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This week, we're updating our course layouts and descriptions. Presentation and materials always gently change over time, but just occasionally there's a need to make a step change to clear out some of the old and roll in the new. That's now happening - but over a long and complex site it's not instant and you'll see sections of the site changing up to and including 19th September.

See also [here] for status update
 
Getting the right level of trainer

There are tiers of trainers, and if you're choosing a technical trainer for yourself or your staff, you need someone from the right tier.

In the upper tier, you have Experts with a "Capital E". They really know their subject inside out, and they can present courses to highly technical audiences really well; I'm amongst these people this week, and it's enthralling to hear Randal Schwartz go through modperl in 45 minutes, or Brian Aker talking through MySQL server replication, clustering and cluster tables (different subjects) in a similar time.

The middle tier have a much broader subject subject knowledge, without being quite such experts on individual topics. I, unashamedly, put myself in this group and not "upper tier"; I don't need to be a hyperexpert when I'm called upon to teach Perl to a newcomer to programming, and I mustn't be a "one language only" guru when I'm helping people convert; it's just too narrow, and if you speak to the authors of the languages you'll hear them say "I made this C like" or "we picked up this from Ruby". Yes, and many trainees will be converting and will benefit from a broad teacher.

The lower tier, if you can call it that, includes trainers on other subjects who get some exposure to the target subject, and who will spend an hour or two on Perl / Tcl / PHP / MySQL as part of application training or management overviews. Such people often come on our courses, and I'm delighted to give them tips and techniques. I don't regard them as competition as they have a distinctly different job to do and, with a few bad exceptions, won't claim to offer a full course on the subject in question.

Let me repeat - I'm proud to be in the second tier, and it's a business decision that I'm there. I'm very very happy to take groups of nervous newcomers to [enter language] and take them through from basics to writing good professional code, introducing the philosophy as well as the mechanisms of the language, teaching good technique and comparing, with some authority, to other languages as we go. This is the training that most people want, and it's proven time and again by the number of requests we get train further groups for the same company, or the number of people who recommend us on to their friends and contacts. Our marketing indicates that the vast majority of our customers are referrals in this way and that's a huge vote of confidence by our customers.

Why am I writing this article this morning? Because I was shocked over dinner last night, seated with some of the upper tier people who had better remain nameless, to hear them talking about flying lecturers from the upper tier halfway around the world to present more fundamental courses. Bemoaning the lack of ability to charge what they felt the right rate should be, not realising that they can't charge the right rate because they're selling the wrong product - they're selling a Rolls Royce when the customer wants a Ford. Very nice indeed, but too expensive and too high maintenance. The real tragedy? They hadn't even looked at the Ford to see whether it did a good job - they had simply heard of it, and discounted it straight out with disdain. "Can't be any good" attitude.

I remember the particular contract they were using as an example. I was the Ford.

I don't mind competition, but I did "feel" the disrespect last night. This morning, it's mellowed. I'm thankful that they're not really able to provide the majority training needs. Occasionally one will "slip through the net" and a Guru will fly halfway around the world to present over the heads of his audience (yes, I HAVE seen this; I hope I'm not making the same mistake in reverse) but for the most part the customer will realise that he needs a course with plenty of hands on, a group which is small enough to give people some one-on-one time, and a trainer who'll be available for follow ups, and with associated subject knowledge to help put the whole in context. That's what I'm proud to provide.

(written 2004-10-14, updated 2008-05-11)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G207 - Well House Consultants - Staff
  [4227] Happy Christmas from the Well House Manor team - (2013-12-25)
  [4189] Who are we - Lisa, Graham, Gypsy and Billy - (2013-10-07)
  [3961] Well House Staff Party - (2012-12-22)
  [3586] Emergency First Aid Provision at Well House Manor - part of the service - (2012-01-19)
  [3490] How not to call when job seeking ... - (2011-10-20)
  [3460] Flying Colours! - (2011-09-28)
  [3425] Our National Autograss Champion, from Melksham - (2011-09-08)
  [3311] Exhilarating day! - (2011-05-30)
  [3212] Well House Manor - a home from home for the business and leisure guest in Melksham - (2011-03-26)
  [3201] A change to the Well House team - thank you and good luck, Chris - (2011-03-14)
  [3103] Thank you - and Happy Christmas - (2010-12-24)
  [3051] Positively reforming the system - could it be done? - (2010-11-14)
  [2960] The Well House team - September 2010 - (2010-09-19)
  [2934] Not so much software training - more hotel keeping! - (2010-08-25)
  [2775] Declarations of interest - knowing where you stand with people - (2010-05-22)
  [2772] Graham Ellis - Summary of Training Record - (2010-05-21)
  [2566] Excellent staff make for excellent hotel - (2010-01-07)
  [2164] Updating my public profile - Graham Ellis - (2009-05-09)
  [2050] Why the Pony Tail? - (2009-02-21)
  [2044] Please Trouble me - (2009-02-16)
  [2009] The Royal Mail Receipt - (2009-01-26)
  [1324] Well House Manor appoints a General Manager - (2007-08-28)
  [1141] A strong team broadens the professional coverage - (2007-04-10)
  [1083] Behind the scenes - (2007-02-17)
  [1065] Graham Ellis - an Introduction - (2007-02-05)
  [1002] Meet the neighbours - (2006-12-20)
  [972] Both one team and two - (2006-12-08)
  [895] Welcome, Martin - (2006-10-16)
  [862] 4 weeks to go - (2006-09-11)
  [578] Woman screaming at me - (2006-01-26)
  [393] Trainer answers phone - (2005-07-28)
  [371] The training team that's looking out for you - (2005-07-07)
  [185] Who am I? - (2005-01-21)
  [168] Welcoming Leah Davies to our team - (2005-01-04)
  [41] A Thousand and four words - (2004-09-07)
  [10] What do you look for in your IT trainer? - (2004-08-10)

