Welcome!

Adobe Flex Authors: Matthew Lobas, PR.com Newswire, Shelly Palmer, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Adobe Flex

Adobe Flex: Blog Feed Post

Notes of a Lifelong IT Student

IT training classes can be divided into two main categories

Have you ever attended software training? If yes, have you enrolled voluntarily or your employer required you to get re-trained to get extra points for your annual review? If so, was that class useful other than getting these points?

In my blog “Notes of a traveling contract trainer ” I promised to write a sequel from the student’s point of view. You got it.

If you work for a large corporation, the chances are high that you are entitled for taking one or two training classes each year. In some cases you even get to choose which classes to attend. I mean off-sight training. But most likely, you are enrolling a class offered onsite by an invited instructor.

IT training classes can be divided into two main categories: five full consecutive days or two-three months long evening classes. The latter are for people who want to get fundamental training and have time to study and absorb the material.

If you are planning to learn new software by attending a five-day instructor-led class, the most efficient way is… to learn it by yourself before the class.  I’m not kidding. This way you’ll know what questions to ask the instructor during his/her short visit.

I’ll give you an example from my own career.  Back in 1998, I was a client-server developer (PowerBuilder and Visual Basic) who wanted to switch to Java. Being an independent contractor, I had to switch gears fast to make sure that my billable rate won’t suffer. How can one quickly convert from PowerBuilder expert to a senior enterprise Java developer?  J2EE was completely different comparing to any client-server technology.

Learning the syntax of yet another language is the easiest part, unless it’s an Objective-C.  But understanding the architecture and the best practices of new environment is always a challenge. To make the story short, I went through a couple of Java books by myself, and then enrolled to a five-day class “Developing J2EE applications with BEA Web Logic”. I got lucky – the instructor was good (he had the real-world experience). Five days and $2500 later, I was ready to work on real world Java projects. I still believe that attending an instructor-led class after self-studying is the best way to learn.

Computer-based training is usually boring.  You can’t ask questions, but have to take computer-based tests. Multiple-choice SAT-like exams are equally stupid everywhere. They just prove that you are good at taking multiple choice exams.

Instructor-led training remains your best choice.  In the class, use your own laptop to make this training efficient. Contact the instructor prior to class and ask what software has to be installed. These days, unless you are getting into SAP or CICS-like software, you can download and install evaluation copy to your laptop. It’s better than using a desktop provided in the classroom, because you take with you the software with training files after the class is over. It’s properly configured with the help of the instructor and all samples work. Add to this well written courseware (is it well written?) and you are armed and dangerous.

If you are not sure where to find a reputable instructor for the software you want to learn, find the conferences related to this software. Pretty often, one day intensive training is offered the day before or after the conference. Instructors that are approved to teach a class at a major conference are usually good. I’m not saying that you have enroll into this short class, but google the name of the instructor – the chances are that s/he teaches longer classes as well.

Check the training catalogs of your local universities, where evening classes in schools of continuing education are often taught by practitioners.

While in class, try to get as much help from your instructor as possible. Most of the instructors enjoy helping students. Don’t be shy. There’s no such thing as stupid questions in the classroom.

At the end of the class, never forget to fill out evaluation sheets. Instructors have to present them to their managers. Be nice to them. Even if you didn’t like something in this training, leave your comments and submit your evaluation sheet.

In September-October of 2010, I’ll be wearing a student’s hat twice and be an presenter in one event. I’ve already registered into two conferences: Java One by Oracle and Adobe MAX, and I know exactly what I’m looking for besides networking. At JavaOne I’ll attend every technical session on the upcoming JDK 7 release, and at MAX, my main educational goal is getting good at development for Android platform. But first, I’ll be one of the presenters at the Third Annual Flex Symposium here in New York City.  I like being in classrooms.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

@ThingsExpo Stories
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT's direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
A critical component of any IoT project is the back-end systems that capture data from remote IoT devices and structure it in a way to answer useful questions. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle large data sets, but they are not well suited to many IoT-scale products and the need for real-time insights. At Fuze, we have developed a backend platform as part of our mobility-oriented cloud service that uses Big Data-based approache...