In praise of the trainers.

I highlighted the powerful influence of customer lbrarians in delivering automation in the design of electrical systems’ interconnects using the capital suite of programs. Librarians get proficient initially through the ministrations of a trainer to guide them through the concepts of the software and how these apply to their working lives. I’ve also singled out the product management staff who convert their professional expertise and their personal understanding of users’ and marketplace needs into finished product. This group of people brings the new modules (e.g. Capital Architect and Capital Modular XC) into being. Afterwards it is work of the Educational Services Group of Mentor to author a training course.  Trainers have a challenging job and it is really well done.

And there are a lot of courses in the repertoire

The trainer who is going to deliver the course as a paid-for service is usually the main author, sometimes the only author. If that were all the accomplishment a person has to show for their working life “I wrote a training course or two) I think we should be quietly impressed. Distilling the countless features and the multiple patterns of use into ones which are highly relevant to the majority of users and interesting and instructive to the others for whom the task is only indirectly part of their role – that takes expertise and experience. Gathering it into a coherent package, trialling it, maintaining it is the ordinary part of the task of writing a training session. The real magic is in constructing something which has the potential to engage the audience.  Someone writing a training course is providing the potential for inquisitiveness to turn into professional effectiveness. The person delivering the training course has the goal of  realizing that potential from curiosity through to knowledge for the benefit of the customer and not for their own self-satisfaction. The Mentor trainers are great teachers who provide the environment in which the talents of the trainees can really shine.

Capital Harness XC - student workbook contents to show the comprehehsive curriculum offered for one of the capital applications.

Capital Harness XC - student workbook contents to show the comprehensive curriculum offered for one of the capital applications.

















The participants in training courses come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. This is an interesting and stimulating fact of the business life for the trainers. I think it is good to acknowledge that their skills are not confined to international borders – which means their professional lives take them travelling as much as any sales or technical marketing person in the software industry. Perhaps more. And part of their job is to inspire more people, to aid understanding for people to whom English is a second language. To switch etiquette from the Asia Pacific deference to the European relaxed respect.  Sensitivity to the needs of students whether Middle Eastern, Brazillian or German for example is really important so that the training is optimally effective.

A tough audience here! Mentor Graphics Application Engineers brought their baggage, personalities and cultural heritage from many countries of the world and an interest in heckling the trainer.

A tough audience here! Mentor Graphics Application Engineers brought their baggage, personalities and cultural heritage from many countries of the world and an interest in heckling the trainer.
















A comprehensive mastery of the subject matter is a given, but there is actually a lot more to the remarkable skills of the trainers. In teaching something to adults, you are negotiating through the aspirations for success, the eager embrace of change through to the cynical and suspicious attitudes of people who don’t think the automation can fit their bsuiness process. There are as many motivations and likes and dislikes of people to the way in which they learn as they are people. Some students fold their arms and say “show me” and the person on the next computer may be skipping three exercises ahead and trying their best to make the software crash. You have to have a serious talent for communicating and a gift for listening as well as a gift for being listened to to have this job to flourish.  A good human beats a remote scripted session guide in mist categories.

Luckily we have some. Hip Hip hurrah for the trainers!

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About Paul Johnston's Blog

Capital is Mentor Graphics' global market-leading software for electrical system design, electrical analysis, system integration, cabling and wiring design, harness engineering and service documentation. My job title is Senior Application Engineer Consultant - that's a subject matter expert label if you don't want to work out what it means. Here are some of my observations and views - comment on them at your pleasure. Paul Johnston's Blog


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