Train the users! No GIS is easy...

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Train the users! No GIS is easy...
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Every software platform needs three things in order to be successful: Good and solid software, reliable support and maintenance services in order to make it run smoothly, and training possibilities for the endusers to make sure they use it in a most effective way. Open geospatial software is the basis. And, with the progress that has been made in the last few years, it is among the best around. Support and other services are more and more common. In the Netherlands, you can identify several commercial organizations specializing in FOSS4G, and others adding it to their existing portfolio of services. But what about training possibilities? Few specialized training services for geospatial software are existing, and service providers might do some on-the-job training, but it is by no means comparable to the well oiled training machine that distributers of closed source software usually run. So, how to set up training courses for open source geo? At the Dutch Geo Academie we have some experience with this kind of training, and we’d like to share some ideas.
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OK so let's go for the 2nd it administration from the valence who's gonna tell us that no juices easy know what is in our little and going to talk to you about train user go to uh um and move over made to convert and that's discussion about why we should train users and how we should train users um Mama going into details what kind of program you have to know I found myself found Didier deforms the speaker before me that was most interesting was really good and and definitely going to use that that's the and train user and my name is Eric
and you can find me all week just in case of forget to tell you the and you defined me all we come here and I'm at the base camp of got the rockabilly caravan yeah so that's true and how many of you are educators by the way a training and that's about a 3rd of them nice welcome and how many of you will call yourselves the what we call the end-user of GIS and so few and developers how that's most of that stuff that's good OK thank you that's it and I found that the scale of out from now on all of just say Academy because it sounds nice string of um but I found that about 5 6 years ago and some and and we do that at a place called geo 14 and islands if you come to Netherlands if you've never been to g would go there it's nice and but today we're
going to talk about training know GS is easy so do we
train if you can see here
on used users mixture underlining its
and because we have to talk about users here and if you look at the groups of it we see about half of us here are developers arm and then there's the real users well below let's see these are real users
and this is 1 of our training groups um you see people here from municipalities from the Dutch cadastre uh self-employed guy firefighters standing in the back so it's devastated my well the the group I work with them and they have different needs from most of the people here the most of the developed I have you look at those
real users you can among modeling bit fight that and if you look of real users you can you can define 2 groups of users that the ones who are proactive who go out and find new things and and learn themselves how to do things and there are more conservative uses the ones who say well it's nice chairs that I've got a job to do and my main focus is on doing my job and my software should support me and if I spend extra time finding out all kind of things but that is not my job my job is doing the right things at the right time in minimum amount of time and well so those dusters
people are most important in most companies most organizations if you look at the training material that's online the In my opinion most of the training material line is made for those pro active users the ones to go out and look for stuff but what about the other
group once you don't go or maybe not even speak english most of the take the the material is in English course that's yeah it's a bit of a problem for some people
and so what we do is we bring it back into the classroom and where we do that a lot and bound we teach teachers but we have to teach himself as well because people they have that is different than workflows with which he has and then it it will we what we find is that there are there people from several organizations should do more or less the same things we GIS and we don't even know about that so we let them help themselves as well as much
as possible but this this this
and that the situation adopted and the 2nd story I had a storyline want follow here is is
about sales and of work for a sofa company GS cover company that sold software and if you look at the way the um sales is running through his company and the cell 1st solution together with the software which well it's about half of the total cost there and you cell of services implementation services help to things like that and the 3rd part of the is that you sell the training to the product in Europe supplier of approach the product so you upon who should know most about it and should tell them so yourself 3 things now what are we doing open source we don't sell the software has so what do we
sell I don't know how it is in in in we're from but in island I see that most people they sell implementation shift is just build some extra access to it and and things like that and that is the main product of the Dutch Open Source community based health services so what about training well we
have to go back to those users against the real users um if if if you define real users in proactive incomes of this as I do and and will if you could also mapped out on a scale from at the level of their the knowledge use and the number of users on the other side and you could make a nice distribution out of that and I just guess it's a normal distribution of and might be didn't research said but it's it's it's so assumptions and and you can see there is proactive users they're mostly on the right they know a lot already and they wanted to find out more about more and the more conservative views which who does the thing is that he has to work with software it I think that we
