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advice on a career in training?

 
Meg Smitley
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Dear all,
I hope that you are well. This is my first post. I've had a look around, and I don't think that I'm going over old ground, but please forgive me if I am.

I have just completed a masters in information technology. This was a big departure from my previous education (I've got an advanced degree in British history) and was the start of a complete break from pursuing an academic career. I am now loving Java and am beginning prep for the SCJP exam and seeking a development role in London. In the longer term I'd like to combine teaching with tech and move into training. I was wondering if anyone had any advice about the sort of early experience that would help smooth the road to a career in training?

I hope that this isn't hopelessly naive. I look forward to hearing from you. Best,
Meg
 
Eric Lemaitre
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Hi Meg !

I have just completed a masters in information technology. This was a big departure from my previous education (I've got an advanced degree in British history) and was the start of a complete break from pursuing an academic career. I am now loving Java and am beginning prep for the SCJP exam and seeking a development role in London. In the longer term I'd like to combine teaching with tech and move into training. I was wondering if anyone had any advice about the sort of early experience that would help smooth the road to a career in training?

I made training for 3 years, and my main advice is clear : don't ever make training ONLY, always combine training with some practice stuff in the real field. The best thing is to alternate consulting, developpement/architecture, and training.

Main reason is that if you train only, even with some up-to-date practice so as to keep your skills with current market, you will have a strong tendancy to teach what you already know without time to learn new stuff, so will be stuck with old knowledge, can't avoid it.

One very successful company I met made training mandatory for all consultants, but the smart way : gifted ones really made training for external customers, ungifted ones made internal company training which meant technical meetings for experience share between fellow consultants. So, as some brilliant technicals may be very bad at training for pure pedagogical reasons, only the best ones were used for their demanding customers. Why was training madatory in either way ? Because when you believe you know something, you can get sure whether you really master the subject only by trying to explain it to someone else.

So my really strong advice is : don't make training only, practice in the real field too at customers for keeping your knowledge up to date, not only theorical but adapted to the real world.

Best regards.
 
Roger Chung-Wee
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I remember my first Oracle training course about 25 years ago. The trainer told me that he didn't do it full-time, he spent part of his time working on the help desk or doing consultancy. I thought that this was an excellent way to keep skills up-to-date.
 
Meg Smitley
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Thanks for this guys, very useful. I had suspected that dev experience was important; it's good to have confirmation of that. Take care,
Meg
 
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