Archive for June 5th, 2012

Training–a necessity or bonus June 5th, 2012

Vinod Kumar

A lifetime of training for just ten seconds. – Jesse Owens

Recently I saw Pinal write a 5 part series elaborately on this very topic and it is interesting to see what are the various perspectives when it comes to training as a concept. Even today I attend a number of trainings to learn a new concept or technology. There are obviously advantages when it comes to training and often this is considered as waste of time by many. In my opinion it is all about attitude – trust me :).

Little story

Let me tell you a short story that I heard from one of my friend, a student wanted to learn an art from a reputed monk. One day he goes to the monk and gives his qualification of he knowing the art of x, art of y etc and says he is interested in learning the art that this monk teaches. The monk listens without saying a word and send him away denying his request. The student is persistent and comes to the monk almost every day with the request and the monk keeps ignoring him. As months pass by, the student gets frustrated and gets angry one fine day – he stops the monk and questions him – “Why are you not accepting me as your disciple?”

The monk, stops, smiles and takes the student into his dining area. The dining table was beautifully covered with a white table cloth and the student sits next to the monk. The monk takes a cup and starts to pour tea in front of the student. He slowly fills the cup and doesn’t stop. He pours more as the tea starts to spill out into the saucer next, the student is baffled and watches in anticipation. The monk doesn’t stop the constant flow of tea and now the tea has almost filled the saucer and is about to spill to the table cloth when the student gets curious, restless and says – STOP. The monk stops and keeps the kettle away and says – “This is exactly what I expected”.

The monk adds, Son – if you still don’t get it – let me explain you. The moment you came to me with enthusiasm to learn you were like a cup full of tea. Hence anything I pour into this as knowledge is going to spill out and you will never get what I teach you. So, come back to me like an empty cup, where you are ready to absorb what I teach and I will be glad to have you as my student.

If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win – Carl Lewis

Now given the context of this post, I hope you get the point around – ATTITUDE. It is critical to have a mindset that you are here to learn something and there is always something to learn from the other person. Else, you will always be in the state that the training is useless and you are not doing yourself any good. Now below are few of the mind voice you need to be careful –

  1. Training gets in the way of getting the job done.
  2. I look forward to training so I can catch up on my to-do list.
  3. I can’t tell you the last time I attended a training or self-improvement session.
  4. When we get around performance reviews, we don’t consider the completion of training – so why give this importance.
  5. Training is a relaxing place as I know that subject anyways.

This list can grow infinite, but I want to warn that these are not the right positive attitude that I have been talking about.

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education – Mark Twain

What, Why, How, Whom !!!

Questions are infinite and I don’t would want to rehash the awesome content Pinal wrote on his blog.

Developer Training – Importance and Significance – Part 1
Developer Training – Employee Morals and Ethics – Part 2
Developer Training – Difficult Questions and Alternative Perspective – Part 3
Developer Training – Various Options for Developer Training – Part 4
Developer Training – A Conclusive Summary- Part 5

I think the perspectives and the emphasis on the need for training is never under question. And the blog series surely demystifies most of these open questions. I am also from the school that there is no end to learning and there is no better place to learn that but from you. Yes, there is something to learn from everyone out there and why to miss out on that opportunity.

If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat – Herschel Walker

Conclusion

There is an interesting anecdote in Steven Covey’s book: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: a woodcutter was continuously sawing a tree for hours together. A man who was watching him work for some time asked him: “Why don’t you sharpen your saw? It will make your task easier”. The woodcutter replied: “How can I ? I have no time. Can’t you see I am too busy sawing?”. The point of this story is that our skills , our tools , our creativity gets blunt after working for a period of time. Training and Development help in sharpening our saws.

Please feel free to pass your comments and views, for sharing is a way to learn.

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