When it comes to technology, you never stop learning. And that is exactly why I started digging into some new technologies after completing my masters degree. Project by project, moving forward one mistake at the time. I bought several books and did online tutorials as I thought to myself, "why pay more when you can learn it for free", right?
You have to understand, I am from Belgium. My parents and the government paid for all of my student fees. So for me, learning had always been 'free' and it had never even crossed my mind to spend a dime towards further education. I had never reflected about the fact that other people were investing money towards education during 18+ years in school.
While putting together my very first Drupal training and looking back at my 10 years of experience, I realised I was wrong about those paid trainings. They seemed expensive at first but they actually paid off almost immediately.
Using my my own experience learning Drupal six years ago, and the knowledge I gained from conducting Drupal trainings, I compiled:
7 Reasons Why a Good Training is Better than Learning It Yourself
(these work for other technologies as well)
1. You avoid most common mistakes
There are a lot of classic mistakes that people make when starting with Drupal. I can assure you: You will do ALL common mistakes! Everybody does.
With a training, you can avoid spending countless hours searching Google for all those newbie questions or trying to solve those newbie problems the wrong way.
2. You learn by exercises so your first project will have less errors
Learn while doing? Works great!
Looking back at my first three Drupal projects, I still blush when I see how I solved some problems doing it "my way" or the WordPress way. The first-timer 'trial and error' solutions you use may look 'okay' at first glance but when the website is actively growing and you constantly have to add new features, they eventually will come back to haunt your further development.
This results in spending countless hours redoing old work the 'right way' and having to fix problems caused by your own ignorance.
3. Do it "the Drupal way"
Old habits die hard. The errors mentioned above are even more common with 'experienced' web developers because of some fundamental differences on how to tackle a problem. But a training can help you avoid the time-consuming 'trial and error' approach.
Remember: there are many ways to solve a problem in Drupal but some solutions are far better than others. You will learn the better ones in a training.
4. Get all the basics covered
When I was preparing the basic Drupal course for the first time, I learned about things I did not even know were possible. It just blew my mind that after my 6 years of Drupal experience, I still had some basics to learn.
By solely looking at the price, you might think a training is expensive. But if you put a price on your time and calculate all the time you will spend figuring things out by yourself, making mistakes, correcting errors, wrong configurations etc... the training is actually much cheaper. In addition, you also gain in getting a mentor who can help answer questions, as well as classmates who can help you to learn and support you.
6. Two days
It took me 3 months and 3 projects for me to say 'I can work with Drupal the right way'. With a proper 2-day training, those projects' development time would have halved.
A basic training kickstarts your journey straight into the fun stuff!
Also, think about the time you'll be spending trying to solve newbie problems that you could use to actually solve requirements for your project.
7. Interactive, fun, meet people, network,...
We try to make our training more than just a training.
We bring food to the venue so we can have lunch together and nobody has to go out and hunt for their own food.
We encourage going for a drink afterwards, which is ideal for making friends, talking about business, projects or just life in general.
The trainer will also be glad to give you some advice for your next project as well.
Every trainee is entitled to a few hours of free consultancy after the training.
Bottom line: More hair!
Thinking back at all the hairs I pulled out of my head due to shear frustration caused by the many bumps on the road to becoming a Drupal developer, I would spend just as much money on hair products as the training cost, just to get all that lost hair back.
But while it's too late for me, it isn't for you who are reading this. You can still have a chance to win this learning battle with a training! :)