have if we take the distribution of people and and we we spilled up into those 2 groups the proactive ones are on the right and is not like to spilled in half there on the far right and most of the users kinds of diffusion and no for the said proactive one's own line and the material that's our mind that have a perfect fit in that they can find what they want and that's OK but what to do with the book to people and that is 1 thing that I'm a bit worried about in open source software here especially for geo-spatial was um because nobody sells the products so trains uses will a government start using open source GIS if the people working at the government will not be trained like yeah well we got free suffering of thing and just you know it should be easy to find out how it works that's not that's not the way it works in so for those people we need hands-on training and trainers had
they have a very big plus a good trainer tries to build his classroom into Canada many community might be a community for a day for 2 days or for half a year but it's kind of a community so you celebrate successes at the end and that's what we do here this is a good 1 this is the way the training course should be with a happy ending the OK so what
so how do we do and how do we do sales and if you look at the current model if i and just modeling here again um we see that we have to service supplier in the Netherlands we have for example the uh open hope OpenGeo group and so translation and we've got a lot of course smaller companies as well as a combination of companies like the open physical and they they tend to go to the decision maker and they say well we've got these nice of a product maybe we could have this installed them service you with and train suppliers we do the same thing and I here you you start using q Jesse maybe that's a good thing may be maybe I can help you with that and if everything goes well it ends up like this that you have nice communication and you start using training sessions another model that we've seen before is this 1 where and the question comes from the decision maker and the US the service supplier a service supplier disaster training that's a training session and let's make a combined effort here and that's fine too but what I be looking at that moment is this why not as build a package together we've got great software we got software we've got a lot of companies to do great implementation services on the sovereign and we've got a couple of training suppliers of which you academies 1 and Netherlands the probably days this something like due Academy everywhere in every country and that's let's work more to that work together and that is the main message here if you look at them that's what we do here in these 3 days it is excellent world joining together and which fork and find new things and so why don't we do that in the other the rest of the year as well
not until the about decision maker in this decision maker whereas in on this on this scale and the idea of trying to use and I and I think most of the time it's not there what
because the decision maker most of time is not that GS user it is somebody else we don't even need or maybe we do because a lot of these and especially the smaller open so so for companies don't have an account manager who runs out to all the decision makers and and they don't even need him it's it's a funny thing
but as given um so started this presentation GS isn't easy and that means you need training as a user no trainer training that is a professional training to trainer is profession and that is they that is something different from the person who knows how to develop the software as a as an expert that is totally different skill set so make sure you have a good training the
2nd thing is all training materials online dictionary to understand from your country most important is have changed terials in your own language yeah if if if I take a guess I'd say that 70 80 % of the people like that he she has to and I am not able to do that if everything wouldn't wouldn't be able to that if everything was in this it's just get into things at the same time
and the 3rd is used examples and exercises customer can relate to so far again the actual the online materials and less he wrote them yourself and come up with a good cases good solid cases it that people can relate to in their work or in their hobbies but that is most important that those 3 things if you do that they have a good chance now I don't know about maybe although this already but judging by how many of you are here which makes me kind of nervous actually I really like to help out and there there's there's probably a lot more people could do that but uh if if you don't have 1 of these already of fury if you're thinking about it I really like to help out and as I said I'll be here all week and then you can find many things at a rockabilly care to
