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For 2023 - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.

Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!

I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))
Extreme training

Extreme programming methodology is becoming quite popular - we've got a user of the techniques with us on a course at present - and there's quite a bit to be said for many of the techniques involved.

Set a series of short studies / cases up and work through each with testing and frequent re-integration along the way. Modify the design frequently and early in the light of experiences gained while coding. Work in a team (of two) so that more than one person understands and that you have the power of two trains of thought together (yes, this does mean two people huddled over the same screen). Use "spike solutions" from time to time, where you look ways ahead and try out coding ideas to see if your development ideas will work, before coming back to implement the same scheme in a more thorough and robust manner.

We were musing over a coffee yesterday that many aspects of our training techniques are similar to extreme programming - so perhaps we should entitle it Extreme training. Concepts and subjects are covered interactively here - with new sample programs written from scratch on a projected screen, and with inputs and questions from the whole little group (it's a group of 4 on this week's public course where at the time of the discussion we were covering inheritance and more advanced object handling in Perl. Spike examples are generated from time to time, where a class member asks a question and we head off to explore a subject in more depth. And then we refactor towards the end of the session. The net result is a set of clean and clear samples, written with the trainee's help and clear understanding, which they can use further in their own work down the road.

It really works. I'm chuffed to see how our training is encouraging trainees not only in the mechanisms of the languages, but also in the direction of using the language well in an easy to develop and maintain and robust manner. Whether it's the framework for a generic base class in Perl (view here), or for a web based application in Python (view here) ... it really works.
(written 2005-03-16, updated 2006-06-05)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G901 - Well House Consultants - Talks and lectures
  [62] Technical Open House - (2004-09-25)
  [99] Should we call it 'Geekmas'? - (2004-10-25)
  [128] Technical Weekend / Geekmas - (2004-11-23)
  [134] Geekmas - a brief review - (2004-11-29)
  [310] Just in time - the talk is writ - (2005-05-13)
  [924] The LAMP Cookbook - Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP / Perl - (2006-11-13)
  [1101] Mushroom Curry and Perl Courses - (2007-03-07)
  [1242] Speaking at St. Catherine's College, Oxford University - (2007-06-24)
  [1419] National Speaker - now to get the talk ready - (2007-11-02)
  [1422] Wiltshire - speaker / after dinner talker offer - (2007-11-05)
  [1459] Interactive training, and advancing techniques further - (2007-12-05)
  [3221] How long is a speech? - (2011-03-29)
  [3351] Research and development with the help of your tutor or guide - (2011-07-09)
  [3834] Geekmas 2012 - celebrating open source languages such as Perl, PHP and Python - (2012-08-11)
  [4284] Talk and walk to promote train service - Melksham Carnival - (2014-07-11)

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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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