(I'm not in the picture because I was holding the camera that took it.) For the first time, despite being limited to our two day parameter, we extended the program to include 3 hours of workshops on both days. So, instead of the standard 5 hours, we did 8 hours both days, starting at 9.00 and ending at 17.00. This was certainly a better solution than previously, where hands on work was left until the end of the two days. However one looks at it, two days isn't much, but on the other hand, we're not fulltime trainers and are unable to make much more than that available (i.e., Karol is one of the engineers in the Mobility team and I am a technical writer in the Docs team). But, this solution, of inserting 3 hours of workshops (i.e., after/during three of the presentations, the students were able to do some exercises to begin working with some of the concepts that were introduced), is a pretty nice compromise.
Here you see part of the group intently listening to one of the presentations:
But it wasn't all hard work for Karol, Toni, and me. On the evening of the first training day, Jacek Laskowski invited us to a party for the Eclipse Demo Camp that was being held at the same time. We had a really good time, thanks Jacek and others from the Eclipse Demo Camp. Here you see someone we met (from Gdansk, who was also at the NetBeans Day there some weeks ago), Toni, and me at the party:
And here you see some more of the scene at the party:
Next day it was back to school for everyone. By the way, it was really great to have Toni participate: he did the presentation on the System FileSystem and also on the Visual Library (for the first time, this was included in the course). He's really excellent: he doesn't work for Sun and is therefore a more credible NetBeans advocate than I or Karol can be. He has his own Java Consulting and Project Outsourcing company and knows the NetBeans APIs from having worked with them at a company where he led the design and implementation of a NetBeans Platform application. He's also very enthusiastic about the NetBeans Platform and its APIs and can explain how they work very well. Here's one of his slides, during the Visual Library workshop:
Finally, the students received their certificates. Here's one of them, Tomasz Frydrychewicz:
I'm looking forward to going back to that university some day soon. Some of the students are going to be doing their university thesis about the NetBeans Platform. Jacek said that in a future course there, there could be completely new people to the course, so we could start again from scratch. We could also go further into the NetBeans Editor APIs, because the students seemed particularly interested in that.
Students who were on the course and who want to get the next level of certification will be working on NetBeans modules (either for NetBeans IDE or some other application on the NetBeans Platform). They'll need to go through a quick registration process to get a NetBeans.org account, after which they'll be able to register at this mailing list (where all the NetBeans Platform experts are found):
Then, before beginning the work on their idea, they'll write to the mailing list to see if others aren't working on it already. If others are working on their idea, they'll potentially be able to join someone else's project, which would be very cool too. Looking forward to hearing their ideas!
By the way, the student from a previous course (in Germany) who is working on 'batch refactoring' for NetBeans IDE is making some great progress, read all about it in the issue below: