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Naresh Jain's Random Thoughts on Software Development and Adventure Sports
     
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Readiness Assessments for Training Classes

I get lots of queries for Agile Training in India. Good number of people approach me saying, “We already know TDD, we want advanced TDD training”. And it turns out that there are gaps in their Object Oriented thinking itself.

While I would really want to help these folks, if the expectations are not set right on both sides, it becomes very difficult to be effective.

To address this issue, since last few months, I’ve been sending people a readiness assessment for all my training courses. For example for the TDD and Refactoring workshop, I send them a programming assignment.

The problem used for the programming assignment is a decent sized problem statement with some user scenarios. Ideally it takes me at least a week to implement this problem. I ask the organization to pick 3-4 people from their target participants and ask them to solve this problem. Since they are clear that its a big problem, I ask them to prioritize the most important features and build those. I request them not to spend more than 4 hours on solving this problem. Once they solve the problem, they email me the code along with all the tests. I review their code and give them a detailed feedback.

Based on the feedback, I propose a training program. Then we mutally agree upon the agenda and objective for the training. This is proving out to be a very effective way to come up with a customized/tailored training ciriculum for each team.

  • http://www.adaptivelearningonline.net Parag Shah

    Hey Naresh,

    Readiness assessment sounds like a very interesting idea, especially for something like TDD.

    How do you deal with the fact that all the participants may not be at the same level?

  • http://blog.adaptivesoftware.biz Parag Shah

    Hey Naresh,

    Readiness assessment sounds like a very interesting idea, especially for something like TDD.

    How do you deal with the fact that all the participants may not be at the same level?

  • http://agilefaqs.com/nareshjain.html Naresh Jain

    What I’ve found in the past is, the random sampling (asking 3-4 people to respond to the assessment) gives me a good idea about the over-all level. Sometimes it becomes very clear to the organization also that they have folks at different level. Prior to this, I did not have any concrete info to know this before hand, at least now I can be more prepared.

    In some cases we found folks were at very different levels. So I suggested we do a 1 day Pre-Training course, where I can help bring some of the folks up to speed. Worked really well.

    Some organizations are very reluctant to this. So I do offer the pre-training course for free. I think it would really help me be more effective.

  • http://agilefaqs.com/nareshjain.html Naresh Jain

    What I’ve found in the past is, the random sampling (asking 3-4 people to respond to the assessment) gives me a good idea about the over-all level. Sometimes it becomes very clear to the organization also that they have folks at different level. Prior to this, I did not have any concrete info to know this before hand, at least now I can be more prepared.

    In some cases we found folks were at very different levels. So I suggested we do a 1 day Pre-Training course, where I can help bring some of the folks up to speed. Worked really well.

    Some organizations are very reluctant to this. So I do offer the pre-training course for free. I think it would really help me be more effective.

  • http://www.adaptivelearningonline.net Parag Shah

    Sure, the assessment does give some idea, which is better than none.

    This seems very interesting. I am thinking of giving it a try.

  • http://blog.adaptivesoftware.biz Parag Shah

    Sure, the assessment does give some idea, which is better than none.

    This seems very interesting. I am thinking of giving it a try.

  • Kalpesh

    Naresh,

    Pass on the problem to me & I would like to try it out.
    That will help me check my understanding of things.

  • Kalpesh

    Naresh,

    Pass on the problem to me & I would like to try it out.
    That will help me check my understanding of things.


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