NetBeansCertifiedEngineerChecklist

Checklist for Trainers of the NetBeans Platform Certified Training Course

The list below is random, unprioritized, and unsorted.

  • Bring your laptop, extra power supply, extra batteries (recharged to the max).
  • Network connection available at site? Will you need it? (Show them tutorials, Javadoc, etc.)
  • Are you sure your laptop will display correctly? Resolution, etc? Best to verify before departure.
  • Will you and your co-presenter need to switch connections or can you hook up to the display separately?
  • If the room is large, before you start your presentation do this: stand in the back of the room and check that you can see the code in the editor window. To change the size of everything use the --fontsize 14 switch (or some other number). In the Options window (Fonts & Colors | Syntax), you can change font size of the code in the editor.
  • If you're traveling to give a training, check that the hotel has Wifi support (preferably free). At least, don't assume that they do.
  • Bring a USB stick.
  • Will it be paid (a company) or free (an institution)?
  • If it is paid, you will probably spend at least some time evaluating a prototype and coding practices, so prepare for that (e.g., ask for specs if possible).
  • If it is paid, i.e., some company, make sure that the target audience realizes you're offering a course, not a full blown architecture review. If they want a business consultancy, they can get one, but that's not a course, requires different resources, and potentially a different skillset to what the trainer brings to the table.
  • If you're giving the training at a university, do everything you can do to get the training included as part of the official course, so that the students have a reason to complete their assignments.
  • If you're giving the training at a university, YOU are responsible for maintaining contact with students afterwards, answering their questions, and reviewing their modules.
  • If you're giving the training at a university, find out how the students refer to your contact point, who is possibly a professor, who you may know as "Bob", but who they may only know as, and refer to respectfully as, "Professor Harris". In that case, don't say: "Bob told me that blablabla."
  • What level will the students be? What do they already know?
  • How many will there be?
  • Make sure your laptop's desktop is clean.
  • Have one folder where all your completed & functioning demos are stored.
  • Normally, prepare a mailing list for the course beforehand, get participants signed up.
  • Bring 'Rich Client Programming' or Heiko Boeck's book, at least 1, to show them.
  • Will the class have laptops or some other computer with them?
  • Will they expect to follow step by step everything you're showing?
  • Will the training be in a computer lab or lecture room?
  • If they will have their own hardware, which version of NetBeans IDE will they have/need?
  • Will you do workshops or presentations only?
  • If you do workshops, what is more important to you: that they're happy at the end or that they struggled & (possibly) failed?
  • Choose your workshop topics accordingly.
  • Consider using one or two tutorials for the workshops: get them to work through them while you walk around & monitor.
  • Worst case scenario: your laptop doesn't start up. What will you do?
  • Murphy's law.
  • Which parts of your demo are most likely to fail? Could you replace or avoid those parts? Or replace the whole demo minus that part?
  • If you run out of time, which demo can you drop?
  • If there ends up being one or two hours less, which presentations can you drop?
  • If you end up unexpectedly with an extra hour, what will you deliver in that time?
  • If you go too fast at the start of the presentation, how will you (meaningfully) fill up the time near the end?
  • If a question is asked in the middle, and it will take too long too answer (or is unrelated somehow), say you'll deal with it at the end (or later).
  • Better to copy code off a slide than from notepad (the former proves you weren't lying, the latter that you can't code).
  • You're not there to prove you know everything, but to teach newbies, so consider not covering everything, but just enough for the target audience.
  • Better not to self-reference the slides (e.g., "When I wrote this slide, what I meant to convey was..."), because it sounds silly.
  • Don't share other similar things, like how hard you worked to prepare a particular presentation. Why are you telling them that anyway?
  • Point out to students where they can get the slides you're using, tell them there's no need to copy down from them.
  • Make sure to have uploaded your customized NetBeans Platform training slides, if you've customized them.
  • Make sure the presentations are practical rather than mostly theoretical.
  • Find out beforehand what areas they'd like you to focus on.
  • Make sure to set expectations correctly: e.g., they will not be NetBeans Platform experts at the end of the course.
  • Figure out beforehand how/if homework assignments will be supported.
  • Consider doing some presentations together with your co-presenter, e.g., one is the provider, the other the consumer.
  • Consider doing 'case studies': tell students at the start of a presentation that you'll be discussing a problem at the end.
  • Try and figure out if/how many would potentially like to be trainers afterwards with 'NetBeans Platform Teaching Resources' site.
  • Be sure to also at least mention the latest NetBeans Platform enhancements.
  • Prepare speaker notes needed for presentations and share them afterwards.
  • Consider giving students a few minutes (10-20 mins) after each lab to try things out.
  • If possible, bring diplomas, DVDs, evaluation forms, t-shirts (take L and XL size at least)
  • Exchange phone numbers with your co-presenters -- make sure all trainers can contact each other.
  • Instead of exchanging 100's of e-mails with your contact point, try and get most/all info in 1 or 2 e-mails.
  • One or two phone conferences might help to sync up.
  • In your exchanges, ask as many of the questions from this list as possible.
  • If traveling somewhere, bring a map.
  • Bring a camera (or check that target audience has one) so you can get a group pic.
  • For your demos, use the smallest IDE possible (i.e., "Java" distro, not "Web & Java EE").
  • Have an installer available locally.
  • Have all your demos written down, step by step, on a piece of paper, in case you forget something.
  • Have all presentations (yours as well as other presenters) available locally on disk.
  • Start with a clean user dir (+ any special modules you might need).
  • If your user dir contains special things you'll need (e.g., project groups, which are in 'Preferences'), then make a copy of that user dir in case you mess it up.
  • Start up the IDE and have it set up for your first demo before you start your presentation.
  • Make sure to have done some basic things, e.g., create a new module and/or app, to make sure everything's good and fast.
  • Consider linking your first demo to the previous presentation's last demo.
  • As you do your demos, point out small NetBeans tips & tricks (keyboard shortcuts, etc).
  • Write down all the questions they ask you, everything, so others can prepare for those next time.
  • You won't be able to answer all questions you will be asked, prepare for telling them to write to their special mailing list.
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