As an IT trainer I come in conta

Formal classroom training is still good for you

As an IT trainer I come in contact with dozens of .NET developers, team leaders and managers. One common area where most of them struggle is - keeping themselves updated with the latest technology. Especially so when technology is quite new to them (say VB6 developer wanting to learn ASP.NET or a web forms developer wanting to learn MVC). While for software developers it may sound like a part of their job many find this task quite hard because they need to strike a balance between available time, personal life, and ongoing project pressures.

Now a days there are countless resources to learn new technologies. Books, magazines, websites, blogs, videos are some of the popular ones. In spite of the availability of plethora of such learning resources many developers fail to cope up with the tremendous pace at which modern technologies are evolving. By the time you learn a technology something else becomes more relevant and you need to run after that or newer versions of existing tools come into existence and lots of changes get introduced. Failing to cope up with this rapid pace results in poor skillset for the individuals and ultimately it affects ones performance in the company as well as chances in the already competitive job market. Do you find any of these happening to you?

  • Feeling overwhelmed due to rapid pace of changes happening in the industry.
  • Unable to understand new technologies.
  • Unable to apply the knowledge you gained from various resources in a project.
  • Failing to make an impression in technical interviews.
  • Failing to take technical leadership amongst team members.
  • More bugs and errors in day to day coding.
  • No time for learning new technologies due to personal and professional responsibilities.
  • Feeling that you are not giving 100% to your job.
  • Less or poor job satisfaction.

If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you then a formal IT training is still relevant and important to you!

Although there are many free resources for learning .NET technologies they all call for one behavioral trait – self motivation. On one hand such resources allow you to learn things at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home / office. However, this very feature can be prove to be counterproductive if you are not self-disciplined by nature. While online or free resources appear to save you some money in longer run they may prove costly. Such resources suffer from the following limitations:

  • You need to be extremely self-motivated and disciplined to learn new technologies on your own. Some can do it but many can’t.
  • There are so many resources today that which one to choose becomes a touch question to answer. For example, there are say 20 books available on ASP.NET. Which one is good for you? What is good for person A may not be good for person B because both have different learning abilities and grasping power.
  • If you want to be productive sooner you need to learn a technology quickly without wasting too much of time. Self-paced learning often takes months to master a technology, especially so if you cannot give enough time for it on regular basis.
  • Free and online resources don’t allow one-to-one interaction with experts. Your questions and doubts either remain unanswered or you need to seek answers on your own.
  • What you need in a real world project and what is covered in books is often quite different.

Due to these limitations classroom training still remains a very important and relevant source of learning latest technologies such as ASP.NET and web development in general. Classroom training scores over other means of learning in the following areas:

  • Personal one-to-one interaction with the subject matter expert.
  • Attending formal classes calls for scheduling dedicated time slots. This ensures that you learn a technology in a well-defined time frame.
  • Formal classes are much more structured and well-designed that arbitrary resources available on the internet.
  • Motivation from the trainer and a "team" or "group" feeling enriches your learning experience for sure.
  • Formal training has some support system in place that you can avail in future in case you come across some difficulty.
  • A trainer is not just a person sharing technical things; he is also sharing his valuable experience of the subject matter. Such sharing rarely happens in books or videos simply because they aim only at packing certain scope in certain number of pages or certain minutes of videos.
  • When you attend something by paying some charges you naturally tend to be more serious about the whole learning process. This helps you to get most out of the training program.
  • In a classroom training “pre-conditions” and “post-conditions” are clearly defined for the participants. Participants can see whether the set expectations are being met on not.
  • A formal training prepares for you a solid foundation so that keeping yourself updated with future versions of the same tool or technology becomes relatively easy.

To summarize, although there are new and evolving ways of learning new technologies classroom training is still relevant and important for you as a software developer looking to master cutting edge technologies quickly and in the right way.


Bipin Joshi is an independent software consultant and trainer by profession specializing in Microsoft web development technologies. Having embraced the Yoga way of life he is also a yoga mentor, meditation teacher, and spiritual guide to his students. He is a prolific author and writes regularly about software development and yoga on his websites. He is programming, meditating, writing, and teaching for over 27 years. To read more about him go here. More details about his Kriya and Meditation online course are available here.

Posted On : 01 August 2013