What Does Spice U Offer Above the Community

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).

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Travel Plans

I’ve got travel booked for San Francisco and Austin for my first class and the train the trainer events. I’ll be doing a site visit to one of my companies west coast offices for three days before San Fran, so instead of an 8 hour travel day before starting classes I will have a more relaxed 2 hour flight. Next step will be getting tentative venues and booking travel to Minneapolis, Columbus, and DC for my round of April trainings. If it hasn’t already started this week will mark the beginning of the advertising and marketing for the San Fran Spiceworks 101 class.

This morning I got to hear a few words from Nicole about the Spiceworks U program at a meeting of higher pepper level community members. For those of you below Thai one of the rewards of participation is being invited to monthly meetings to help shape the community. I am anxious to see who will become the second generation of Spice U Trainers.

Right now it is the calm before the storm for the initial group of SpiceTrainers, but very soon it will ramp up and this program will be live. Four weeks from tomorrow will be the very first Spice U class. I’m a bit nervous but very excited to conducting it, I can’t think of a better audience than 20 odd SpiceHeads.

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A Date for Valentine’s Day

The date has been set for my first Spice U training, and now that things are official I can break my silence. On March 23rd I will be headed on a road trip to San Francisco where I will be kicking off the my first Spice U class. Not only will it be the first class, but it comes with a special guest appearance by Nicole Tanzillo, I’m not sure if she is there to prevent or promote heckling, but either way it will be great to meet her in person.

April is still being finalized but it looks like I will be hitting the road and visiting Minneapolis/St. Paul, Washington D.C., and Central Ohio, probably Columbus area. I am currently working to coordinate with a couple of SpiceCorp groups so I may be putting in a few guest appearances hopefully with some fresh Spice U grads in tow.

In May I am looking at Chicago and New York City as targets, though I am still figuring out dates.

This is going to be a fun ride with plenty of road trips.

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First day of Logistics

Now that things are officially announced they are starting to move forward. It looks like a date has been decided for the first train the trainer session and shortly after we will be out there giving the first set of Spice U courses. Spent some time today reaching out to some SpiceCorp groups to coordinate times and started watching the requests come in on a fresh SpiceList Nic started to see where people want Spice U events.

If all goes well before two long the first couple of Spice U classes will be announced and we will see how well they fill. Enthusiasm in the community seems high, so I think it will go extremely well.

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The beginning of the SpiceTrainer adventure

In this blog I will be sharing my experience as a Spiceworks SpiceTrainer, from how I became involved in the program to the details of Spice U classes I teach.

A few weeks ago Nicole at Spiceworks reached out to me for an introduction and to talk about her ideas for a new training program. We scheduled a call for Friday afternoon to talk about things.

The first thing that I noticed about Nicole was her enthusiasm and energy, it was very obvious that she was working on a project that she really enjoyed. She shared her idea of expanding on the boot camps and involving trainers from the community so that more trainings could be conducted in more areas. I was hooked, after talking to Nicole I knew she was a woman I wanted to work with and this was going to be a great way to spread Spiceworks.

I found out that I would be joining Darren Schoen and David Scammell as the initial pilot group of SpiceTrainers. I had the pleasure of meeting Darren at SpiceWorld 2010 and the challenge of following him as a SpiceSpeaker. I know David by reputation and his community postings, but haven’t had the chance to meet him in person yet. I am honored to be selected for this opportunity and could not be in better company.

Nicole went off to work on more details with the Spiceworks team, a week and a half later we reconvened to discuss details. I found out the date of the official announcement and we began working on plans for a train the trainer session and getting some initial Spice U classes going. I can’t share too many details yet, but what I can say is that if all goes well I will be on the road to some interesting places and we will be trying to coordinate with several SpiceCorp groups in the Northeastern US to have trainings and meetings on the same day.

After keeping all of this quiet for most of a month I finally got to join the public celebration after the new programs was officially revealed. This is going to be a fun ride.

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