Welcome to Meet the Instructor, a series where we meet the extremely talented and knowledgeable Citrix Certified Instructors (CCIs) that teach and interact with Citrix Education students every day. Today you’ll meet Master Instructor Justin Apsley, who may just have been destined to become a CCI.
Where Do You Live?
I hail from Oceanside California, which is in the northernmost part of San Diego County.
How Did You Start Your Career Working With Citrix Technologies?
My first experience with Citrix occurred with WinFrame 1.X where I was working in a Help Desk position and a customer had a pre-existing WinFrame implementation. I followed the product then into MetaFrame XP, when I participated in a customer new installation. Between supporting and implementing the predecessor to XenApp and growing up under my Dad who has been teaching Citrix classes for years, I suppose it was destiny. As Presentation Server 4.0 came out, I was just about fed up with technical support and looking for a change, so I pursued certification and I’ve been training full time since the 4.0 version of XenApp, the 4.0 version of XenDesktop and the 10.0 version of Netscaler. Today I am a Master CCI and a consultant; I train and implement Citrix.
What’s Your Favorite Course To Teach And Why?
I don’t have a favorite course, but rather I have a favorite class. It’s that class that I get all the time, when I connect with my students, when my students want to be there, when my students enjoy networking people and lives as much as they do their systems, when every topic I present has at least two opinions to every one of mine, when the interaction is high; that’s my favorite course. Ending a week like that, feels like I made a whole classroom of friends, which continues to prove itself to me, as I continue to get repeat students. Teaching can be hard work, but getting to know the individuals and learning new ways of implementing the same solutions over and over can be very rewarding. I like it when I learn something new, those are my favorite courses to teach and I look for them every time I teach.
What Advice Would You Give To An IT Professional Who Is Considering a Citrix Education Class?
I would want to set the following expectations:
1. Your instructor will be very knowledgeable because he or she probably has experience using the product they are teaching. However, you are coming to his or her class as a student. Attending a class because you are tired of opening up a trouble ticket on a particular issue and expect the instructor to solve all your problems is not a reason to attend training. There’s a word for that – it’s called consulting. The instructor is there to help you gain a skill set that you can use to manage and deploy your own environment. The instructor is not your personal consultant.
2. Although very knowledgeable, the instructor cannot learn the content for you. I always advise my students to re-read the book each day after class and re-cover the content discussed during class, and to cross reference with the Citrix eDocs and to really study. This is why I start each day with a Q&A session and I encourage my students to email me, even after class has ended for the week. Attending a course is not vacation, it’s hard work.
3. Most modern classes do not teach to the test, they teach to the real world administrator, so please do not schedule your exam on the day class ends. Real world experience should accompany this class to pass the associated exam.
Favorite Memory From Teaching a Class?
I don’t know that I have a favorite memory, but I do love remembering the strong connections I make to my students. I enjoy making connections with my students, especially when we have like interests. Having something in common creates this amazing dynamic in the classroom, whether we’re at break or digging into the course content.
What’s Your Hidden Talent?
Hmmm … I consider balancing a family, teaching full time, consulting part time, and gaming on my Xbox regularly a pretty useful talent! I read somewhere that you don’t stop playing games because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing games!
If A Student Has Never Taken A Course With You, What Will They Be Most Surprised By When Then Get In The Classroom With You?
One of the struggles in my customer’s focus to provide training is whether or not to make the class a brick and mortar classroom, or online or both. With me, my presentation doesn’t change and the way I address my students doesn’t changed no matter the “classroom”.
Another possible surprise is how often I fulfill that reputation of a “nerd.” I use references to movies (like Star Wars and Office Space) or books (like Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) as analogies and examples. Hopefully I gain one or two smiles from my audience while driving home the point. I am an energetic trainer who sees my students as more than a job, but as someone to get to know and transfer knowledge as one engineer to another!
How Should Someone Get In Touch If They Want To Take A Class With You?
My company has two Master CCI’s, myself included. Both of us have been recognized in the past and awarded the Highest Rating CCI of the Year Award. Both of us train for Citrix Consulting/Education and the CALC partners. Both of us have taught custom engagements, private on-site engagements, and we both train on a regular basis in the classroom, from home and a hybrid of both.
If you would like to request a trainer, or if you’d like me to add you to my customer list that I call when I am available to train, please email me using firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get in touch quickly.
Connect with Justin on LinkedIn.