I am off for few weeks delivering several 3-days trainings on web app security best practices in Saudi Arabia. It's my first training outside of Europe so I had to spend some time exploring the culture of the nation here which is pretty exciting.
Already had two trainings so far and few more to go. There is going to be another batch on November for another colleague of mine and I'm trying to sync my materials to serve as a good reference during the next batch of trainings.
After 6 years of on-site trainings in companies, organizations, schools and universities, last month I spent some time considering some other options for education, including online and multimedia options as well.
One of the modern options today for trainings and seminars are the webinars. There are few platforms where you could attend to a mass event where one talks with a screen shared. It's pretty nice actually, but I don't find the platforms mature enough yet (especially with me and my Flash conflicts by default).
Another great option is the video lessons. We do prepare video tutorials for our top priority product at the moment, but I'm quite sure they could be applied in the trainings as well. I did a pros and cons list and that option actually went at the bottom of my list. Why? Because video tutorials are a mentoring material with no option for feedback or questions during the video. This is the greatest benefit of the real life training - attendance guarantees you (usually) the ability to ask and receive adequate answers from an expert. This opportunity doesn't exist in the video recording. Also, technologies get updated in months so these videos has to be rerecorded again and again. The latest drawback is the copyright - as this is my job I would like to sell it in some way but we all know what piracy is all about - torrents and P2Ps could put an end on that initiative if someone uploads the videos. Probably some flash mechanism could protect it in an online platform like the webinars, who knows, but I vote 'No' here.
So basically a client of mine from another country contacted me for a personal training. He has a full-time job and he is an independent consultant so he is unable (and doesn't need) to hire a training hall and call me to teach a training. So I prepared an offer with the database training program to be trained via Skype or other video and voice sharing online technology. I am able to present my presentation slides on my screen and switch to Eclipse to run and alter demos while he is able to follow this real time and communicate this through the network in a real voice conversation. If he has the need to show something, he could share screen as well and I am able to check his examples and homeworks.
So that's the deal. Feel free to check this new option here for Java/DB/other trainings - prepared program packages or custom trainings if necessary.
Last week we had our first formal Freelance Seminar in Bulgaria. After few conferences and public lectures we did a full-day seminar on freelance. The Freelance Lodge with Mytime.bg cooperated with Superhosting.bg, MiNDS and CCB for that event to happend.
Video materials are expected, more info is available here and here. However, we hope that freelancers all around the country will join our community and be responsible enough to help other events and workshops happen as well.
I had a training on freelance tips and tricks in New Bulgarian University on Thursday. I uncovered some of the issues I've had during my first years of freelancing as well as some tricks how to avoid suspicious clients and projects.
My presentation included:
- what does freelance mean
- how to switch to freelancing
- where can we find projects and clients
- how to interact with them
- how to present ourselves the right way on/offline
- how to define our costs
- how to manage the time
Slides in Bulgarian are available in my Slideshare account.
I currently lead a course for Database programming with Java and Oracle. This is my third course with that subject, but there is a specific detail here - my trainees are not experienced developers. They are all adult who have experience in different areas - construction engineers, accountants, administrators, scientists. This makes it difficult to present the technology in a way for all of them to understand it correctly.
Except the variety of examples in all of the lectures, I have to decrease the technical level of explanations. I use to speak with less development terms and explain slowly and with an increased attention paid to the students that have less understanding on the subject. I try to combine the visual and audial techniques. I also left my email in order to provide further details on particular topics if there are blur aspects of the technology.
In the beginning of every lecture I summarize the content from the last training. I take notes of the hard parts from the lecture for every student and test his memory and acceptance with practical questions.
It seems to improve the course quality when working with juniors to med developers and have to keep up to a schedule for each subject.