Monday, June 30, 2008

The problem with "I'll wait until my manager sends me to training"

[This was originally posted at]

With all the new technologies coming out, many software developers want to get sent to training seminars. Sometimes "Training" is fun - your company spends thousands of dollars to send you to a fancy building, during regular working hours, where you have an in-person expert guide you through some marketable skill. It lets you feel like you're part of an elite group, and on the insider track. Usually these sessions even provide free snacks!

This is great - until a developer uses it as an excuse for inaction, as in "Rather than learn technology XYZ on my own, I'll wait until my manager sends me to training." For the vast majority of mainstream development technologies and techniques (C#, SQL, JS, HTML, XML, security, performance, automation, etc...), such thinking has some big problems.

  • Because live training seminars are expensive, managers are very reluctant to send you.

  • If you're truly motivated, usually there are free (or cheap) alternatives instead. For example, there may be free user groups that meet in your area that offer presentations on hot topics. Sometimes there are even free MSDN events. Worst case, you can buy the $50 book.

  • Therefore, by the time management is willing to sink $3000 to send you to a training seminar, you could probably learn it faster yourself via some other method.

Having special training for a cutting edge technology or proprietary tool is great. But a motivated developer shouldn't need to wait to be sent to training before learning C#, or how to improve code performance because that information is already freely available in many other formats besides in-person training seminars.


No comments:

Post a Comment