29 July 2010

Refresher Training is Good, Too!

Some while ago I was teaching a course -- Java Web Application Programming, as it happens --  to a group of quite-experienced web developers working in a large corporate environment. Needless to say, we all thought that this was yet another case of the Training Department getting their act together waaaay too late...

We soon discovered, however, that some of the core concepts and technologies of Java Web Application development were, at best, only poorly understood, even by the most experienced developers in the group. Many of the details of the HTTP protocol were unknown to them, as was the development of custom Tag Libraries -- a key component for developing clean, maintainable Java Web applications without in-page scripting. They had not thought much about the consequences of placing large (multi-megabyte) objects in the application Session... (this is in a clustered web-container environment!)

This is not a criticism of those developers! They had, for years, been delivering absolutely critical business functionality. This is merely an observation that technologies move on; sometimes developers need a little help to catch up, since their management usually neglects to allow time for self-study catch-up on new evolutions in the technology.

More important, it is an observation that Development Managers, Team Leaders and Project Managers shouldn't assume that their developers are completely up-to-date on the technologies they're using for day-to-day development.

Replicated from http://coco.co.za/wiki/KeyTechnologyTrainingStory
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