Pen and laser pointer

Hello, and welcome to our technical training blog, “Technically correct: the best kind of correct”. If that doesn't sound a familiar phrase, then we recommend watching Matt Groening's Futurama.

This blog's posts are focused on technical training for software developers, including training techniques, presentation skills, material development tips, hiring suggestions, and management strategies.

My Remote Teaching Station

May 7, 2020   Martin Jones
I built a remote teaching station.

For most of my training career, I have delivered courses to audiences in the same room. I have always favoured local delivery because the experience is far better for all. Coronavirus has made that view irrelevant for now; delivery has to be remote.

I made myself feel better by building a remote teaching station.

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One Brain, Three Tasks

April 10, 2020   Martin Jones
An instructor's brain does three things while teaching.

When you first start training, your brain probably does just one thing — deliver the training. If you only occasionally deliver training, that’s sufficient. But, if you train often enough, you can expect your brain to potentially perform a total of three tasks.

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Result Codes Make Me Want to Throw

April 9, 2020   Martin Jones
Picking a side in the exception war.

I’m happy (possibly too happy) with a phrase I came up with a year or so ago about C++ exceptions: “result codes make me want to throw”.

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The Inconvenient Truth of E-Learning

April 2, 2020   Martin Jones
Technical e-learning requires more time than instructor-led.

Before delving into details, I should be open in that I am an instructor, and therefore I like running instructor-led training sessions. They’re my main source of income so it would be fair to assume that I might be slightly biased against e-learning. You know what, I probably am, but I do develop e-learning resources with my clients, and I do believe that it can be an effective tool, as long as it is being used for the right reasons.

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A PhD is a Yellow Flag

March 30, 2020   Martin Jones
A PhD is a potential warning sign in a trainer.

Someone with a PhD has an academic background and great technical depth — they should be a shoo-in for an instructor role, right? Alas, no. In fact, when interviewing, I treat a PhD as a yellow flag.

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The Politician's Answer

March 30, 2020   Martin Jones
Don't avoid a question by answering a different question.

Have you ever been in a training session and asked a question, or seen a question asked, only to have the instructor answer a different question?

Maybe it was an accident, but there is a chance that it was deliberate. The trainer gave a politician’s answer.

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Good Instructor Traits

March 25, 2020   Martin Jones
To hire or not to hire: traits of a good instructor.

Good instructors can be very hard to find. So, when a potential instructor is being interviewed, or is in a trial period, how do you know that they’re likely to succeed?

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Instructor Flexibility Tiers

March 23, 2020   Martin Jones
Instructor flexibility can be categorized into one of three tiers — which one are you?

Managing a large team of instructors, as you might find in a graduate training programme, requires planning to make sure that the right instructor is with the right group, for the right topic, and in the right region. This is challenging enough in stable environments, but training programmes can be highly dynamic, and plans may need to be altered on the ground. Understanding a trainer’s flexibility is therefore critical.

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A Blog at Last

March 21, 2020   Martin Jones
I've started the blog, at last!

It’s been a long time, but I have finally started a blog. It could easily have been a general blog about development, but there are plenty of those already, so I wanted to focus on an area that isn’t as well addressed — technical training. Yes, some do exist, but at the time of writing, I hadn’t seen any that showed the depth of knowledge I was hoping to see. I’m sure they’re out there, so if you know of one, please leave a comment.

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