Training and Losing Track

It’s been a long while since I’ve been lucky enough to be sent on a training course for anything so I’d forgotten how depressing they can be. I try and get to as many technical conferences as possible for a number of reasons, the fact that all the people attending want to be there and make a genuine effort to chat and learn is a major one and it’s one of the few times I get to meet some of the people I speak to online in the flesh.

A training course is nothing like these and is (to me) a lot less enjoyable. Some of the people sent just want to relax and not work for a couple of days. Most companies send two or three people who don’t mingle outside of their little group (it takes a surprising amount of effort to engage a conversation with this kind of attendee) and it turns in to nothing but wake up, course, food, read course materials again, play with laptop, bed.

The other big problem I have is the disconnect, a week in a hotel by an airport with no Internet connection (although for stupidly high money you can have a shared 14.4 modem), lots of news channels in languages I don’t speak and only newspapers to read it’s hard to avoid getting further and further behind on everything. Still after next week my yearly training budget is exhausted and I’ll not have the opportunity to do this again for another eight or so months.

While I don’t expect training to be a barrel of laughs it’s nice to learn in an environment where people have chosen to attend rather than being sent to learn something they have no interest in.