Thursday, 1 March 2018

ActiveBatch Advance Course from Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc.

ActiveBatch Advance Course
Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc.
Instructor Kathryn Ossandon

It has been a few years since I have taken part in a Live Virtual Classroom course offering. Over that time I have done a lot of self-paced online study. But there is always something about instructor led courses and labs that build that I get excited about. As someone who spent 20 years as a student in post-secondary education, and since then had done hundreds of IT courses, through CBT Nuggets, TrainSignal, Pluralsight, and more. One of the advantages of self-paced is not needing to wait on any stragglers. But the biggest advantage of instructor led is the interaction, sometimes with other participants, or as in this case just the instructor.

In this particular course the instructor was one of the best features. Kathryn Ossandon, she comes from technical support for ActiveBatch, and now focuses on being a Product Trainer. And she leads an excellent course offering. I believe this was the first course I have ever taken where time was not lost at some point as the instructor helped someone with their labs. The pace that the course was taught at was perfect. Of the 9 of us taking the course we had a range of experience with the products and a range of roles, from operations, administration to developer. And this course is designed in such a way as to teach what is needed to all three camps. 

The contents for the Advanced Course are:

It seems like a lot for a three day course spanning 24 hours. But the instructor had the labs open before class on days 2 and 3, and after class on days 1 and two. The instructor also closed out the labs during the teaching time, so students are required to focus on the teaching and not just keep ploughing through labs. The days were well structured and for the most part we really kept to the schedule that was communicated at the beginning.

Now I am on the operations or administration side of the house. I switched jobs about 18 months ago and have now been exposed to ActiveBatch. It is very different than the previous tool I used. But I really appreciate the design, functionality, and ease of use with this product.

For me this course was great because I have been support ActiveBatch for over a year. I have migrated a number of machines with Job Queues from one domain to another during an Active Directory collapse. During that project I had to remediate individual servers and a few hundred jobs. This course would have been very beneficial prior to that project. But even with that being said this course covers a lot of excellent material.

When I looked at the lab manual and saw 36 labs for 3 days I wondered how in the world we would get through it all. But the knowledge for the most part so nicely builds upon each other, block by block, and before I knew it the third day was done.

As a side not it is recommended that this course be completed with at least 2 computer screens. One for the Lab computer and one for the lab manual, alt-tab would just be too inconvenient, and you would likely fall behind.

Overall I would state that this is one of the best courses I have taken since working full time in IT. This offering has great material, excellent schedule, and an amazing instructor. And I look forward to learning more as I support this product in the years to come.

(Prepared to start the final day of the course with a Coffee, Tea, fresh juice, and water. Because of the course time zone I did remote training from home.)

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