Training and coaching people is something I have always liked. Help people learn and felt proud of teaching stuff to others. That is also one of the reasons why I maintain this blog, even when is not really viable economically speaking as I do not have enough time to put into it. I would have to also add that I have landed a couple of jobs contracts thanks “partly” to the materials of the blog.
Well going back to training; in the other hand the industry is normally NOT like academy. I am saying as in you do not normally have the same amount of time as when you are teaching a course. In the industry do not normally have a lot of time to spend training the people FULL time and they normally have to mange to learn and results are expected ASAP.
Let say you hire someone and this someone needs to learn something new to be able to fully perform her/his duties. Or sometimes this is an existing employee that you would like to train on some new technology and similar situations. sometimes the process goes smoothly while training someone and I could share many experiences, but I am going to talk today about the people that things do not go very smoothly. I have faced 3 major problems on this regard:
- Someone who does not want to learn, with those DO NOT EVEN TRY. This manifests in many ways. People who can not learn from other people because they have higher qualifications in paper, but the reality is they they couls use some humility. Just to serve as an example, I have a good friend who did not finish any degree. Currently he is one of the core expert professionals of one of the biggest database companies in the world. Do you think a couple of PHP in computing sciences could not learn one or two things from him? There is also people who are happy with what they know and are not willing to go through the stress that the learning process entails.
- People who want to learn but are too behind in basic theoretical knowledge that you would need to spend many months and long time.
With this last one there is a hope if they have iron the will it takes to learn and the required IQ to do it. To be honest the IQ is not really that important, but it definitely matters. How to get to know that she or he can make it? Well there are many ways, but one techniques I use is:
- Talk to the person until you know what they know and what they do not, search for a document (URL, article, book) that has content accessible to their current level,
- give it to them (as casual event not as a formal assignation), take your time read this and come back with questions and let’s discuss it.
It has never failed me, but I have to be honest, not many even come back. If he comes back even stuck on the first page, there is a very high chance you found a brute diamond. The rest is much easier.