Training courses and losing your Mojo

Posted: 7th April 2010 by admin in General

Its been a couple of years since I was last on a training course, in fact, it was at the same training centre I am currently sitting at now, doing my SQL Server Reporting Services course. This time its SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). It’s the start of day two, and I’ll give you my main observation, my company, like any other who send somebody here will be paying close to £300 per day for the pleasure, for that you expect a lunch and refreshments. Lunch, no complaints there, good food and plenty of it, however its in the refreshment stakes they fall over. For my company’s £900 I don’t want water mixed with mud and a hint of coffee taste (correction : some jugs of coffee did appear at morning break, better, but no cigar), I want proper fresh filter coffee, it costs 10-15p per cup, its not going to break the bank. Tesco’s Finest Instant Columbian is doing a decent job, but its not the real deal!

Second, I need Wifi. I’m the sole developer at work, and a lot of knowledge sits purely in my head, some issues need me to dial in to work to resolve in breaks, however it appears that wireless isn’t viewed that way here, it was on my last visit, I’d like to know what has changed since then, given the fact that the number of wifi enabled devices has grown since that point in time. A couple of us have asked with no joy so far.

The first day is always a strange mix, if like me, you have some previous knowledge, its a mix of what you know already, while picking up some side knowledge as you go along. Not much gets done before lunch as people are brought up to speed, and the real work starts after lunch. The second day is when the new concepts truly start to be introduced, and from the syllabus it going to be a lot more interesting day today. However I’ve already got some good ideas for how we can replace legacy applications with SSIS, as well as applying it to new data migration projects.

There is usually more than one course running at any time, in my case as well as mine, there seems to be Access and Excel courses running for local authority employees, most of which look like they don’t want to be there and would rather be back in the office avoiding work (my wife is local authority worker and can testify that this is the case in real life as well, having worked for them for 17 years), the rest seems to appreciate the change of scene for a day or two, and are keen to learn something, rather than just pass the course to help against their pay rise and additional contributions to their early retirement final salary pension.

The phrase “a change is as good as a rest” is very true in my sector, sometimes you get so entrenched in the day to day work that you stop looking at the big picture, how things can be replaced to improve performance or save time. This time I have had a change and rest, with the long easter holiday leading into the course giving me a full week out of the office, it gives you space to think generally about projects without having to deal with the details.

This is especially true with one of my projects at work at the moment where I have backed my self into a corner I can’t get out of, and need to step back and look at my approach to the solution when I return to work, without going into detail, I’m taking an orange and trying to merge it with an apple and its never going to work out, its one or the other. This has coincided with a period of having a general creative block, both professionally and personally, where I’ve found it hard to even get a blog article started, in fact this the first article I have got past the first paragraph on since I finished my second guided walk for Caldercask late last month.

Sometimes all you need is something new to get the creative juices going again, in this case I’ve been asked to design the website for a local music festival at Southowram Cricket Club in July, the same club for whom I did the site redevelopment last year. Its not going to earn my any money, as all work I do for the cricket club is free or for non monetary payment (free membership and beer is usual payment), however its good for promoting my name and work further.