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Yakov Fain

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Software training – does the class size matter?

I run public and private training pretty often, and the question about the class size often comes up. In this write-up, I’ll share my experience in teaching groups of people of various sizes and the cost efficiency of live training.

While pre-recorded video courses and online webinars are popular because of their availability to masses, live training in a classroom remains in big demand for several reasons:
The groups are relatively small
The instructor is accessible to each and every participant
If a participant has an issue on his/her computer, the instructor can help THIS PERSON

So what’s the good size of the group? I’ve seen live hands-on workshops at the conferences that included 50+ people. This is a lot of people and typically the instructor would need an assistant who can go around the room and help participants as needed. This will allow the instructor to stick to the curricula and cover all topics listed in the course outline.

The quality of the courseware is super important. I prepare the courseware myself, which allows me to put more people in the room because all the course exercises just work, and I don’t need to waste time on fixing the code. Allowing larger groups helps me in getting more requests for corporate trainings. Our company doesn’t charge “per participant”, so the training becomes a lot more affordable for our clients.

If you are a development manager facing the need to train your team on new technology, you may face a dilemma: order an in-house training or let your developers to self-study. The math is pretty simple. Say you have a group of 7 senior developers who need to learn a new technology and can study on their own. Let’s assume that each developer earns $500 a day. If self-studying of this technology would take 10 days, the cost of such self-training for your organization is $35K (500*10*7). Inviting an instructor would let you train the same people in 3 days, which would cost you $10.5K (500*3*7) plus instructor’s fees, which will be less expensive and provide better results.

In some cases, it may be even more cost-efficient to enroll your developers into a public training if available. I’d like to use this opportunity and invite you to our next online public workshop on Angular, where the size of the group is about 25 people. The enrollment fee is nominal, and the quality of the training is great. Just check our refund policy.


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Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain