Well House Consultants has offered training courses in a variety of Open Source programming languages. Our main expertise is now in Python (version 3) but we can also offer 'heritage' training for system maintenance in languages such as Perl, Tcl and Lua. We are strong users of PHP (up to and including version 7).
With Coronavirus restictions - now in 2021 - we are training online from our Melksham UK headquarters (don't worry about timezones - we can be up in the middle of our night!). In the last year, we have learned how to present in this way to provide the most effective learning experience, and we have added elements to ensure that delegate stay with us through the experience and come out as well taught as they would be with a private course at your office.
Courses are all written by ourselves, and lead by our own tutor. We recommend that you limit courses to fourteen delegates so that the tutor has plenty of time to answer any questions that arise, and provide personal support during practical sessions.
Our Python 3 course offering for 2021
Running order and content to vary depending of pre-agreed delegate background
(i.e. - is this for people with prior programming experience, or totally new to coding?)
( Week 0 - Learning to program in Python - first principles)
Week 1 - Hello Python World, featuring "everything is an object"
Week 2 - Loops, conditionals, finding and using built in functions and methods
Week 3 - Collections. Also importing code. Exceptions.
Week 4 - Structuring code into manageable blocks and units; your own objects
Week 5 - data handling - files, data structures; regular expressions in Python
Week 6 - object subclasses, inheritance, static and dynamic, decorators
Week 7 - good re-usable code, with test harnesses, design for easy maintenance, efficiency
( Week 8 - Using Python with XML / on the web / graphics / SciPy / MatPlotLib, etc)
* 6 to 8 sessions of 1.5 hours each, weekly, same time each week.
* Presentation to be mixed slide set and dynamic demonstrations
* Maximum one "screen" of attendees. I believe that would be 14 once you take our 2 tutor seats
* "Open mike" so that anyone can butt in with questions
* In addition, following 30 minutes around for detailed questions
* In addition, a prior 30 minutes to review / answer from previous week
* Tutor available for one or two further slots during the week to take questions / help on exercises
* Accessible via email too - promised response within 12 hours. Target - answer 90% question fully in that time
* Presentation slides and full source code examples available online after each session
* ALSO - data sets for the examples
* ALSO - exercises/ideas to try out between sessions
* Using a recent Python 3 (3.7?) unless otherwise advised (what is your minimum spec?)
* Intentionally NOT majoring on 3.8 / 3.9 extras in case your systems are not at that level but could mention and show them
* Delegate to have access to 3.7, 3.8 or 3.9 to try things out (not vital during 90 minutes, but needed between sessions)
* Sessions to be presented in English
* Lead time - 3 weeks to first session
* Pricing - we are probably looking at £350.00 per week inclusive.
* Invoicing perhaps 4 weekly in arrears, payment due within 14 days
* "Break out" clause - if it's not working at any point, chargeable only up to the time delivered
* BACS transfer please - we are no longer VAT registered, nor set up to take debit or credit cards
* This suggestion / quotation available for acceptance until 31st March 2021
* Course to run at dates prior agreed - needs to be completed by late summer
* Delegates not able to attend session(s) spread over multiple weeks getting lost
(elements above designed to help catching up)
* so much else going on that delegates don't have time to exercise
(30 minute review ahead of time should sort this as best we can
* 14:15 - 14:45 Catch up - review and exercises (very first week - getting to know you)
* 15:00 - 16:30 New lecture / interactive session
* and to 17:00 ish Follow up questions
Extra slots - Friday then Monday from 14:15 for "as long as needed"
(variable by agreement - for example bank holiday weeks; weekend, morning, evening sessions NOT ruled out by me)
Very happy to tune the above - it is just a first cut on timing and content - nothing fixed in stone!
Some background to this unexpected 2021 course offering
written by Graham Ellis, Spring 2021
I enjoyed a wonderful 35 years plus delivering IT training courses for groups of delegate in training centres in London and Harwell (Oxfordshire) and then our own training centre in Melksham. Initially, courses were on operating system use and admin (Solaris and Linux) but we moved on to niche open source programming languages and I had the opportunity to meet people from many places and walks of life, and travel extensively in the British Isles and sometimes a little beyond. We were winding down anyway for several years before Coronavirus with just a few courses running on more limited subjects; open source programming languages don't change all that much - at least in their basics and at intermediate levels, as investment in code in the languages needs to have a reasonably long life, but eventually a course re-write becomes due then overdue, and the lockdown of March 2020 was a good time - 2 months ahead of plan - to finally close the doors to new code clients leaving just a "tail" of work training people who have systems to be maintained / enhanced using mature infrastructure and existing code base. Plan had been to enjoy an active retirement - replacing training with travel, largely home based in the UK but perhaps with significant spells going, overland, a little further. Plans torpedoed by Coronavirus; apart from a day out to Ventnor between lockdowns, I have not been out of our county and close neighbours for nearly a year. But that has meant a lot more time at the keyboard and, ironically, becoming far, far more familiar and experienced in PHP 7(.4), Python 3(.7 and .8 ) and MySQL 8 - in fact up to date in a way that was not intended!
Face to face training has worked exceedingly well over the years - taking a group of people out of their normal weekly cycle (be it at their place or ours) and - with them putting aside day to day work and issues, learning something new. With open source languages, there tends to be a certain minimum number of elements to teach before anything useful can be done, and for most people a need to practise a bit and explore with their own data.
A classroom environment has helped avoid early loss of interest, allowed for dynamic and tailored revision within small group lectures. I can reword things to help people as appropriate, with specific reference to their feedback and with small groups of colleagues. Interactive coding - writing examples with delegate shouting out suggestions for the next like ... all helps.
A classroom environment also helps when it comes to exercises - alternating them with lectures to keep the flow running, interruptions to a minimum, and a learning environment. Delegates can be paired / grouped up to work with each other and this does wonders too as they discuss and explain there understanding to each other. And doing the exercises there and then avoids the distractions of other work that people are demanding you do, family, friends and colleagues all around you as you try to concentrate away from the training environment. The kids may be used to doing homework and become effective in time. For those new to the routine, it can be pretty hard and perhaps too easy to give up if there is no exam at the end.
A classroom environment allows the tutor to 'pick up' the delegates who need more help, perhaps watching their quietness in class and looking over their shoulder as he walks around during exercises - picking up a clue here and there from comments made that they need some reinforcement, or (on the other hand) that the whole thing is far too basic for them, and being able to deal with that too.
But - the classroom environment has gone and is impractical at present. Counter that with new and unexpected experience gathered using online, and the new and unexpected modern experience of practical use of the leading edge versions of the technologies, and perhaps I am in a position to offer excellent tailored training once again. Certainly I have had a couple of recent approaches from long-standing client companies. And I have given it some considerable thought. On how to ensure that we take best advantage of the new technologies, and how we avoid the potential pitfalls described above ... and so, in bullet points, I offer you the course above