Monday, April 07, 2008

Making Software Testing Training Green

It's tough sometimes to break out of a mold. That's where we seem to be where training is concerned. Traditional classroom testing has the opportunity to be engaging, but too often it isn't. You have to work at it.

So when I start talking about e-learning, people get concerned about the interaction aspects. And interaction is important! It can be achieved with e-learning.

There are other considerations, such as environmental concerns. With e-learning:

  • You eliminate travel, therefore reducing fuel used in airplanes and cars

  • You eliminate the big books, therefore reducing the amount of trees used for paper

  • You reduce or eliminate the need for a physical facility to heat or cool for a class of 15 or more peopleBut even above the environmental impact, you can save big money and get training that is just as effective as live training!

Then, there are time and cost concerns. E-learning can be scaled up much faster and broader that live on-site training. For example, with my e-learning courses, it is possible to train you entire worldwide test organization in one week for a small fraction of live in-person training.

I like the time-shifted approach. In fact, I believe on-demand content is essential to make e-learning effective. It's just too difficult to co-ordinate everyone's schedule to be connected at the same time. Plus, you eliminate many of the concurreny and performance issues of having many people accessing the same content at the same time. (On the launch of Oprah's new online training event with author Eckhart Tolle, author of "The New Earth", 500,000 people tried to access the event. "Tried" is the key word.)

While you won't have this type of load, you can still have problems with load.

My entire attitude toward training changed after 9/11. It was tough for anyone in the training business for some time because so many people were on travel restrictions. Many conferences were cancelled.

If fuel costs continue to soar, travel costs will also rise. E-learning just makes sense on a variety of levels.

If you want to learn more, check out my e-learning offerings in software testing, IEEE standards and user requiremnts here.

Speaking of green, here is my favorite fishing spot.
It is Bear Lake, close to Cuchara, Colorado.

That's why I say that a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work!

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