I don’t often teach our training classes in Maven or Nexus, but when I do, I always tend to get interesting classes. I’m halfway through a on site training class today that, so far, has stood out as a unique experience for me as a trainer. Usually you set up your slides, hand out the materials, and start running through the content. It often takes a class and an instructor an hour to find a good cadence for teaching and answering questions. One metric I keep track of is the amount of time spent delivering content from slides vs. the amount of time spent answering questions. I strive for 75/25 – 3/4 of the class is focusing on content, 1/4 of the class is focused on answer student questions.
The first thing I do in my classes is implore (literally plead) with the students to interrupt me. “Ask questions. If you don’t this class won’t be valuable to you.” I do this because all too often I have a class of students that seems reticent to ask question or interrupt. Who knows why, maybe they don’t want to ask a dumb question (those don’t exist), maybe they are taking the class with a manager and they don’t want to look bad? Whatever the case, silence is the worst thing an instructor can get in response to the question: “Are there any questions?….. no?….. anyone? Ok. Anyone want to make a statement?…. no? alright, let’s move on…”
Matthew McCullough, a member of the Sonatype training team and lead presenter with Ambient Ideas, was recently at JAX 2010 in Mainz.
Matthew is an international Java conference speaker, and is an active Maven community member, and an active contributor to many open source, and several Maven-specific projects, such as the Maven 2 CLI Plugin.
We have added new videos and tutorials to Sonatype’s YouTube channel. Matthew McCullough’s training videos on the Enforcer Plugin part 2 walks you through the various motivations for having consistent Maven development environments, and shows you how to employ best practices. More videos will be added regularly, so check our blog often!
Sonatype uses the Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud, better known as EC2, for all our training lab machines. Most of our students use a training workstation for 3-4 hours per class, and since we often have bursts of custom training activity it just wouldn’t make sense for us to own real, physical hardware to support training. If we were maintaining our own hardware, we would have to either maintain enough capacity to teach several classes simultaneously, or we would have to limit the number of classes we deliver. For Sonatype’s training effort, instantiating machines as they are needed is the right thing to do and is exactly what the cloud is designed for.
Sonatype has leveraged AWS’s great set of command line APIs and written scripts on top of them. We just invoke “instantiate-lab-machines-small.sh 10″ and poof, we have a set of pristine machines for the students, all running VNC as a service (for remote desktop access) and pre-setup with the latest version of Maven, Eclipse, and the m2eclipse plugin. No teardown. No hardware maintenance. No hassle. We even have a subsequent script that lists out the machines hostnames for each copy-and-paste into the email that goes out to the students.
While our overhead for training infrastructure is smaller than it has ever been, our use of AWS is about much more than just the reduction in cost associated with cloud-based hardware, we’re much more agile because it takes us 10 minutes to create infrastructure. I don’t even want to imagine owning these lab machines. As our training offerings expand, we’ll be using more and more of these lab machines. I can foresee a day when we’ll literally have a set of AWS machines up around the clock to serve our training offerings. Until then, it’s pay by the hour — the raison d’etre for cloud based offerings.
Chariot Solutions, a leading technology consulting firm specializing in software development with Java and open source, is now a Sonatype Certified Training Partner. Sonatype chose Chariot Solutions as a partner because of their deep understanding of Java training.
We are excited to have Chariot Solutions as a Certified Training partner…Organizations can rely on Chariot Solutions to provide a quality learning experience that will help them gain the most business value from their investment in Sonatype.
To learn more about Chariot Solutions, visit their website at www.chariotsolutions.com. For more on Sonatype’s partnership with Chariot Solutions, click here.