King Rat (gkr) wrote,
King Rat

Training Day

I have come to despise corporate training. Perhaps training is conducted in a different fashion in other companies, but in mine, I dread training.

Today, we had training in the new performance review forms. None of us had actually seen them before. No one had except for HR and our European offices, which was where they were rolled out first.

I've already forgotten the name of the new section in the forms. Some HR type buzzword... starts with "comp" I think. I'll have to look at them when I get to work tomorrow.... ah I remember now "competencies."

So here's what's wrong with training. They always hire the same motivational speaker to come. I can't stand her style. Lots of group exercises. I don't mind role-playing exercises. I hate games like "you figure out what this buzzword means and then afterward we'll pass out the official definition." And the introduction game: "let's have everyone introduce themselves and their position and their favorite travel destination." Fine, my name is Phil and I am a dev lead. Fuck you on my favorite travel destination. Do not try to force me to be congenial. Hate that crap.

I also hate the stretched out nature of our training. Everything today could have been covered by writing it up in a nice standard operating procedures manual and just handing the damn thing out. But nooooo! We have to leave it all undocumented and rely on remembering what our trainer said over the course of a 4 hour meeting. Never mind that they never cover the part that can't be done in a policy manual or similar documentation. They always leave out the difficult stuff. In the 3 training sessions I have been to on performance evaluation, we have spent a total of a half an hour on writing good goals for a review period. And then the discussion was cut off and we moved on as soon as we got to tricky goals that measure teamwork or initiative. Bah! That's another rant. I think I will do my rant on performance evaluation and reviews tomorrow.

What I wish is they would bring in someone to do training on making time estimates for projects. That's something that nearly every software company needs to do, and one that nearly every developer is shitty at. I am horrible at it, and I am pretty good at it compared to nearly everyone I have worked with. But it's all mostly guesswork based on a developers memory of past projects, rather than based on real data about past projects and the size & complexity of the requirements for a project. I would love to know how to do that systematically. Repeatedly. And be able to pass the skill on. I couldn't mentor someone in time estimation if I tried right now. But a useful subject apparently will never be the topic of a training class in any company for which I work.


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