First impressions are everything, and in IT Training its no different: Learning Tree made a huge impact on me, right from the beginning. Its midtown location in the was clean and inviting. There were ample staff members present to help with registration and the course sign-up. A spread of danishes, assorted fruit, and coffee were laid out every morning 1/2 hour before class started. The desktops waiting for us were state of the art Pentium IV 3.0 Ghz with flat panels displays; each one cleaned with sample code loaded and ready for students' use. And, although I was surprised when we were seated two to a PC, the instructor later explained that this is part of LT's educational philosophy. Another nicety was also the fact that LT provided two instructors to our class because of the size. Grade A+
The instructors were knowledgeable and articulate, if only guilty of making too many "Bill Gates" jokes. I was told that a prerequisite for teacher there was to have one's own technology consulting business. This translates into many seasoned teachers who have been in the field for a while, learning and bringing from their real-world examples, as well as seeing some trends in the IT wax and wane over time. This is refreshing on one hand, but I sometimes missed the excitement that someone new to the industry brings to the classroom. I also felt that while the instructors were well prepared for this specific course, they didn't have an in depth knowledge of some of the finer points of .NET. They did however stick around during lunch and after class was done to help out and explain concepts in more detail, if anyone wanted. Grade B
The Course Material
The course material was ample and well organized. One gripe I had, even before the class began, was that the code was all written in VB.net, even though it was supposed to be a generic ASP.NET course (i.e.- both VB and C#). I was told that in some other classes the code was prepared in both VB and C#, which would have been nice if we had that option. The material was prepared by yet another instructor, which is common in these training classes. However, the instructors present should have had a stronger grasp of this specific material. Additionally, I was frustrated that whenever a student asked about a more advanced topic, the reply was usually "that is covered in Class #50X," instead of trying to answer it briefly. Grade B
The Example Projects
The only way to learn a new language is to practice, and our day at training was spent with roughly 30% of the time dedicated to writing code examples. We all created a mock web application that would take order requests and seat reservations for an imaginary Ticket Master-like company. During this part of the class I picked up a couple of "tricks" and the students, in general, were able to pursue advanced topics. Again, everything was prepared for us to the smallest detail, making it easy for someone to pickup in the middle of a lesson even if s/he was not fully caught up. Grade B+
On the first day of class the instructor asked how everyone rated themselves in .NET on a 1-10 scale. I would guess the average was approximately a 3. People who posses an above average understanding of .NET in a web environment (i.e.- above a 5 out of 10) will get frustrated at the lack of advanced topics covered in-depth, and will not get the most out of this class. However, people who a) have *only* experience in legacy ASP, b) have no .NET experience, or c) would just like to learn more about the Visual Studio.NET Development Environment, will enjoy what this class can provide. The instructors, material, and resources were all extremely professional and extremely helpful in getting the most out of time and money. Overall Grade B+ B (I just changed the mark to a B because of the overaggressive marketing techniques.)
p.s. for more info on this course see http://thelearningtree.com/courses/506.htm .
- Cheap temporary umbrella
- (Fake?) Louis Vuitton purse - with inhaler, blue diamond pills, and cardiologist's business card
- Clunky cellphone
Why must tall people (like bench-warming, over-weight NBA players [Shaq]) need to wear ugly suits? Why don't they make normal-looking, well-cut suits - just larger? Do they really need 8 buttons and to come in many shades of green? Can't they just make larger buttons? I mean, you don't see midgets wearing one-button suits- theirs are just smaller!