Meet Acquia's training partners
I'm going to be blogging about our training partners and their trainers this summer, because they are awesome, and I'm very proud of what they're doing. All of our training partners are really busy. For example, Doug Vann is traveling around the US to teach and consult, soon he'll be in Austin on July 9-13 for a full week of training courses with NxtTeam. It's a good thing he doesn't also have to update and maintain his own materials.
We develop and maintain the Acquia training program to help build capacity in the Drupal community, and enable Drupal agencies to offer training as a service on top of their already active schedules. We have partners on every continent now (f you want to start Drupal training in Antarctica, please contact us!) and due to their help, we can offer an full schedule of training events that Acquia could never deliver alone.
When I was first looking at starting up the training program, Acquia partners told me they had stopped developing their own custom training because managing a curriculum and catalog of courses is really expensive and time consuming. I also heard their horror stories of working on materials up to 4am the night before a training. When you look at it, it's really easy to underestimate how much time it takes to plan an agenda and prepare the needed learning aids.
As a very low estimate, instructor-led training takes on average 43 hours of development per 1 hour of teaching materials (read more). The learning aids such as manuals, games, worksheet and presentations, and all must be tested, revised and improved upon. While we do have the materials ready to go, it still takes considerable preparation on the part of trainers. They need to understand how the day is structured and what is coming next so they can manage time well.
However, we know all this work is worth it, because we know that people really LIKE in-person training. People continue to choose it, even though there are excellent books and online learning services like Drupalize.me or Lynda.com.
Participants enjoy learning from people who have a broad range of practical experience. "Teacher impressed with his knowledge and familiarity with all kinds of projects" one participant added about Jakub Suchy of Acquia, who taught "Drupal for Project Managers" course a few weeks ago. The materials give participants the essentials, and the instructor adds their insights from working on particular projects.
After a recent course by Evolving Web a participant responded: "Great course material. The trainer was excellent and very knowlegable in the matter. A must for any serious developer that expects to become a themer with good practices in mind." To me, this means we helped Suzanne Kennedy, take time out of her busy schedule of project work to share her experience in a training course. You can listen to Suzanne from Evolving Web talk about Multilingual websites in Drupal. You can see first hand, she has great skill in making complex topics comprehensible.