Saturday, April 11, 2009

What value is IBM Top Gun Virtual Learning?

Yesterday morning was the end of my three-day stint logged in to the IBM Top Gun Virtual Learning seminar and I enjoyed the experience more than I expected. It was the first Virtual Learning I had done in this classroom format, and as I sat at my desk at home, unshaved, wearing trakkies, and drinking my own coffee I thought to myself "All mornings should start like this".

(I listed the curriculum in a previous post so I won't revisit it here.)

eLearning has a number of advantages compared with a regular classroom format:
  • It's easier to get international speakers - we had maybe ten presenters logging in from multiple worldwide locations and only one speaker came from Sydney. If I wanted to hear from all of those guys in a classroom format it would have cost IBM a few zillion dollars to fly them in and the event probably wouldn't be held in my town anyway. Sydney might have got the world premiere of the new Star Trek movie but IBM is a little more pragmatic than that.

  • Sitting at my own desk meant that I could multi-task more effectively and I didn't have to close down my business to attend the seminar. While the course was going on I could answer my own emails and phone calls without disturbing anybody. Obviously I only "stepped out" to handle urgent stuff, but it's reassuring to know that I had the option of juggling both balls at once.

  • You can tune out during the boring/repetitive stuff - I probably already knew 80% of the stuff in the course and I'm sure many other attendees were in the same boat. I don't blame the organizers for that - the course curriculum was publicized well in advance. It would have been impossible to persuade myself to attend a three day classroom event covering the same material.
Is the course worth attending? It was for me, but I can't answer that question for you. My objective is to position my company (Binary Concepts) with IBM as a skilled and reliable business partner specializing in the Lotus software brand, and doing this course and passing the subsequent exam was one way of showing IBM that they can confidently recommend us to their customers.

1 comment:

Eric Mack said...

Graham. thanks for posting this summary. As a result of your post, I plan to look into this training. I'm also investigating Foundations for our internal and demo use. Thanks for your informative blog posts.