We've got two more training classes coming up in January. These classes have been filling up, so make sure that you register early if you are interested. In the following post, I'm going to summarize some of the things we've learned from training this month.
Question Trends: Maven 3 and OSGi
Many questions and much interest around Maven 3. When is it going to be available? When can people start using the polyglot extensions? More and more people are starting out with teh assumption that OSGi is a target platform. I received more and more questions about the various tools that are available for OSGi development. This gave me the chance to feature some of the content from the (still developing) Maven Handbook. If anything I've learned that we're going to need to be a bit more proactive in our Maven 3 coverage.
Participate: Ask Questions
A word to the wise, if you are going to take one of Sonatype's training classes, I'd encourage you to come armed with some interesting questions. We've built enough time into our class to answer questions. We've found that students who engage our instructors usually come away with a better experience, and the online format makes it important that students actively participate. While there is a fair amount of slide-driven instruction, our instructors *want* you to interrupt them to ask questions.
A good teacher realizes that teaching is more a process of listening to students and reacting to the way a student learns a particular subject. In a classroom setting, it is easy to see how a student is sitting - if they look confused or eager to ask a question. In an online training format, it is more difficult to react to students without being in the same room. While WebEx has a few controls that help students signal and chat with instructors, the technology can often get in the way of engagement. My policy for training classes is to encourage engagement, I tell every student that takes one of our classes to interrupt.
I had the opportunity to teach one of our December training classes, the experience was interesting. For starters, our class spanned the globe for the first time. I always try to gauge how global our classes are by calculating the absolute difference in time zones. For the first time, we had students on one end of the globe being instructed by an instructor on the other. We had students in the Middle East being instructed by an instructor in New Zealand for one of our classes. Our training platform, Cisco's WebEx platform, makes distance a non-issue.