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On Training People

Sharing actionable tips from my agency, enterprise, start up, and life experience with a design and developer twist.

WordPress Backend and Workflow.

There has been some pretty extensive changes going on in our department lately. We use WordPress Multisite and have published over 4,000 sites for clients. Keeping up to date on plugins or even the WordPress core means hours of testing on another server in order to know things are going to work before they go live. When updating a WordPress core with changes that require two levels of support teams, inside and outside of your company to bring up to speed and make comfortable with changes takes a lot of thinking and I have come to the following conclusions:

Coming into a conference room fully prepared and knowing that you have the best you can is worthy of patting yourself on the back. Going a step further and knowing that even know you did your best, you're probably going to miss the mark with some people allows you to really see what is going on in the room and judge whether further training or a further breakdown of what your teaching is required.

After my second of an entire weeks full of training, I quickly realized that there is a subset of people who would like to be in front of a computer, logged into WordPress and doing what I am teaching them right then and there. There is a group that is more hands on, just like there is a group that is fine with Wikipedia step-by-step article, just like there is a group that is comfortable with a video screencast walkthrough. Realizing that you didn't fail, but instead you found a better way is the key. Since those first sessions I have already been making the first moves towards a more hands on training, but before I started I never thought that may have been a better way to go to begin with.

Really this is a consistent theme in my life. Maybe having the mentality of knowing everything is going to work out in the end affords me the ability to not only prepare as much as possible but also understand that it isn't enough, and to expect misunderstanding. This allows me the adapt, to be quick on my feet and think of a solution on the spot. It also makes me a better presenter and more interactive. Hopefully these tips have been useful for you. I plan to write more specifically about my trials and failures with screencasting, and maybe even writing how-to articles. Cheers!


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