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Tailoring of courses to meet customers needs - how it works

We can - and do - tailor private courses (i.e. courses that we run for a single organization) in fact, we insist on asking a few questions about what use is going to be made of the subject and the background of the delegates - so you could say that every course is tailored. It makes the course much more relevant for the delegates attending.

But .. how much can we tailor .. and how much to we do that ahead of time? And what does that mean about extra subjects that come up during the course, and the usefulness of the course resources later on?

I've answered an email addressing these issues this morning - and the generality is worth making more widely available for anyone who wants to read in a bit more deeply.




The course can be utterly flexible.

The notes will be based on standard note modules, but a proportion of new modules can be written / provided). We don't trim the existing note modules if they include subjects which you don't need along with ones you do need, but presentation can skip over the unrequired sections. We may also add note modules that you may not have requested to the folders provided, so that the folders include supporting material to make them worthwhile reference / reminder documents after the course. Such additions sometimes prove useful during the course too, where it turns out that the support material is - after all - something we need to dip into.

Presentation ... broadly planned ahead of time, broadly following the agreed notes, but adapted and tuned as we go. With certain topics (and OO programming is one of them!) it's not just a question of "how does this work", but also of "how do we decide to do it this way", and so I'll take a requirement - not necessarily one that's in the book, in fact I prefer to take something that the delegates can relate too very closely in their line of work - and work through that, describing the principles of OO and showing how they are applied for your use. There's even an element of role play in that, as I'll be asking the delegates to interpret what your data means, just as they'll ask the experts for whom they're writing the programs. It makes for a very interesting and relevant course.

During the course, I'll note questions and ensure they're all answered (or at least pointers given) before the end; the answers may not be given straight away ("I'll come back to that") if it would disturb the course flow / require lots of pre-explanation that was planned anyway, but I have a system in place to ensure that "I'll come back to that" isn't a way of forgetting something.

At the end of the course, I'll add any examples that are significantly new to our resource directories, and delegates will be able to access them later. And I can send a "tar" file of them all through to you (also a tar file of each delegate's work from our machines).




OK ... I was writing there about Python Courses; Python is a subject that lends itself very well to flexible and potentially dynamic tailoring. The same applies to Perl, Lua and Tcl. With PHP, C and C++ we have to be a little less flexible - there are certain steps that I'll describe as "mechanical" which really must be covered if the delegates don't know them, and covered broadly in order. And that applies very much more with non-programming topics (LAMP / Linux / Tomcat). Java, Ruby and MySQL are all huge subject area ...we can do very flexible, Python level, tailoring but within our particular areas.



(written 2010-07-21, updated 2010-07-30)

 
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Tailoring of courses to meet customers needs - how it works
Getting in touch - Please allow me to see you when you are online
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Program for reliability and efficiency - do not duplicate, but rather share and re-use
Further more advanced Perl examples
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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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