Through our 2014 Developer Survey Report, we learned that only 30% of employers provide formal training to their technical employees on an annual basis. In organizations without a formalized approach to technical learning, developer learning is often piecemeal, scheduled only as needed, and driven from bottom up – meaning, the onus is on the developer to manage his or her own learning needs.

When you are proactive in planning learning opportunities through a formalized process, the likelihood of meeting the organization’s strategic technical goals, and of success in attracting, retaining and growing your technical talent, increases.

Ad Hoc Training: An Inefficient Approach

Leaving it up to the employee to determine his or her training needs, request permission to meet those needs, and search for a training provider means that employee is most likely using company time to manage this learning plan. This takes time away from more productive task accomplishment, and can mean strategic goals are not met on time. It can also lead to lower employee satisfaction and engagement levels, and a risk of losing the employee to another organization.

When an informal approach is taken with technical learning, using a random assortment of training providers – often without proper pre-qualification – is inefficient and can be ineffective. The quality, consistency, and delivery of learning is often worse when an employee is responsible for driving or managing his or her technical learning opportunities, while the cost per learning hour is higher than when a formal learning program organizes, plans, and schedules these opportunities.

How a Formal Learning Plan Makes Life Better (for You and Your Team)

If you’re responsible for managing technical training, you’ve probably experienced one (or more) of these frustrations in your role:

  • Being overworked.
    Are you responsible for managing training for many (sometimes, hundreds or even thousands of) engineers in your organization?
  • Being under-resourced.
    Don't have the budget, personnel, technical knowledge, or time to do your job effectively?
  • Being overwhelmed by the options.
    There are literally thousands of learning options and training providers out there – how do you know what to choose?
  • Hearing complaints about ineffective training platforms.
    Looking into other business functions like legal issues.
    Engineers have high standards when it comes to learning – do you have the tools you need to meet those standards?

Formalizing the process and incorporating the proper elements of a well-constructed learning plan alleviates all of these frustrations, and increases your ability to attract, retain and grow your top technical talent.

Great, I’m on Board with Formal Learning Plans – Now What?

Putting these concepts to work sounds easy enough – and, with the right team in place, creating and implementing a formal learning program is easy. But as we’ve noted above, you are probably overworked and under-resourced, and this process can be overwhelming under these conditions.

Our team is experienced in designing, developing, and delivering technical learning in the areas of software development, open source technologies, and technology leadership development. We can help you align and transform technical learning into a strategic business enabler, leveraging your resources to increase your efficiency. Our job is to support you as you manage learning for technical talent.

Contact our consultants today, at (877) 629-5631 or via email, to discuss how we can help you formalize your technical learning program.

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