said Rice. “The trainer can also give context for standard architectural issues like how hard is it to maintain, extend, secure, deploy and scale X?" he continued.
Why would my company send me to training?
When it comes to training, however, you aren't the only one who needs to be convinced. Your manager and company will also need to sign off on the training you’re attending. The benefits of training aren't limited to just you – there are plenty of ways the company will gain from sending their people to the training as well.
Here are some of the other benefits the company will see:
- Dramatically reduced ramp up time
- Ensuring ROI on your investment in the tool and the people
- Making sure the team knows the correct way of doing things
- Saving time from trial and error so that every project is completed in the shortest amount of time
- Learning the most current information - blog posts or books may be conflicting or outdated, while a live training is based on real-time knowledge and questions
- Increased productivity by the employees
The decision that you want to attend training is of course the easy part. Convincing your boss that they should pay for you to go is a bit more difficult. When asked what the number one reason for why people don’t attend training is, the response across the board was “cost!”
Why aren't more companies sending their developers to training?
“Things are tight for a lot of companies. Training, to many organizations, looks like an unnecessary expense,” said Payette. The reality is that training actually makes employees more valuable to a company. “Some companies also have the mentality that if they train their employees, they will get another job when the truth is that if they treat employees well and give them opportunities for personal and professional growth they will stay,” she continued.
Another reason training doesn't make it into the schedule is time. Payette said, “The workload of many people is much more than in years past, this can make it difficult to justify in their own minds spending time away from the job, as they feel like it would be too much of a burden to try and catch up after an absence.”
Lastly, the training you need may not be readily available. “Many people live in markets where there is no such training available,” said Josh Morales, a Software Consultant at Falafel. ”This is where online training can be a great asset,” he continued.
What should you look for when selecting training?
When it comes to selecting a training to attend, there are a few factors you should take into consideration beyond cost, time, and location (online versus in person) when selecting a class to attend. At Falafel, we recommend you look for:
- Qualified instructors with real-world experience using the tool or technology you’re looking to learn – don’t get stuck with “career trainers”!
- Defined training curriculum with a mix of lecture and hands-on labs or exercises
- Customizable training classes that can be tailored to your company (or personal) training goals
- Updated course materials that are included in the training cost – don’t get “nickel and dimed”!
Clearly we’re a bit biased about trainings and how they should be conducted since training is one of the services we offer. That being said, there area few big reasons why our customers love our training classes, including the ability to choose from various locations or formats (online, onsite at your office, or at one of our office locations), the cost and of course the many topics we excel at. The major reason, as Morales points out, is that “the Falafel team has some of the best developers in the world, with years of real world experience. Everyone hands-on with the tech, always learning and using new technology.”
About Falafel Software
Falafel Software has been a SmartBear training partner for more than a decade. Companies including NASA, Toyota, Princeton University, Mayo Clinic and more have trusted our training worldwide. Our direct, side-by-side teaching style will keep you engaged and eager to apply what you've learned to your projects.