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Training Companies Will See a Big Change

Classic "sheep dip" training courses are not going to be viable for much longer. Even now they're hard to justify because people don't really learn all that much from attending such courses. As developers start to get the software craftsmanship idea, they'll come to realize that it's normal for learning to take time and that it's impossible to cram all of that learning into a week.

As managers start to accept software craftsmanship, they'll support the idea of having experienced developers actively coach and mentor one or two less-experienced developers. Managers will also be less likely to be taken in by the claims made by training companies for their short courses. If anything, managers are more likely to look for long-term training and development programs, where they can send employees for a half day every week to study the theory and concepts underlying their craft. Such a course of study could easily last one or two years or even longer. Traditional four-year mechanical engineering apprenticeships have often been linked with a technical college that runs "night school" classes in the theoretical aspects of engineering. It's high time for the same idea to be used in software development.

Training companies also need to start supporting older languages. I've heard of several organizations that are having to rewrite existing corporate applications in Java because they can't find enough developers who know COBOL or PL/1. The crazy thing is that they couldn't find enough Java programmers either, but it was much easier to find Java training courses than it was to find a COBOL training course.

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