Time to get Trained! Calendar for USA 2013

Icon, EducationFrom the Information Injection Dept. It’s my pleasure to present to you the calendars for 2013 RES certification training events in the United States. This time around we are only scheduling classes until end of second quarter. I plan to publish the calendar for the rest of the year around end of Q1. The reason for this is that we are in the process of redesigning the training materials and the curriculum for the big training courses. This is specifically the case for Workspace Manager:

So far the training material was structured according to the 3 product editions;  Personalization and Composition, Advanced Administration and Security and Performance. While this initially seemed a good idea, experience and feedback from all you, our course participants, told us that we needed to re-arrange things a bit. In other words, few people were interested in just learning about the features in one edition – it turned out that all of you wanted the full enchilada! While we are stoked by this, it was also a challenge, since Workspace Manager today is packed chock-full of goodness;  to a degree where it has become hard to cover everything in-depth in the regular 5 days. Add to the equation that consultant managers already were challenged to pulling billable feet off the street for an entire work week, it was clear that something had to change. So that’s precisely what we are doing now:

The bottom line is that later this year we are splitting up the WM courseware into two seperate courses: Workspace Manager Basic and Advanced. Each of these courses will eventually be 3 days, making it more easy on the schedule of the participants. I anticipate we will be ready with the new courses by end of Q2, so in the meantime it’s business as usual, with one slight change: Instead of the 5 days we did all 2012, we now offer the Workspace Manager class in 4 days, as a preamble to the above mentioned changes.

Below is the schedule for the RES partner certification classes for first half of 2013. The course abreviations are as follows: WM = RES Workspace Manager, AM = RES Automation Manager, SO = Service Orchestration (soon to be known as the IT Service Store)

Date City Course
Feb 6th-8th Houston, TX AM
Feb 19th-22nd Philadelphia, PA (RES HQ) WM
Mar 12th-15th Richmond, VA WM
Mar 25th-27th San Francisco, CA AM
Apr 8th-10th San Francisco, CA SO
Apr 23rd-26th Chicago, IL WM
May 14th-17th Anaheim, CA WM
Jun 5th-7th East coast / TBD AM
Jun 10th-12th East coast / TBD SO

 

vdxAs you may have heard, in 2012 RES Americas appointed and signed the first RES Authorized Learning Center (or RALC) in the United States. We are proud to partner with VDX out of New Jersey. They will be selling RES training classes nationwide to end-user customers, while we here at RES continue to offer training to new and existing partners. Below is VDX’s training calendar for first half of 2013:

Date City Course
Jan 7th-11th Cranford, NJ (VDX HQ) WM
Jan 21st-24th Cambridge, MA WM
Feb 18th-22nd Chicago, IL WM
Mar 18th-22nd Irving, TX WM
Apr 8th-12th Mountain View, CA WM
May 13th-17th Malvern, PA WM
Jun 10-14th Cranford, NJ (VDX HQ) WM

 

Just to be clear, the difference between the certification classes that RES conducts and the classes our global RALC partners offers is that the RES classes are offered free of charge (for now) to new and prospective RES partners only as a part of our ongoing investment in building out the US channel. Besides, for partners above bronze level there is a mandatory certification requirement.

  • If you are a new, existing or prospective RES Partner and have interest in training, please contact yours truly.
  • If you are a US RES customer interested in attending RES Workspace Manager, please contact Mr. David Ball at VDX.

For more in-depth information about the RES classes in general, see What a training class is supposed to be like. Also, make sure you have a look at the official curriculum on the RES corp web. Finally I have written a training and certification FAQ available here.

What a training class is supposed to be like

By Max Ranzau

 

From the Industrial Might and Logic Dept. This article is a revamp of a piece I wrote last year, in connection with the partner training calendar.  If you haven’t read this article before, here’s the exec summary: It describes my point of view how a technical training class should be conducted and thus how I run my mine. Even if you’re not a trainer, but a prospective participant, you may consider using my points below as a yardstick to measure the quality of another class you participate in.

Looking back over a couple of decades of working in IT, I believe my particular take on training methodology stems back from the fact that my first training class back in the mid-90’s sucked harder than a diesel powered vaccum cleaner. My students were well-justified being anything but kind in their review. Hey, so we all had to start somewhere, but moving up and onwards from there and becoming a better trainer is a continuing effort on multiple fronts:

  • Knowing your target material (obviously)
  • Constantly improving your delivery methods.
  • Never be ignorant of the fact that even though you teach for a living, there is always someone smarter out there who you can learn from as well.

nrevpresAs an example of the latter, I remember (after teaching 2-3 years of Citrix WinFrame) being sent on a mandatory NT4 Terminal Server course. Taking into consideration that “thin client/server computing” (yeah, that’s what we called it back then) was still a fairly new thing, the poor sod assigned to teach the class was indeed an MCT, but his speciality was MS Office (!). Go figure how that went… The guy was nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, having no clue whatsoever to what he was teaching, beyond what was on the current page of the book. However, soon finding out that myself and a colleague were knowledgeable in the subject, he ended up turning over the reins, thus doing the smart thing to ensure the participants got a good experience and their moneys worth. I think the morale of the story here is that getting egg on your face is also a learning experience. I know I’ve got enough already for an omelette or two! ;-)

