The Teaching Bug

August 31, 2007

Over the past month, I’ve been offering internal training to my department to prep them for an upcoming Java/AJAX/Web Design class we’re all attending.  I’ve covered topics of both C# and Java development, basic OOP programming concepts, test driven development, domain driven development, and we even did some Java Swing (seriously, the stuff makes me cry inside) work.

It’s brought back some memories of when I started with my current job and used to teach evening and weekend classes on *cough* Windows NT 4.0 network administration, PC troubleshooting, Office 2000 usage, and… heh… using Publisher to do flyers and such.  I’ve always loved teaching—from creating curriculum to the light of recognition and understanding in the eyes of participants to the contineous improvement based on feedback.

While, after these few weeks are over, I won’t be doing a lot more, I plan to make it a goal over the next year to get back into speaking and teaching more—whether formally or simply as a guest at some of our local community colleges.  While I used to love teaching hardware and software, development and programming is so much fun because it’s ALWAYS changing and there’s new and exciting things to show people and get them excited in.

Personally, it’s also a great excuse to take the time to really learn new technologies for myself.  

  1. September 4, 2007 at 11:21 am

    I did a speech at a local University for the advanced ASP.NET class awhile back. The speech / demo was on roll-your-own AJAX compared to the AJAX.NET Library. Even though there were only 10 students the class I could tell there were a handful that were genuinely interested. As cliché as it may sound, if you reach one person it makes it all worth it.

  2. September 4, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    I totally agree with the cliché… I remember teaching basic SharePoint classes a few years ago and seeing that spark of “oh, wow… hmm, now how can I use this…” and looking at those individuals today and seeing the creative and awesome things they’ve come up with. For some, especially if teaching a non-technical group, there’s so much value in simply providing an introduction and a bit of understanding–and letting the rest up to them. Though, after writing that, that would apply to the technical group as well, perhaps just from different angles.

    Maybe it’s a midwest (or Kansas thing), but at the high school and secondary levels, .NET programming is still uncommon, at least anything beyond “this is a form, this is a button, if you place a button on a form, you can click it”. The college I’m finishing my Masters at doesn’t even have a technology program (though their focus is education, business, and arts) at this campus. You’re in the Seattle area, if I remember right, so that’s got to help. It’s a bit harder to avoid technology there.😉

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