Although most of the software we provide training on is Open Source and thus available for free download, many of the development environments that are offered to aid developers are commercial products for which you'll have to pay money to buy a license.
We don't believe that people should come on a training course on a piece of free software, but return to their place of employment only knowing how to use that software through a tool which their employer then has to go out and buy. There are further reasons our training doesn't concentrate on development environments:
1. Trainees need to learn the language(s) from "the ground up" - to be able to understand code and what's happening without relying on a tool that might not always be available.
2. Seriously learning all about a development environment in addition to learning a programming language would reduce the time spent and dilute the concentration on the language, whihc is the real subject of our courses.
3. With most of the languages we teach, there isn't a single prevelant development environment - so if we were to choose and use one, it probably wouldn't suit the majority of people anyway.
4. Licensing costs to us would mean that we would have to increase our prices without the majority of our customers making an appropriate extra gain from the higher price.
We do demonstrate environments as appropriate, and in the case of Python encourage trainees to work with IDLE or IDE / PythonWin
(depending on the operating system they've chosen). See David Mertz's review
for further Python IDEs reviewed.
As a footnote, we have had an approach by a commercial development environment developer who asked up to use his environment exclusivley on our courses on XXXXXX (subject deleted!). He offered to give us "official trainer" status and free licenses for our own machines if we paid him for each trainee. The idea was that more people would come to us with that status. He would also require us to hand out dicount vouchers to each trainee so that they could go back to their workplace and be encouraged to order up his software. We declined the offer, and will probably decline any similar approaches unless any particular commercial development environment gets to be in use by the majority of programmers in a certain language - an unlikely scenario for a costed added to a free distribution (written 2005-05-19, updated 2006-06-05)
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