Tuesday, March 1, 2011

TLCC’s Howard Greenberg on Lotus training and what it takes to be a great Lotus IT professional

THE DOMINOPOWER INTERVIEW

By David Gewirtz

I'm personally very pleased to finally be able to interview Howard Greenberg of TLCC, The Learning Continuum Company. I've known Howard for many, many years and he and TLCC have been long-time supporters and sponsors of DominoPower.

We've also run a number of independent reviews of Howard's courses, and in each and every analysis, the result was a resoundingly positive review. I love working with companies who produce excellent products, and TLCC is certainly such a company.

David:

Please introduce yourself and tell us about your role at TLCC.

Howard:

My name is Howard Greenberg. I am one of the owners of TLCC, the leader in Notes and Domino training since 1997.

David:

What's the TLCC story? How long has it been around? Who founded it, and how has training changed over the years?

Howard:

TLCC started in 1997 when Paul Della-Nebbia (my partner) and I saw the beginning of the distance learning concept. We were both Certified Lotus Instructors and were teaching a lot of classes, travelling all over the U.S. and Canada.

Lotus came out with LearningSpace, a Notes based distance learning product and we decided to start developing courses for that. We saw the key to distance learning was not only good lesson material, but there had to be a way to get the student involved.

We did that two ways. First, our courses have lots of real demos and activities students do live in Notes, Domino Designer, and Domino Administrator. They get to practice what they learn, not just watch a simulation or a video. Second, we provide top-notch instructor support via an integrated discussion database. When a student is in a lesson they just click a button and are taken to the discussion database where they can ask their question. We automatically link to the lesson where they started from.

We quickly produced an incredible array of courses for all levels of technical training. For example, we have four LotusScript courses, two Java courses, JavaScript, Web and XML/Web services courses.

All the courses are for Notes and Domino professionals. We don't do courses for any other products. We are also constantly updating our courses. For example, most of our courses have already been updated for 8.5.2. No other training provider does this. We now also offer user training on not only Notes, but, also on Sametime and Quickr.

And of course, XPages, we now have three courses for XPages.

David:

Let's get straight into your new courses. You've made a big change, adding instructor-led training. Does that mean you're seeing a decline in CBT training, or is there another factor at work?

Howard:

After we started in 1997, over the next few years we actually saw a big decline in instructor-led training. Everyone wanted self-paced courses. There are many advantages to self-paced. There is no need to travel, the cost is less and our courses pack much more learning than their equivalent classroom competition.