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User Training for Busy Programmers: Develop effective software training classes quickly and easily Paperback – June 14, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 92 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (June 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904811450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904811459
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,531,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Do you need to write a successful software training course? Are you unsure of how to start? Would you like a step-by-step project plan to guide you in the development of your software class? This book gets right to the point with clear, concise directions for developing an end-user software course.

If you need to design and write a software training course, and you're not sure where to begin, this book is for you. This step-by-step job aid walks you through the process of developing a successful, instructor-led software class.

There are many good books on training theory. This book takes a more practical, condensed approach for when you don't have time to learn training theory. It is based on fifteen years of technical writing and training experience. In just 120 pages, the book guides you through the process of developing an end-user software course using a method that is tested, proven, and based upon sound instructional theory.

About the Author

William Rice develops software training, user documentation, and knowledge management solutions. He lives and works in New York City. During his 15-year career he has worked with a variety of Fortune 500 clients. He specializes in training and knowledge solutions for software that supports business processes. This is his first book for Packt Publishing.

William Rice

William Rice is a software training professional who lives, works, and plays in New York City. His indoor hobbies include writing books and spending way too much time reading sites like slashdot and 43folders. His outdoor hobbies include orienteering, rock climbing, and edible wild plants (a book on that is coming someday).

William is fascinated by the relationship between technology and society: how we create our tools, and how our tools in turn shape us. He is married to an incredible woman who encourages his writing pursuits, and has two amazing sons.

William Rice

William Rice is a software training professional who lives, works, and plays in New York City. His indoor hobbies include writing books and spending way too much time reading sites like slashdot and 43folders. His outdoor hobbies include orienteering, rock climbing, and edible wild plants (a book on that is coming someday).

William is fascinated by the relationship between technology and society: how we create our tools, and how our tools in turn shape us. He is married to an incredible woman who encourages his writing pursuits, and has two amazing sons.

For more updates on him and his work, you could visit his online blog: williamriceinc.blogspot.com


More About the Author

William Rice is a software training professional who lives, works, and plays in New York City. He is the author of books on Moodle, Magento, Blackboard, and software training.

His indoor hobbies include writing books and spending way too much time reading slashdot.org. His outdoor hobbies include orienteering, trying to keep up with his sons on the playground, and practicing archery within site of JFK Airport.

William is fascinated by the relationship between technology and society: how we create our tools, and how our tools in turn shape us. He is married to an incredible woman who encourages his writing pursuits, and has two amazing sons.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By geekybodhi on July 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I selected this book since it's a goal oriented book. No theories, though as the preface mentiones it's based on sound educational theory. I am a technical writer and this book surely has several bits of information and advice that even I can use.

The author makes his intentions clear at the begining with this: "Good software training is not about learning how to use software. It's about learning how to get work done." He follows this up by eliminating some common misconceptions about training.

From then on, the book goes about helping one prepare and deliver the course. The real work begins from Chapter 2, with identifying who needs to be trained and the type of information applicable to a particular kind of audience, demonstrated by examples. While helping us develop the in-class exercises, the author takes a moment to brief us on the common conventions and writing styles that'd help in a training session exercise and while developing lectures.

Since a good part of training also revolves around a live demo of the application, the book also helps us build material to complement our demo. Through examples we are taught to write discussion points that are mapped with the instructor activity plan for the demo. Finally the author shows us how to package the course along with the instructions and slides before doing a dry test run.

The best thing about the book is its "a bit-of-advice" attitude. The regular check-points and action activities keep the reader involved. Even while reading you feel as if you are actually developing a course. Surely this book will help any programmer to prepare for a training or demo exercise.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By WinSBSUG on November 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
This short, concise book does an excellent job of covering the steps involved in training development. Mr. Rice covers the steps in a way that makes it an easy read, and the format and layout of the book makes you want to use it as a checklist. The book would be a good addition to anyone's bookshelf who has to develop training sessions.

My only concern with the book is its title. The job of understanding the needs of the user is left to the designers and architects of applications, not programmers. From my experience, programmers do not write users' documentation or end-users' training. I am afraid that programmers might look at the book and reject it because it is not something they would do, and the people who need it will miss it because it seems to be addressed to programmers.

If you are new to training development, take a look at this book. It is well worth its price. Most of us non-professional course designers, of whom I am one, are never given the time to follow the full process presented in this text, but it is good to know the steps that you have skipped.

Reviewer: J. Mel Harris

Mel has 35+ years in the computer business and specializes in the development of business productivity applications and training of power-users and solutions innovators.

He develops and presents training sessions on a wide variety of technical and end-user topics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Gaumond on January 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Finally a great reading, with great insight, and readable in just a few hours.That was a pleasant and interesting read. I'm not a professional trainer but often had to present software and train people. I'm addicted to whiteboard and would become a full time teacher if that was possible. So I can see myself as the perfect guy for this book.

It is thin but that was expected with such a title. The book really goes to the point, without being boring and as stated by the author, it is not about teaching theory but should serves as a guide.

You can get chapter 4 of the book to give you a good idea of the structure by going to [...]

What I think is really missing is some kind of template or at least printable checklists to guide you thru the process. You can find those in the book, but you will have to recreate them on your own. It's even more needed if you have more than one training to organize or if you adress different audiences. That being said, it's still a good idea to get the book!

But beware of the «fast track lure» ! Even if the book is slim, achieving what is suggested will take time, lots of it. But frankly how can you accomplish this task without any effort at all. It's just not possible. So, even if you're a busy programmer, take time to plan your training. And following the nice hints from this book.is a great way to avoid some errors.

Patrick Gaumond
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Jones on October 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my kind of book. Simple, to the point, step-by-step, with plenty of good points to use my highlighter on and refer back to.

It does not overwhelm the reader with details of education ideology, just rubber-to-the-road common sense.
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