December 21, 2010

...Learn TDD with Codemanship

How Can We Offer Training At Low Prices?

A quick note about training.

Someone called me yesterday and asked "How can you provide a 2-day TDD course for 400 GBP when Company X does a similar course for 1,095 GBP?" The implication being, of course, that at such a low price, corners must have been cut.

It's a good question, and the answer is simple - lower overheads and no sales commissions. When you pay 1,000+ GBP for a course, a fraction of that pays for the course material, the course leader and for the venue and catering - usually about 40-50%. The rest pays for the overheads of running a medium-to-large training company, with offices, ancilliary staff, sales people and so on.

The thing about training and coaching is that offices, ancilliary staff and sales people add little-to-no value to the end product. I learned this a long time ago, having developed and delivered courses for some leading software development training providers.

Ultimately, the quality of the training comes down to the person who writes and who delivers the course. I've found a smashing training venue that doesn't charge the silly day-delegate rates hotels and the like charge, who offer free tea, coffee and water (and wi-fi) to delegates as part of their very reasonably-priced package. And catering comes via those very reliable sandwich-making folk at Marks & Spencer. Most on-site caterers do worse food at double the price.

Of course, I am an overhead. A 2-day course is not 2 days' work, by any stretch of the imagination. On average, not including the time taken to develop the courses, each weekend workshop takes up about 10 days of my time. In reality, a sell-out workshop pays me overall considerably less than I can earn shovelling out code in a bank.

But I really enjoy running them, and I believe they do the job they're designed to do, unlike so many other developer courses that seem to cram as much technical detail in - far more than can be digested in 2 days - and skimp on the practical side of things. These aren't those courses where you turn up and fall asleep at the back for 2 days then leave with a mountain of expensive-looking course material in luxury binders to "prove" you know TDD or refactoring. On my courses, you will gets loads of hands-on experience - you'll be coding most of the time - and you will get loads of interaction with me and with other people on the course. You'll learn as much from the experience and from each other than you will from me or from the slides (of which there are mercifully few).

I've designed the master classes with one clear goal - if I was booking a course, what would I want to get out of it, and how much would I be willing to pay? These are developer courses designed by a developer for developers. There is nothing in between. No middle men, no large corporation dictating what marketing messages should be incorporated into the course, and no hired-help course leader who has literally just read the material himself.

This is how Codemanship is able to offer you a 1,095 GBP course for 400 GBP. The 400 GBP is the cost of the course. The remaining 695 GBP pays for things that add no value and in no way enhance the quality of the training experience for you. No corners have been cut. Just the fat shaved off, and what you get is a prime cut of software craftsmanship training.

Posted 10 years, 3 months ago on December 21, 2010