A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had two days of public training coming up in Manchester in April. I’ve just heard that the organisers have decided to cancel this training as they have had no bookings for the classes. I’m sorry if anyone was planning to book closer to the date and has been inconvenienced by this.
I’ve spent a lot of the last seven days running training courses. It might be interesting to share some thoughts about how they went.
Last Saturday was Perl School 4. A week before the course I was a little worried about ticket sales, but I did a bit of marketing early last week and managed to more than double sales in a few days. In the end I had 27 people signed up.
Perl School is always enjoyable. I think that people often turn up with quite low expectations as it’s so cheap. So it’s fun to overturn those expectations and give them a day of high quality training. People obviously recognise that as I’m getting a lot of repeat business – at least one person has come along to three of the four courses so far.
Many of the courses I give are overviews of Perl at various levels. This one was just about DBIx::Class so it was great to be able to go into a lot more depth on a single topic. Of course, DBIx::Class is a great subject to cover and it was fun explaining its more powerful corners to a room of people who don’t know much about it.
I thought it went well. But don’t just take my word for it. I’ve been asking attendees to fill in feedback forms about all the Perl School courses and I’ve published a page summarising that feedback.
Then this week has been two two-day courses for flossUK. Two day courses give us time to include practical sessions so that people go home having actually tried out the techniques that I’ve taught – which nicely reinforces the lessons. I really enjoy those sessions as you really see lightbulb moments as people see how easy it is to use these tools. This afternoon, for example, it was great to see people getting a simple Catalyst application up and running in less than an hour. An hour later people were really impressed as I introduced them to Plack::Middleware::Debug and showed them how I could get detailed DBIC_TRACE output on the web page by making tiny changes to the application code. At least one person went away determined to reimplement a number of key applications in Catalyst as soon as possible.
And that, to me, is the joy of running training courses. It’s great to open people’s eyes to the possibilities that these new tools give them. I love to see them leave filled with renewed enthusiasm for the language.
It’s a new year, so it’s probably a good time to remind you about some training sessions that I have coming up.
- Perl School 4 is on 9th February. The subject this time is Database Programming with Perl and DBIx::Class. As always, a full day of training costs just £30 and the class will be held at Google Campus in London.
- For the last few years I’ve always run a series of public training courses in conjunction with flossUK (formerly UKUUG) and O’Reilly. This year we’re running two two-courses at the Ambassadors Hotel in Central London. There’s a two-day Intermediate Perl course on 12/13 February and an Advanced Perl course on 14/15 February. You can book for these courses on the flossUK web site.
- The London courses have been going so well that flossUK and O’Reilly have asked me to try running some courses elsewhere in the country. The first location is Manchester where I’ll be running a two-day Advanced Perl course on 17/18 April. Once again, you can book for the course on the flossUK web site.
I hope to see some of you at one or more of these courses.
Yesterday was the third Perl School. Twenty-one students converged on Google Campus in London and spend a day learning about Moose.
The day seemed to go well. People asked intelligent questions and seemed to understand what I was telling them. Hopefully the feedback forms will tell a similar story.
No more training now for a couple of months. But once Christmas is over, I’ll need to start thinking about Perl School 4 – which will be about DBIx::Class. Hope to see some of you there.
Yesterday was the second Perl School course. Once again it was at Google Campus and once again it was on Modern Perl for Non-Perl Programmers. The big difference this time though was that people were paying £30 a time to attend.
And that did make a difference. While the previous (free) version sold out in less than a day, there were still tickets on sales for this one right up to the time it started. But I actually ended up teaching more people as far fewer people didn’t turn up (there were still four people who didn’t turn up though – guess some people don’t care about wasting £30).
I thought the course went well – but I’ll wait until the feedback forms come back before taking that for granted. It felt smoother than the first run and we finished on time.
One of the best things about these courses is the way that they draw in people who don’t usually get involved in the Perl community. Of the twenty-five or so people in the room, I think there were three or four who I had met at Perl Mongers events or YAPCs in the past. As I finish with a section on where to go for more information and as that section includes a big plug for London.pm and the London Perl Workshop, hopefully we’ll see a few more people being drawn into the community.
So now it’s time to start looking ahead. The next Perl School is already planned. It will be on 8th December and will be about Moose. Running once every two months seems to be a pretty good rhythm, so I’m also starting to think about running one at the start of February. That will probably be about DBIx::Class.
And if you have any ideas of other courses that I should be running as part of this series, then please let me know.
The second Perl School course is just under four weeks away (and there are still tickets available) but it’s time to start looking ahead.
