Friday, August 24, 2007

good things and bad things about my class

My Linux class was a "hands-on" affair, where we installed the OS on a PC and tinkered with it all week. It's the sort of thing I've been known to do on my own from time to time, so it was fun and interesting.

However, I had to work with another student. Usually that's not a problem, and sometimes it's even one of my co-workers, so we make a good team. But this time it was a guy from another company, so I had no idea what I'd be getting. He was a decent guy and seemed to know his IT business, but he was so busy answering phone calls and checking his Blackberry all week that he didn't pay much attention to the instructor. And he admitted that he was new to Linux, so he was a disaster when it came to the command line or following the labs. I tried to help him along and not get frustrated (and considering my tendencies, I think I did a good job of maintaining an even temperament). When he performed the instructions in the lab manual, I could tell he was just typing the commands, with no regard for what they did. When I did the labs, he'd make sure I followed all the steps, but he didn't care what happened. As soon as we finished the lab he'd go back to his laptop and e-mail or chat over IM with a friend.

Now, I've been known to go to IT training, get out my laptop, and spend 8 hours paying the least amount of attention possible while surfing the Web and goofing off. And I did have my laptop out all week as usual. However, I paid attention, asked questions, and got my work done. Despite the class being about 75% review for me, I think I learned a few things this week. By his own admission, my partner needs to buy a Linux book and spend some quality time installing and configuring a system on his own. I don't think he got anything out of a class that cost his company about $2000. Their loss, I suppose.

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