Meet the trainers
In a recent blog post, I introduced some of Acquia's training partners, as a follow up, I wanted to introduce the trainers.
One of the things I do in my job is meet all of the new trainers who join up through our Training Partner program. I interview them initially, and then give them an orientation to the course materials and what to expect in the classroom. As they teach and we get feedback from participants, I improve the materials with the trainer's feedback, and they improve on their in-class delivery.
Most of our training partners are Drupal agencies, and the trainers are developers in the majority of their time. For example, David Needham of Chapter Three is a themer and a trainer. The developers who join us as trainers are the kinds of people that everyone else on their team goes to for help, because not only are they knowledgable, they also really love to help others. In the training industry, these trainers are called "SMEs" - subject matter experts. Training is a natural extension of how they work already, and becomes a major aspect of their professional development.
Some of our partners are focused mainly on training and have dedicated training experience in many kinds of applications and software. Rod Martin of OSTraining, for example, teaches both Joomla and Drupal and has years experience coaching and teaching.
At Fig Leaf Software, trainers like Jason Perry teach a suite of applications and frameworks. I was amazed at how quickly Jason learned Drupal's best practices, and I recognized that because he's so familiar with other frameworks, this gives him a big advantage in teaching those who are new to Drupal. I now consider this a huge benefit for training participants.
Take for example, this fantastic webinar by Blink Reaction with Ray Saltini and Nick Selvaggio showing an introduction to Drupal for the .NET developers. Extensive experience in other frameworks and applications, makes our partners' trainers excellent communicators. This helps them identify the specific points at which course participants are confused. They also have practical experience in web development so they can understand the challenges participants face. In all cases, the trainers have adult teaching experience as well. I love to talk with them about ways we can be better facilitators and guides for participants. There's no doubt, teaching is immensely satisfying, and reflecting on teaching practice is an important part of improving practice.
I'll write more about that in my next post.
You can meet these and our other partners' trainers at upcoming courses around the globe. http://training.acquia.com/event