What to do when IT training is inadequate?

Many companies invest significant amounts of money in training and continuing education for their employees. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend one of the worst training sessions (LFS458 Kubernetes Administration, conducted by a training provider in Germany) in my IT career. I would like to share my experience with you to prevent you from experiencing the same thing. My post is not only addressed to the participants, but also to the trainers who believe they can share knowledge.

Online, in-person, or hybrid?

The choice between online training via Zoom & Co. or in-person training is more or less dependent on your situation and personal preferences. The advantages/disadvantages are well-known and do not need to be discussed in detail here.

Hybrid training

Hybrid training is the worst form of instruction I have seen to date. Here are the disadvantages (some of which may be specific to the provider):

Sound quality. The method of distributing microphones in the room had a massive impact on sound quality. Participants' conversations with each other create a very unpleasant noise for online participants. Hearing constant chatter doesn't create the necessary concentration. The trainer automatically caters to the in-person participants and waits until all in-person participants return from breaks.

Communication between the trainer and the participants is much more efficient in a room, especially when it comes to troubleshooting. The trainer focuses on real people, not the "virtual" ones. Online participants cannot benefit from such conversations that may be interesting.

I think it is extremely important that both participant groups are informed about the type of training.

Trainer quality

This section is more of a suggestion for improvement for trainers. Even if a person has absolute expertise in one area or another, it does not mean that this person is able to pass on their knowledge qualitatively and, above all, methodically.

My suggestions for improvement:

1. There must always be an agenda, a training plan, so that participants can roughly orient themselves about what is coming, for each day.

  • Break times should also be logically and sensibly divided, not after 30 minutes and then after 100 minutes.

2. If participants receive training materials, these should also be suitable for this training.

  • If the trainer uses their own installation and configuration guide, this should be made available to participants.
  • Training materials should be suitable for each participant to set up their own test environment according to a guide.

3. The YAML files, commands, or URLs should be on a shared platform (e.g. GitHub) instead of requiring participants to copy them from the monitor.

  • It is not necessary for other participants to post the command chain in the chat. This should be the trainer's task.

4. It would also be useful if the training reflects a realistic use case, so that at the end of the training, an infrastructure of a fictitious company is set up. Many of us still remember the fictitious Microsoft company "Contoso Corporation."

5. If during the training the training VM has to be moved from one host to another for each participant, this is a sign of poor preparation.

Online vs. Classroom

 Online   Classroom
Online training can offer some advantages in some cases, such as flexibility and accessibility, especially if participants are located in different places or have difficulty attending a training session in person. They can also be more cost-effective, as there are no travel or other expenses involved. Traditional classroom instruction, on the other hand, can provide a better opportunity to interact directly with the trainer and other participants, ask questions, and work together in group activities. It can also be easier to understand complex concepts when they are explained in person by a trainer, rather than learning them online by oneself.
However, there are also some challenges with online training, such as the need for a stable internet connection, limited opportunities for interaction with the trainer and other participants, and possible distractions from ambient noise or other activities on the computer.  



IT training is very expensive and, as experience shows, not particularly efficient. From this perspective, online training providers like Udemy or Pluralsight would be a serious alternative. Especially when learning together as a team.

Here it is, of course, important and necessary that as much time is reserved for such training as for comparable in-person training. The employee should be given this time so that they can concentrate on learning without interruption.

The advantage here is that the time can be scheduled individually. Instead of four consecutive days, for example, eight blocks of 4 hours each could be spread over several weeks, and the knowledge learned could be applied in practice in the meantime.

Good luck with your next training!



Kubernetes CKS from Anthony Nocentino (Pluralsight)

  1. Kubernetes Installation and Configuration Fundamentals (Duration 3h 48m)
  2. Managing the Kubernetes API Server and Pods (Duration 3h 43m)
  3. Managing Kubernetes Controllers and Deployments (Duration 2h 48m)
  4. Configuring and Managing Kubernetes Networking, Services, and Ingress (Duration 2h 5m)
  5. Configuring and Managing Kubernetes Storage and Scheduling (Duration 2h 50m)
  6. Maintaining, Monitoring and Troubleshooting Kubernetes (Duration 2h 14m)
  7. Configuring and Managing Kubernetes Security (Duration 2h 14m)

Kubernetes CKA from Mumshad Mannambeth (udemy)

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