G502 - Well House Consultants - Business Practice
  [4107] Snog, Marry, Avoid - (2013-05-31)
  [3755] Cruising on the Mersey Ferry? - (2012-06-07)
  [3750] Matching opening hours to when customers can come in and buy - (2012-06-04)
  [3665] Will will smile? - (2012-03-22)
  [3613] Keeping Business Local. But is that realistic? - (2012-02-13)
  [3506] Cold call contacts - preference services and turning off spam sales approaches - (2011-11-03)
  [3333] Honesty and a friendly welcome goes a long way - (2011-06-25)
  [3157] A new monopoly on the ferry to Northern Ireland - (2011-02-04)
  [3073] Customer Service - the boundary - (2010-11-27)
  [2966] Cheap Country Hotel in Melksham, Wiltshire? - (2010-09-21)
  [2936] The service that customers should receive - (2010-08-27)
  [2821] Chancellor George Osborne inspires Perl Program - (2010-06-22)
  [2788] Cost of Sales - (2010-06-01)
  [2598] An excuse for making a sales call - (2010-01-26)
  [2465] Melksham Town - asleep or awake? - (2009-10-21)
  [2331] Certification Revisted - Lua - (2009-08-09)
  [2283] Everyone is in the customer relations business - (2009-07-12)
  [2190] How you are (re)presented at an exhibition - (2009-05-19)
  [2187] Are we IITT (Institute of IT Training) members? - (2009-05-17)
  [2161] Get it right ... if it goes wrong, it takes so much effort to sort out! - (2009-05-08)
  [2126] Weeding out old phone numbers - (2009-04-11)
  [2122] Commission Creep - (2009-04-08)
  [1913] Alastair Darling helps make paperwork and confusion - (2008-11-30)
  [1855] Volunteer v Employee - a skewed balance? (FSB) - (2008-10-25)
  [1713] Ways to accept credit cards - or not! - (2008-07-19)
  [1626] Early May - a short chance to regroup and improve - (2008-05-01)
  [1485] Copyright and theft of images, bandwidth and members. - (2007-12-26)
  [1453] What makes our courses special? - (2007-12-02)
  [1394] Business to Business Networking - North and West Wilts / Melksham - (2007-10-17)
  [1373] New Month, New Quarter, New Laws - (2007-10-01)
  [1342] Google, wwmdirectory, Freshwater, ATP - new scam? - (2007-09-09)
  [1319] Customer feedback - lifeblood of a business - (2007-08-25)
  [1263] 0800 043 8225 - a new phone number for Well House - (2007-07-10)
  [1260] An inspirational business talk from one of our prospective MPs - (2007-07-06)
  [1243] Heavy duty hole punch - (2007-06-24)
  [1165] Extended Credit request - train in June and be paid in September - (2007-04-27)
  [1157] Speed Networking - a great evening and how we arranged it - (2007-04-21)
  [1133] B-2-B Networking, 20th April. Useful for YOUR business? - (2007-04-03)
  [1084] Writing terms and conditions for conferences and other events - (2007-02-17)
  [1057] Selling by phone and Skype - our policy - (2007-01-30)
  [906] A commitment we won't be making - (2006-10-27)
  [883] Age discrimination law - (2006-10-01)
  [869] UNABLE TO ATTEND - (2006-09-16)
  [849] Staff Meeting - (2006-08-30)
  [808] Sales call - (2006-07-19)
  [766] Discounts and approved supplier lists - (2006-06-17)
  [664] Ruby course - oops - it's not happening - (2006-04-01)
  [652] Morning Post - (2006-03-20)
  [626] Not just a pretty face to answer the phone. - (2006-02-26)
  [536] Cancellations and penalties - (2005-12-21)
  [491] Being atypical is typical - (2005-11-10)
  [487] On line course booking - credit card protection - (2005-11-06)
  [467] Tell them three times - (2005-10-17)
  [457] Do the work and take the risk - a PHP contract to avoid - (2005-10-06)
  [438] Fair system for travel and accommodation expenses - (2005-09-07)
  [399] simplicity hides real size - (2005-07-31)
  [321] Sales - the alternative close - (2005-05-23)
  [297] A reminder that the customer is King - (2005-05-01)
  [226] Growing our systems - (2005-02-24)
  [217] Use of time - (2005-02-16)
  [211] Look after your staff and they'll look after you. AOL. - (2005-02-12)
  [200] Tips for the top - (2005-02-03)
  [188] Pink elephant and appreciation - (2005-01-24)
  [180] Skunk works - (2005-01-17)
  [157] Automatic service upgrades - (2004-12-19)
  [137] Certification schemes - (2004-12-02)
  [129] Trawling our site to prevent student copying - (2004-11-24)
  [125] Staff theft - (2004-11-21)
  [121] Fair and Simple - (2004-11-17)
  [108] A typical morning - (2004-11-03)
  [95] Five red flags - (2004-10-21)
  [77] Telephone systems - (2004-10-07)
  [68] Get the strategy worked out and the tactics just fall into place. - (2004-09-30)
  [27] Sales technique - (2004-08-25)
  [15] 90 to 10 or 80 to 20 rule - (2004-08-15)


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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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