Tech Training in 2018 – In-House or External?

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Creating an in-house learning and development program for tech employees requires you to do a significant amount of planning. As you figure out your budget and your ultimate goals for the learning program, you’ll begin to more clearly see how you want to structure the program.

Business leaders tend to engage in these types of investment strategies when they plan a learning and development program for tech workers:

  • A professional development strategy,
  • A transformational strategy
  • No strategy at all.

As you think about your options, consider this: it can be very expensive and time-consuming to create your own tech program in-house. Your company’s resources are probably better spent elsewhere.

DeveloperAcademy™ offers a “boxed” tech training program that is completely customizable to your workers’ particular needs. It enables technical, talent-focused organizations to offer world-class professional development programs without incurring the overhead, learning curve, or challenges of doing it in-house. That translates into more productive staff, higher retention rates, and the ability to attract top talent in an ultra-competitive market.

This is the first part of a two-blog series that discusses these strategies. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the Professional Development Strategy.

Professional Development Strategy

When your organization is trying to attract, retain, and grow its engineering population, a Professional Development strategy works best. Organizations implement a professional development strategy when there is a constrained tech labor market, when attrition in the company is high, or when there has been limited training historically.

Eric Patnoudes, an instructional technologist, writes for that there is a big difference between training and professional development. Training is how to do something, but “professional development is all about the why” in an article about teachers in the K-12 environment, technology, and professional development.

No matter the industry, Patnoudes’ words hold true. If a company has not invested much in L&D in the past or wants to attract new employees who are drawn by the promise of an investment by the organization in growing their skills, a professional development strategy is the way to go.

New L&D programs become more adept at measuring the impact of their trainings over time. They typically start off measuring satisfaction and learning metrics, like how many sign up for trainings, cost per individual, etc.

So for organizations new to L&D in the tech world, a Professional Development strategy makes the most sense. This plan focuses on engagement and retention metrics. Retention, for example, is a bit more difficult and costly to measure than cost per employee for a training, but knowing this measurement impacts a business more positively.

In the next post, we’ll delve deeper into the transformational and no-strategy strategies.

Transformational and No-Strategy Approaches

In this second of two posts, we discuss the transformational and no-strategy approaches to creating an in-house tech learning and development program. In the last post, we discussed when you might want to use a professional development approach. In that post, we also detailed how DeveloperAcademy™ offers a “box” plan that is customizable to your organization’s population and business goals. Here, we’ll talk about the Transformation Strategy.

Transformational Strategy

If your organization wants to move a large set of legacy developers into a new technology, cut costs through efficiency, or bring its engineering population back from offshore, a Transformational Strategy is likely to be the best choice for the development of an in-house tech L&D program.

A company might also wish to invest in the Transformational Strategy to keep abreast of changes in the industry and to be as innovative – hopefully, more so – than their competitors.

Marina Theodotou of writes, “By transforming itself first, the L&D function changes the narrative and becomes a collaborative partner rather than an ornery cost center.The rest of the organization can then take a cue from the L&D department and work on overall organizational change.

Transformational Strategy Metrics

In a transformational strategy, you want to measure defects with your current L&D program, velocity, etc. This way, you can identify what is not working in your current L&D program. Is there some technology training program that needs a complete revamping? Does the organization offer training to its engineers to get them up to date on the newest technology, and how can the organization transform itself to being on the forefront of engineer education?

While measuring defects can be difficult, it is essential to workplace transformation. Its impact on the business is as high as that of retention metrics, which is the data-gathering goal of the Professional Development Strategy.


If your organization doesn’t plan to do anything to improve its L&D for its engineers, it’s obvious that it won’t improve. There will be no recruiting the best talent because there is no draw for workers in that the organization doesn’t invest in their skills over the short- or long-term (Professional Development Strategy).

Likewise, the organization will never transform to being able to keep up with, and to surpass, its competitors if there is no revamp of its non-functional/non-optimal/non-existent L&D program.

Theodotou sums the situation for finding the right L&D strategy for your organization well:

The L&D function will need to first and foremost understand the business goals and challenges the line of business is facing. In an effort to drive and achieve business results, the line of business manager now can have a collaborative partner to help them navigate, prioritize and strategize the learning tools and methods to use for their talent teams based on the their specific competency needs, adult learning needs, knowledge acquisition methods and external business pressures. As such, the CLO and their team can begin to be seen as collaborative partners to the Line of Business Executive in a joint effort to achieve business goals and improve the bottom line.

DeveloperAcademy™ is ready to help you identify the best strategy and to provide ready-to-go training options that will suit all learners on your staff.