Now, let’s talk about the RES certification classes. If you’ve never sat through a RES partner training class, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. These classes are very heavy on practical labwork rather than the usual PowerPoint + 15 steps of predictable labwork. With the above experiences in mind, having trained a slew of technologies over the last 20+ years, including Citrix, RES, App-V and Packeteer, I’ve formulated what I believe to be a good recipe, resonating well with most participants:

  • Get the basic theory of operations
  • See how it’s done
  • Try to build it yourself
  • Possibly fail. Don’t panic! This is a good thing. See below.
  • Fix the problem and learn from the experience
  • Repeat on a new topic.

The failure part at first seem to worry some folks in the modern business culture which seems predominant, being spewed and enforced by some clueless managers that “failure isn’t an option“. You, as an engineer or an admin, got to look at it with better eyes than that, because that’s how we learn best as Human Beings. Somehow we seem to forgotten this basic rule of human nature in the ruthless corporate world we inhabit as IT people. Pause and think back for a moment: It is likely that ever last one of us as a youngster , learned the hard way a stove is indeed hot!  – All because we were unable to absorb the experience of the senior people in the household and just being told don’t do this or that, doesn’t always stick.

In a much too typical IT class, you watch the numbnut at the whiteboard yammer on for 1-2 hours, showing off his Powerpoint skills, while reading aloud from the curriculum, followed by; “So, let’s turn to Lab Excersize 23A on page 451 and take 15 minutes to complete this lab”. This is where you with 98.2% probability will see the Instructor bolting for the door to answer voicemail or go on his smokebreak. You as a participant, in the meantime get the sheer thrill of following 15-20 lab steps: Click here, now click there etc. etc…Done. My question to you at this point is – and think hard about this one for a minute:

 

What. Did. You. Learn ?

Did said lab exercise provide you with the opportunity for independent thought or ideas? Did it expose any weaknesses in the procedure (or god forbid, in the product!) which would help you in the field later? Did you get the chance to fail, fix and learn from the experience? If the answer is no to all of the above, you have to ask yourself if you feel properly enabled? After all, chances are that your employer is not pulling you from the field, just to enjoy the nice catering and my lame Chuck Norris jokes during class.

When dealing with potent and extremely versatile products – such as the ones RES Software produces – a different approach is needed as described above. Setting you up for potential failure during class will help you avoid making similar mistakes when in front of your customer. It’s as simple as that. Being thrown into the deep end of the pool is not a bad thing, as long as there’s a qualified lifeguard on duty. What that translates to is that during my classes you can expect to be challenged to keep up and think on your feet, but at the same time you will be fully supported.

This is how I train. I look forward to seeing you in class!

Meet Bob the Architect

presentFrom the Packaging Dept. As the self-appointed CPO (Crappy Photoshop Officer) of RES Software, here’s a little Christmas present from all of me to all of you out there making RES technology a success every day. Where some of us from the old days nicknamed the good Mr. Janssen; “Bob the Builder“, I think it’s about time we amp up the story and give proper credit where it’s due: (click to enlarge)

bob-the-architecht

If you have less than no clue what this is about, you need to lock yourself in a room over the holidays with a comfy chair and a Matrix box set – and don’t come out until you find this funny! ;-)

How NOT to use Workspace Containers

From the You’re-doing-it-wrong Dept. This is a little quick and dirty techpost to hopefully help some of you folks who are learning the ropes with Workspace Manager. One of the very powerful features in WM is the Workspace Container object. You can think of these types of container objects as being to Workspace Manager, what OU’s are for Active Directory, but they can do so much more. For your convenience, I’ve listed none less than 6 different real-world examples in article RG037 – Workspace Containers Inside-out.

doc-icon2<<< Click here to read the rest of the article
 

Technote: Workspace life on Windows 8

From the Flux Capacitor Dept. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that once every now and then, time loops in on itself in this line of work. While you don’t need a Delorean to experience it, this is the story of how an almost antiquated piece of code within the RES Workspace Manager suddenly saw itself repurposed by some of our customers to deal with Windows 8’s Metro interface.

My good friends in product management would probably whack me over the head, but hey – there’s nothing preventing anyone from obtaining a trial Workspace Manager 2012, slapping it on a Win8 and writing about it. So, rather the devil you know I guess. Anyway, this is not a comprehensive wall-to-wall test to see what floats and sinks, as RES Workspace Manager 2012 at the time of writing DOES NOT officially support Win8, but that’s expected in January 2013. Note: Automation Manager actually does support Win8 with 2012 SR3 at this time. Update per March 2013: With the release of Workspace Manager 2012 SR2  Windows 8 is supported..somewhat. See this article for more info.

doc-icon2<<< Read the full article here