|Trivera Technologies Skills Engineering™ is a comprehensive approach to skills building. Our experience and research have culminated in a philosophy and educational model that is ideal for building productive and collaborative project teams to address the growing challenges of technical skills management.
| Skills Transfer for Knowledge Workers: Skills Building
The sheer volume of skills a typical developer must master to effectively develop business solutions seems to grow at a break neck speed. A year ago, the average JEE Developer need only be proficient with Servlets, JSPs, Session and Entity beans, relational databases, and the basics of XML. In only the past year, that expectation has increased to include JMS, Message-driven beans, the new CMP entity model for EJBs, SOAP, WSDL, UDDI, and a host of other advanced XML technologies. Likewise, Microsoft developers are finding themselves overwhelmed with the prospect of migrating to .NET, a new software platform, new tools and features, and an entirely new paradigm. Consequently, skills management is a growing burden on development managers and project managers alike. As teams migrate from existing development frameworks to JEE and .Net, how can they still deliver business solutions, on time and under budget?
Trivera Technologies Skills Engineering™ is a comprehensive approach to skills building. Our experience and research have culminated in a philosophy and educational model that is ideal for building productive and collaborative project teams to address the growing challenges of technical skills management.
> Traditional Training
Traditional instructor-led training is useful for quickly introducing students to a new technology, and given the correct circumstances can be extremely beneficial. Training also builds confidence by giving the developer experience with technology in a non-threatening learning environment.
A significant problem with traditional training is the difference in time between when the developer is trained and when the developer is able to use the new skills. Training in new skills and tools should be followed immediately with direct application in the workplace, to ensure optimum knowledge retention. This is, however, rarely the case.
Another significant hurdle with traditional training is that it must, by nature use generic examples, case studies, and watered down examples. In an attempt to be all things to all people, traditional classroom training often ends up being more theoretical than practical. Students are often left to their own imagination to make the connection between the abstract concepts and simple examples covered in class, and the intricate problems that they face in their actual problem domains.
Traditional training is good an introducing concepts, but typically very ineffective and providing students with a solid grasp of the real-world nuances of what they have studied. The emphasis with traditional training is simply to introduce and expose students to new concepts and technologies.
> Innovative Mentoring
By blending training with hands-on mentoring, the inherent problems with traditional training can be overcome. A mentor is an active participant in the lifecycle of a project. A mentor is an experienced developer with a comprehensive training methodology, and a “been there and done that” relationship with the technology and techniques being employed and promoted within the organization. The emphasis in mentoring is how to apply technology to solve problem domains.
Mentors play a crucial role in the adoption of new technologies, the development of new skills, and the effective application of both to the specific problem domain. This relationship ensures that project teams not only fully-utilize their existing resources, but also apply their newfound knowledge as productively as possible.
> Our Mentoring Teams
Our highly acclaimed consultants/mentors bring years of practical programming and architectural design experience into every IMPACT Project Immersion. (Java, OO/CBD, Web Services, Project Management and more.) Our exceptional professionals bring a unique blend of strategic strengths for a wide range of clients. Each professional is a proven highly experienced Java Mentor with outstanding communication, project management, system architecture and other technical skills.
Each Trivera Team Member
Undergoes a rigorous internal certification process involving a comprehensive written, oral, and presentation tests on every subject they instruct or consult
Is a key contributor to the content of both the presentation material and the student labs
Is an industry expert in at least one key technology area (e.g. component architectures, UML extensions, n-tiered systems design and optimization, etc.) We also have several well-known authors and public speakers on staff that deliver technical sessions regularly at major industry events and seminars.
Is certified in multiple industry-leading software development tools and technologies, such as Sun, IBM, BEA, Java, Oracle, etc.
| Overview of Trivera Skills EngineeringSM
Trivera Skills Engineering promotes skills building as a key function of a development team. Having the right set of skills is often the difference between project success and failure! The first step in TSE is for management to determine their strategic architecture for achieving business objectives. The second step is a cooperative one in which Trivera mentors work directly with management to create a custom knowledge development plan.
Every plan includes two initial components:
The plan will also consist of one or more of the following components:
Just-in-Time Training Seminars
Management-supported Study Groups.
> Technology Roadmap / Skills Architect
The plan begins with a Technology Roadmap. Everything else about the Skills Engineering plan and the educational process is driven by the foundation laid by the Technology Roadmap. The IT Technology Roadmap Building Program™ was created by Trivera to assist companies with the selection of technologies and application development methodologies that best suit their needs. A roadmap would, for example, help a company decide on technology standards for new development as well as document legacy systems that need to be integrated in the new solutions.
Many companies will already have a technology roadmap, and will use Trivera to develop a Skills Engineering plan. This plan identifies the required skills, and essential roles necessary for the software developers, technical staff members, and the management team to appropriately implement the desired technologies and fulfill the intended strategies identified within the company’s Technology Roadmap. In short, the Roadmap is a list of the roles needed, and the skills required, to accomplish the company’s desired technical objectives.
