At the conclusion of his last post, we promised additional training tidbits from Master Citrix Certified Instructor (CCI) Robert Morris.  Now that we’ve established that the right training is mission critical, let’s learn more about how to choose the right learning experience.

Without further delay…

Shortly after getting my pilot’s license in 2005, I yearned to have my own plane. But which one? Should I buy one or should I build one? It was at that point that I was exposed to the concept of a Mission Profile.

In a nutshell, you look at what type of flying you will be doing and then select the plane best suited for that mission. I fly many planes, but in our ‘pic is worth a thousand words’ theme, here are my two favorites.

Clearly I love the idea of flying the Russian Fighter in the picture on the top, but would I take my family across the country in it? Not very practical. Same goes for the ‘Bumblebee” in the picture on the bottom (my personal plane, by the way) – great for cross-country family trips, but not good for loops and barrel rolls.

The same logic applies to building your own Mission Profile as it relates to training.  Below are a few tips from my own experience – and of course you can always hit this link and someone from the Education team will help you navigate your journey.

Content

The first goal in building your Mission Profile is to identify the technology in question. Is the training in preparation for a project to upgrade XenApp 6.5 to XenDesktop 7.5? Will you be working with XenMobile? If so, which piece – or all of it? Is there an interest in learning all of NetScaler, or just the NetScaler Gateway portion?

Let me provide an example: You have a project to migrate all of your Cisco ACE Appliances to NetScaler. We have a course built for that purpose – CNS-208: Citrix NetScaler Essentials for ACE Migration. In this course, we take the time to not only get your networking and security folks up to speed on the inner workings of NetScaler, we also cover terminology and transition methods to make them comfortable with the move.

People

The next step in building your Mission Profile is to assess the number, job functionality, and experience level of the folks to be trained – assuming that you’re not a one-man band. Are you training Help Desk folks? Operations? Engineers? Architects?  Do you have folks who have been working with XenApp since it was based on OS/2 (trivia bonus if you can name that product!)?

Here’s a good reference for you: A person with a network background who needs to learn more about the NetScaler for load balancing or content-switching will get the most out of CNS-205: Citrix NetScaler 10 Essentials and Networking; however, what if your staff is deploying NetScalers to gain SSLVPN access into a XenApp environment and the main body of folks to be trained are those experienced XenApp or XenDesktop folks? Then you would want to look at the new CNS-207: Implementing Citrix NetScaler 10 for App and Desktop Solutions. The content is similar between these two courses, but the people being trained will get more out of one or the other based on their experience and goals.

Classroom

The final consideration in building your Mission Profile is to determine which training modality is the best fit for you or your team.  We offer a fairly extensive curriculum available in several formats depending on how you like to learn: classroom, live virtual and self-paced online.  Custom training is always an option if you’re looking for a highly tailored learning experience. My personal favorite, but I covered the benefits of that option in my last post.

Building the Right Mission Profile

I started out discussing my plane purchase and how that same concept applies to selecting the right training experience. I can go on and on about the importance of building a good Mission Profile before you select a course – but someone told me after blog post #1 to keep them shorter….see, I can learn too!

Next time we’ll get into what we’re offering around the idea of bringing Synergy Labs to your classroom and other cool options.

‘Til then, keep the blue sky up and the ground below you…

Robert Morris
Master CCI
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