I got asked a very good question today from someone considering attending Spice U San Fran. I was asked what Spice U offered that couldn’t be found in the community? This question has been running through my mind all day and I’ve come up with a few answers, but first a story.
I decided to attend the all day boot camp the day before SpiceWorld 2010, in large part because I wanted my SpiceWorld experience to last one more day. Shortly before the event began I met Tabrez in person for the first time, and he made a comment that he thought a lot of the material would be stuff I already knew since the boot camp covered a lot of basics. I responded that I was certain I would learn two new things about Spiceworks that day. I consider myself a very savvy Spiceworks user and knowledgeable about many facets of the product, but I had learned two new things before we broke for lunch.
The community is a wealth of knowledge and I doubt that I can teach anything in Spice U that can’t be found in the community if someone goes looking. But what the community lacks in most cases is a formal structure, so even someone who is constantly missing can simply miss some basic features that could help them. I know I certainly had. In the formal classroom setting the core information is presented as a multiple course meal instead of a buffet ensuring that knowledge is shared in a logical order that builds and does not omit important pieces. The classroom environment also offers a chance to interact with others who are learning Spiceworks and share ideas, at the bootcamp I overheard many conversations where people who had met for the first time that day were exchanging thoughts on what they had just learned and creating a synergy that helped them understand the material better.
There is also an opportunity to interact face to face with veteran SpiceHeads in the form of SpiceTrainers. We have gone through the same process of setting up and learning the program and integrating it in to our own unique environments that the students attending tha class are going through. We have some of the wisdom earned through experience and we want to share it, we wouldn’t be SpiceTrainers if we didn’t want to teach. I anticipate some interesting side conversations during the breaks.
Finally it is a chance to get official recognition that you have been trained on Spiceworks. Each attendee will receive a certificate of completion (very suitable for framing).