Thursday, May 19, 2011

Today I Gave a Training, And It Didn't Suck

  1. It was a four-hour training. I had 18 slides, including the one with the name and password for the wireless network and the one with my name and email address. Most of the slides had between zero and ten words on them.

  2. Instead of using bullet points to describe the different architectures, I just gave a general sense of the complicated one vs. the simpler one.

  3. I did a bunch of examples in real time. I made a handout with my script. The code snippets were in the handout. When I get a chance, I'm going to put all the code that I ran onto the web page.

  4. The hands-on part sort of fell apart. It was a risk that I was willing to take. It's very hard to do hands-on work in rooms with crappy wireless networks that keep dropping people's connections. Also, the archival storage space creates draconian security issues that trickle down to student accounts for demos. Windows users navigating draconian security on a dodgy wireless connection? Nothing but fail. I am trying to figure out work-arounds. My options are all limited. Bonus fun: DNS insanity and batch scheduling hijinks.

  5. Yes, the past five days have been nothing but prep-work for this workshop. I really hope to be able to recycle this material!

  6. Now I can get back to work focusing on managing my minion. The trick of dealing with a minion is assigning a project that is actually worth having someone work on but where the minion can't fuck up too much. Unlike my summer job minions from the past four summers (where the unofficial motto is "we'll give you enough rope to hang yourself"), I am going to micro-manage my minion this summer because so far she has not proved herself worthy of being trusted with rope. Every Friday before she leaves for the week she needs to send me an email about which parts of the project she worked on, what she accomplished, what she struggled with, and what she plans to work on the next week. We have regularly scheduled meetings to discuss her progress. I emailed her a list of very concrete steps for working on this phase of the project. Alarmingly, she emails me asking questions that are answered by the first link in a Google search. Let's hope that I have enough time to manage her to completing her project successfully as I plan for the rest of the multi-hour workshops that I will be presenting this summer.