thank you and so on pressure for quite some time for discussion questions ideas so whoever wants to start but I mean efficient University of Copenhagen and I had and you were out in the field into here once mobile yet the fact that I'm I'm a lot of places but at school I learned from a forest ecologist we have students at the bachelor level and we also have those companies in the training courses to 3 days so I think you have to differ between university-level and company level but from what you are talking about here for short courses for sure of cases where people can relate that's important but for students who are going to develop and keep on learning I always say to them go to the internet find tutorials the the proactive ones and then go of the cases which I give you was 0 you have to and do you have to take in mind what kind of users you're talking about yeah that is absolutely right but unlike ideal of teaching at the moment on the bachelor you information school as well and what would I tried to do there is trying to teach them spatial thinking and I really don't care at the end of the day what kind of software use for that as long as they get the job done and that the state is the main thing which students but they have to learn the profession of being a GIS Professional where dual professional and and that is something different from what I was that you have to use a rifle and you the reactions questions part of the problem we have on cooperation is the licenses that we really training materials under in the pay to write 3 different use of the courses over the years and and there are existing they're very good use of the training courses at there already but they're all released under non-commercial licenses so call use my new employer called I can't use those calls again and have so we can know that every worried about being ripped off and losing the cost using the contract to somebody who hasn't paid you the 1st 3 weeks was right the calls but I you know what can I say to death mean this um I died I try to reuse as much as possible and what I do if I if I make a training course for a certain specific company and I always tell them that I use as much as possible of our it on reasonably priced this is not too high something that is because I you I reuse of material so you don't have to do everything again and again and again and I asked him so I'd like to do the same afterwards again because if there's 1 thing I don't like is rewriting this stuff a rope before his its so that I I try to to take care of that and ended in advance and not afterward but yeah well that might help I haven't conditional comments urinating brother due Academy in in the states they have actually open courses they have 5 of the 5 or 6 of the courses and they are all on could have so you can actually make a 4th and she should put in your own cases which I have done with Danish in data and I can read recommends those with a lot of video tutorials lot of practical and they also have only of course so look into that that that that is dead is very and and that's a good idea as well but it's a kind of there's but again you should know that again and something that uh it is for a specific target group as they allow the people and I'm really and I'm really into that and that nothing these personal contacts and listen to somebody with a problem and an just that helps but it's this personal opinion however the this a question that there's there really a right answer but I just been sittin your thoughts on exercises and how detailed or not to tell you find you have to make them from that 1 of the spectrum has a problem and solve it in his software has some data to 1 of the problems you know that is itself from the other and here a here's of steps and if you follow these steps you will get to the end and clearly there are circumstances in which you need to go to 1 or the the end of the spectrum but a lot of what your approach was wasn't and how you'd experience that with different you better among different groups of users will react differently to different approaches we have a and we have a 20 day course and where people that there were not school engine information but have to use it in their work and we retrain and so we bring to our G. afford location a day and week uh for off um and that that the works that from these uh especially after today forward 5 so there are always complaining that they just can't follow the steps because there are no steps because we don't do that can we help them with the steps but we never noted these decent think training manuals we have to follow step by step and you to 20 pages per half hour or something like that and so and I was so fed up with that kind of material like I just don't do that lot work the phone because otherwise the stream of yes so as to sigh here you come with call by written support in order to to to try and get you can't remember what they've been taught news technique and after the 20 day always look back and say OK this is we have to relearn learning uh but this is a much better way because we have we have really made it own knowledge now instead of following steps and forgetting about it the next day hi so I have a question that if you do you invite Europe the students the users of the end users to recommend that they come to attend events like this as well or and if you had a chance to partake in the organizing what would how would you so but what would you add or do do not differently perhaps to make sure the end users were felt more welcome or you have a chance that would give them a reason to come here I I I always do that um that is 1 of the main things as it go out to explore the world and they never do that I'm not sure if the if if there is a way to get people who don't go to conferences to get them to conference it is it for some people it is natural to go to conference for others it's you know it's dangerous way often things that just leave them it leave leave everyone in their own and personal free habitats and that's I'm fine with that and I know it happens and I keep on telling Moses I don't mind and call them but I would really love it if all the end users would be in a conference like this that true complete and have 1 more question of why fashion it's about snow what I think is a drawback about a lot of the open source software is the lack of a proper help menu it's also justify here from most professors at university um do you think that something where you could add maybe and maybe you do with a number that's in that the stuff you teach you also put it somewhere or maybe there's an option to put the help of the of the software you teach him up and be happy to do that here and here is some idea personal Ophelia here I don't know how to do that so help with that and I'll be happy to do that and the questions from answers inconclusive thank you very much indeed