This year (2017) was full of training courses. Literally, there was almost no month without any training. Some took place in our office in Bratislava, Slovakia, some were remote/online sessions, but most of them were onsite, which meant a lot of travelling. I travelled to Canada and United States, later also to Finland. I experienced my first transatlantic flight, my first jetlag and a lot of other challenges, but I met a lot of interesting people too and had a privilege to guide them through the courses.
The students have usually at least some experience with midPoint. They have installed it and played with it a bit, studied our wiki page and tried to find the answers, as they have many questions. But honestly, if you start with something as complex as the provisioning system, wiki will help you only when you know what you are looking for. That’s why we provide the book and the training courses. The training should help you understand how and why midPoint works, and – that’s most important – after the course you should know what to search in our wiki and samples as well as how to ask questions.
I dare to say configuring midPoint without training is possible to some extent, but it takes time and may cause some conceptual misunderstandings. It’s better to take the training and get the basic knowledge there. If nothing more, there is always a possibility to ask the instructor a lot of questions and we try hard to provide the answers or at least pointers.
The training courses are usually very intensive for both students and instructor. From my perspective of instructor, the training day starts at 9:00 AM. During the first day we need to get to know each other, install the environment and then it’s showtime. The day is usually very slow, but the rest of the week is harder. The presentation contains hundreds of slides and there is at least 20 labs – not counting custom questions, answers and bonuses. It’s typically 8 hours of concentration and searching for the best words which explain the topics in an accurate, complete and – if possible – interesting way. I also often mention interesting or funny real-life situations and issues which students usually appreciate. On the last day the training slows down again. It contains simpler topics and fewer labs. You typically cannot avoid sore throat after speaking for several days. But if you do your best, it’s all well balanced by the good and constructive student feedbacks afterwards.
There are usually many more questions after the training. I am able to answer some of them. There is often a project or subscription following the training, so the questions might be answered by our team.
But of course the training is not just about delivering the course. The instructor must be “fluent” in midPoint. All topics from the presentation must be well rehearsed (as the training courses are usually in English, which is not our native language) not to forget to tell anything interesting, and all labs must be double-checked to work flawlessly.
After the training, there is still something to do. We have fixed and improved a lot of modules and labs based on the feedback. Basically there is no training without any improvement at least under the hood.
And how the training courses evolve in time? Speaking of our five-day long MidPoint Deployment Fundamentals training which originally started as a workshop:
- the labs now use a virtual machine rather than local midPoint installations; this allows our prepared training environment to run anytime and anywhere, so the students can reset and re-run the labs also after they finish the course
- we reorganized the modules and labs to make the whole training more realistic. The result is a (simplified) project
- there were two major training materials upgrades (2017.A and 2017.B) reflecting the new midPoint releases (3.5 and 3.6, respectively) and interesting topics
So, if you want to know more about midPoint, we recommend you to attend our training. We are already looking forward to meeting you. After all, we do it for you. And based on the feedback, you seem to like it.