Year in Review: Training 2016

Dec 29, 2016 | GIS, Rambling, Small Business, Training

I threw out the first two editions because I was dwelling on the Gov’t Agency in North Georgia that refused to pay for training but took the class. Eh – it’s almost a new year and that is old news. I almost bared all with that one – posted correspondence and everything. Heh. I considered that “Not cool”.

Training was a bit hit or miss this year. Sometimes the class was full – sometimes not. Overall it wasn’t bad as I didn’t put a ton of effort into it. To be honest I was burned out after the spring class where I didn’t get paid and half the class ruined the class for the other half. I just really sorta sat there going “I hate training” and explored the grumpiness that comes with it.

The biggest class was at FOSS4GNA in Raleigh this year. I think there were well over 60 participants and it ranged from Government employees to Teachers to “hey whats this QGIS thing I keep hearing about” people. I crammed 8 hours of information into 4 hours (probably too much) and it went well. It’s just tiring. I equate training to a 4 or 8 hour stand up comedy special where it just doesn’t stop. It is interesting at the number of people looking at QGIS who are ArcGIS users. I can’t say that there is a “war for desktop users”. I can say that the Open Source side is providing a compelling argument on switching if you can. If you’re an ESRI user I believe that ArcGIS Pro will lock you in from here on out and breaking free will get harder with each passing year (not necessarily a bad thing overall – just boring IMO). I’m blown away by the passion on the QGIS end. ArcGIS is sorta slipping into irrelevancy currently for me (jut me). I hate it – as a consultant I need to remain up to speed on both – but……….

I did decide to change things a wee bit and  move the class into Sphinx That’s going to let me get a bit more long winded and provide a search tool for the Class. Plus updates will be quicker. So I’m learning Sphinx. Yippee for new Job skills.

I did bump the price up to $375 from $325. I’m also attempting regularly scheduled classes like once a quarter. I actually had more success from agencies looking to not purchase ESRI products. The quote was “We can bring you in cheaper than buying an Arcview license”. So I did that quite a few times which was unscheduled and random. I didn’t even attempt online training. I thought about it and decided no again.

After diving head over heels into PostGIS this year I’m going to try to add a second day centered on databases. I started it and then wavered as I want it to tie into the QGIS class – but not stretch out. If I do it the way I’m currently doing it – it’s bordering on 3 full days. It will be good – but I don’t know who wants to listen to me for 3 days. Which leads me to wanting to do a few other things in which I turn this into a week long boot camp and no one is going to want to listen to me for a week (I guess). I can dream though. If I gave myself a dollar for every time I mentioned the PostGIS class I’d have more money than I’d probably make on the class.

I wrestle with the original spirit of the business in regards to training. Way back when I was an ESRI Business Partner training was 1/3 of my business. Training is fun mostly – but I do mostly services oriented work and that has picked way up. Training is almost an outreach of sorts and I hope I break even doing it. I like work and I like problems and I like providing answers. Training is fun for meeting people…….but I don’t know how much of the core of my business I want to remain in training. Which really all comes down to $$$. Do I make enough to justify the time? Sorta. I did have a few instances where conferences contacted me wanting to do the QGIS class and those fell through. Which – no harm in that happening.

I did see a lot more people dive into providing QGIS training. Which is fine. I think a few are attempting to replicate what I’m doing and good for them. This class now has 4 years of teaching behind it – it’s pretty solid at this point. I use the software everyday – so it’s hard to replicate that. Hey – the more the merrier. It’s good for the QGIS Community as a whole.

Hmmmmmm – what to review next…..Maybe Personal…….

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