The third Perl School is going to be on 8th December. Like the others, it will be at Google Campus. But this time the subject will be slightly different. The first two have been aimed at people who don’t know much Perl, but this one will be the first in a series for Perl programmers who might just not be completely up to date with the latest tools. This one is called “Object Oriented Programming with Perl and Moose”. Tickets are £30 and are available online. More details of the course are on the Perl School web site.
The more observant amongst you will have noticed that I’m giving a two-hour tutorial on Moose at the London Perl Workshop two weeks before this course. That tutorial will cover something like a quarter of the material in the full-day version.
On Saturday, I ran the first Perl School session. Twenty-five programmers with little or no previous experience of Perl came along to Google Campus in London and listened to me talking about Perl.
Over six hours I tried to give a good introduction to Modern Perl. In the morning I talked about the core Perl language and explained some of the concepts (for example, context) where Perl differs from most other programming languages. In the afternoon I talked about some of the important big CPAN projects that are defining Modern Perl – things like Moose and PSGI.
The course was free as it was all a bit experimental. I was trying to work out how much material I could get through in a day and what topics would be most useful for the attendees. Many lessons were learned.
- There was slightly too much in the course. Things got a little rushed towards the end. I might need to cut a bit of material before running it again. Or perhaps I just need to waffle on a bit less.
- When you book a room you should ask how the seating will be configured. I turned up at about 9:15, expecting I’d just need to get to grips with the projector system. I found the room set up with chairs around a central table. It was a bit of a rush to turn that into a lecture theatre before the students arrived.
- Some people don’t value free training. There were fifty places available on the course. They were all booked within 24 hours of the date being announced. Over the intervening couple of months, a few people dropped out and were replaced by people from the waiting list. That’s not a problem. In the 24 hours before the course I received five emails from people saying that they couldn’t come for various reasons. That’s not a problem either. What’s a problem is the twenty or so people who just didn’t bother to turn up and didn’t think it worthwhile to let me know.
I’m doing it all over again in October. Same course (slightly improved, I hope) art the same venue. This time it won’t be free – but I’m hoping that a fee of £30 will be cheap enough that people will still sign up.
And I’m planning more courses for the future. Initially, I plan to run something every couple of months. I’m thinking about one-day courses in Database Programming, Object Oriented Programming and Web Programming. Hopefully some of my readers will be interested to come along to some of that.
Yesterday I talked briefly about the Modern Perl for Non-Perl Programmers course that I’ll be running at Google Campus in October. If you look at the URL for the course information you might see a hint of a wider branding strategy.
I’m planning to run a series of these low cost, high attendance courses. And I’m going to brand them as “Perl School”. The idea is to get a bit of a buzz going about Perl training in London. And giving the series an easy to remember name is an important part of that.
I won’t just be running courses aimed at non-Perl programmers. I have ideas for courses for Perl programmers too (at all levels).
Please keep an eye on the site for more news.
 Ok. Part of the idea. There’s also some stuff about making money in there.
Six weeks ago I announced that I’d be running a free one-day course called “Modern Perl for Non-Perl Programmers” in August. Places on that course were fully booked in less than a day.
So I’ve decided to run to course again, two months later. It will still be at Google Campus, and the date is Saturday 6th October.
The original course was free, but I can’t afford to do that on a regular basis. I hope you’ll agree that £30 is still a bargain for a day of training.
As last time, most readers of this blog probably aren’t in the target audience for this course, but you might know people who would be interested in the course. Please pass on the link.
You can buy a ticket using at perlschool2.eventbrite.co.uk.
 Programmers of other languages who want to learn Perl.
Back in 2007 the London Perl Mongers ran a free one-day Perl training course at the BBC’s offices in White City. That was five years ago, so for a couple of months I’ve been thinking that it was probably about time that we did another one.
And then suddenly this afternoon a few loose ends came together and all of a sudden it’s been organised.
The course will be on Saturday 4th August at Google Campus in London. It will run from 9am to 5pm. As last time, it will be completely free to attendees.
Last time the course was aimed at intermediate Perl programmers and introduced them to advanced Perl techniques. This time I’m aiming at the opposite of the spectrum. The course is called “Modern Perl for Non-Perl Programmers”. It’s aimed at people who are comfortable programming in languages other than Perl and who are interested in getting up to speed in Perl as quickly as possible.
Obviously most of the readers of this blog won’t be in the target audience for the course, but I’m betting that you all know at least one person who might be interested in the course. So it would be great if you could send the link to the registration page to anyone who you think would find the course useful.
The link is: perltraining.eventbrite.co.uk
Update: All of the places on this course were booked in about 20 hours. In 2007, a similarly sized free course was all booked up in about two days. I guess it’s true that Perl is dying 🙂