> Skills Assessment
The Technology Roadmap and corresponding Skills Engineering Plan indicates the technical and educational objectives for the organization. The skills assessment takes account of the organization’s current skill levels and technical knowledge to understand what the starting point will be for the educational program.
Trivera has developed a new independent technology, the eAssessment program, which enables us to provide skills testing and assessment prior to having developers enter specific workshops or learning tracks. Our program can also be utilized to perform follow up testing and certification of your team, based on your unique goals and requirements. For example, developers would be tested on key fundamentals like knowledge of RDBMS systems, Object-Oriented technologies, and more. In addition to formal skills assessment through our adaptive tests, Trivera employs custom testing and personal interviews with key individuals conducted by Trivera mentors. These various skill assessment mechanisms are crucial in order to fully understand the current skill level of the team as it relates to the organization’s overall Technology Roadmap. Based on these skills assessment, Trivera works with the client to draft an appropriate educational program.
> Instructor-Led Training
Building upon the foundation of the Technology Roadmap and Skills Assessments, the technology immersion phase begins. Trivera is in the knowledge-brokering business. Rather than simply lecturing to developers in a stale classroom environment, our mentors immerse the students in technology, tools, and techniques. In this initial immersion phase, developers are enrolled in instructor led-training where they are introduced to key concepts and technologies outlined in the technology roadmap for the company. This should correspond as close as possible to the timeframe when the developers will actually use the technologies to build solutions. The objective behind instructor-led training is to reduce the student’s learning curve by introducing concepts and technologies through lecture and intensive lab sessions. Students are exposed to a wide array of options, possibilities, approaches, and techniques, in as short a period of time as possible. The word immersion is not an understatement.
> Computer Based Training
By augmenting instructor-led training with computer/web-based training, students are able to broaden their understanding of core concepts and increase their overall knowledge retention. Providing alternate training mediums, especially those that are self-paced, provides a powerful educational combination. Additionally, computer/web-based training adapts easily to busy schedules and mobile professionals.
> Collaborative Mentoring
The mentoring phase is the cornerstone of any technical immersion program. Mentoring is where the solutions-focused world of consulting and the knowledge-focused world of education meet. Real solutions are built in a collaborative, educational environment, using technologies identified on the technology roadmap. Mentoring ensures that developers maximize their time and efficiency. They receive focused, hands-on training that is immediately applied to their current project, increasing the likelihood that they will maintain that knowledge for use on the next project. Knowledge and experience are exchanged indirectly as well, through the mentor’s technical leadership and keen understanding of the technologies and tools being used. The result is a better-educated team, with real-world experience under their belts, a successful deployment of a new technology, tool, or methodology, and a tangible project deliverable.
> Just In Time Seminars
As the market changes, businesses realign accordingly. Such changes naturally filter down to a change in technical direction, application scope, or both. In addition to market-driven changes, technical changes tend to arise as more knowledge is accumulated about the problem domain, and/or the specific architecture of a system. As new technical requirements emerge, an educational program must be able to adapt as well. To make this adjustment, our mentors use the vast Trivera library of training and presentation material to create a concise training session geared to the unique needs of a particular development team. Such training is sometimes divided into short sessions spread over several weeks to slowly introduce new skills, or to accommodate rigid delivery schedules.
> Paired Programming
Pair programming, which is the practice of two developers sitting behind one monitor developing solutions together, is utilize to maximize the effectiveness of mentoring. Thus, if the mentor shows new skills and/or best practice while involved in a pair programming session with developer b, when developer b works with developer a, developer b will share those new skills and best practices with developer a. What quickly occurs is that knowledge of skills, techniques and best practices quickly spread throughout the team. A second order effect is that the developer’s start to teach each other new skills through their shared learning, beyond what the mentor is providing.
> Management Supported Study Groups
Learning should not stop in the classroom environment. In addition to mentoring and pair programming another way to build knowledge is through technical study groups. For example, if a team was migrating to .NET, then they could collaboratively study a series of books to introduce them to the foundation concepts of .NET, followed by some of the more advanced architectural implications associated with .NET. Involvement in such a group would reinforce the concepts introduced in training and gained by experience in their project development. Typically, group members meet once a week, or a couple of times a month over lunch or after work. Members take turns presenting a summary of a section in the book and then the group discusses that material, and the implications it could have upon their current project. As a show of support, management usually provides an appropriate meeting area and purchases the books to be studied within the group. Study groups are an easy way to motivate a team to expand their skills while reinforcing their training, and building strong communication skills within teams. According to Maslow’s theory of motivation, the highest motivation for humans is social. The study group facilitates this social motivation.
> For Additional Information
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