September 18, 2012

Since this is my first blog, I wanted it be sure to kick it off with a topic I thought you’d all be interested in: Training.  Maybe because it’s now the middle of September, I don’t know, but when I thought about writing my first blog I was suddenly having flashbacks to the obligatory grade school essay of “What I did on my summer vacation”.
Since most of my job here at Synergis is to not only train folks but keep myself trained in the new features of various software applications, I know what a constant struggle this can be.  So I thought it would be a good idea to write some tips on getting the most out of your training. So here’s my personal top ten list.

1.  Do you wanna mess around?

Yes, mess around with the software before the class.  If you don’t own it, most Autodesk titles have 30 day free trials, so download and install it!.  Even though you may not know what you’re doing, you’re still learning.  This way you’ll have plenty of questions on the first day.

2.  Early bird…

Show up early and get a good seat!  I had an 87 year old student recently in a class I taught who reminded me of this simple adage.  He showed up early and took a seat so he could easily hear me as well as see the projector screen!

 3.  Man is tethered…

It’s usually best to go to a training facility away from the office, for the simple reason you won’t have interruptions from coworkers.  You will not absorb much from training if you’re still tethered to the office, interupted by texts and emails .  You can always reconnect with the office at a break or lunch.

4. Lost in the supermarket…

As you follow along with the tutorials, if you get lost, by all means raise your hand and let the instructor know.  Also if they are moving too fast, let them know they need to slow down.

5.  Drinking brew for breakfast…

I do believe Rudie CAN fail, especially after a few brews!  It should go without saying but- show up sober.  Awhile back I had a guy in a night class who would prepare for class at the bar next door.  This made it tough for him to follow even simple instructions.

6.  Doesn’t anybody know how to have fun?…

Keep it light, your training should be fun after all you’re not in the office.

7. Communicate, never, never hesitate…

Connect with fellow students in addition to the instructor.  Share your experiences.   Some of the best learning comes from peers as well as the instructor.

8. With a little help from my friends…

As an instructor it’s easy to have the delusion that I explain things so clearly that anyone should  understand, but sadly that isn’t always a reality.  Sometimes students need to get some extra help or a different perspective on something.  Ask you fellow students, check out Youtube and other sources  for different explanations.  Your learning shouldn’t end with the class.

9. Teacher, Teacher…

Read the bio (usually available on a company website or  upon request) so you get an idea of where there experience comes from.   Also make sure you get there email so you can reach them when you have question after the training.

10. And put on your prettiest face…

Try to remember what your mom taught you about “playing nice”.  Have patience with your fellow students and try to be supportive, the same goes with your instructor and equipment.   Of course in a perfect world your PC will never crash.  However, in reality, we can have “unexpected exits” during the class or at work.  Your instructor will be able to show you how to cope with those too, if given the opportunity.
I hope these tips will help you get more out of your training. Oh- by the way, if you haven’t figured it out already, those esoteric headers next to the numbers are song lyrics.  Now you can Google the songs below and have a listen.
1. Old 97s –  Buick City Complex
2. Mark Knopfler – Early Bird
3. The Waterboys – Spirit
4. The Clash – Lost in the Supermarket
5. The Clash – Rudie Can’t Fail
6. The Jayhawks – Big Star
7. Pete Townshend – Communicate
8. The Beatles – With A  Little Help From My Friends
9. Rockpile – Teacher, Teacher
10. Psychedelic Furs – High Wire days
Bill McKown
Bill is Synergis’ Visualization expert. Having joined the company in 2011, his prior employment involved CAD design, 3D renderings for both architectural and interior design projects, and training and supporting for all the products associate with these. Bill has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Arts in Education and additional certifications in Computer Animation and Autodesk solutions.