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Joao Ramalho: Certifications were an Anglo-Saxonic creation, but are now spreading all over the world

Joao Ramalho is a certified Cisco Systems instructor. He has spent about 15 years as an instructor and has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry. He also holds certifications for NCDA NetApp and a  core European Computer Driving License certification among others. He shared some of his already busy time with CourseDot to talk about the future of the training industry.

What were your first steps in the field? How did you get into training, what did you do before that?

– I enrolled a instructor / field technician position in Convex company 15 years ago. Before I worked as engineer in several other companies.

What made you enroll as an instructor?

– Being instructor is nice because I like to share my knowledge and I truly believe that knowledge is the foundation of civilization.

In how many countries have you trained people? Do you have to change your methods according to the different cultures?

– I trained people across 4 continents that is round 20 different countries. I needed to adapt my deliveries accordingly with the audience, as much as I could.

In your opinion what are the best ways to train people? To what do students respond well?

– I try to take advantage of humor and physical dynamics in classroom. Knowing a couple of anecdotes in the 4 languages is very useful. Special care must be taken regarding politics and religion.

With a very few exceptions students respond better to a practical training rather than a theoretical, so when possible (especially regarding time constrains) I access lab machines in order to illustrate theoretical concepts during slides presentation.

Lately there has ben a great deal of talk about mobile trainings, online video trainings and so on. Would they replace classic training and are they as good as in class sessions?

– I wouldn’t say that the mobile/remote training will replace class sessions training. By other hand I would say also that they are not an alternative to class sessions training. Presently people still prefer the class sessions, but it’s something about to change.

I had positive feedback from some remote delegates. They said they felt in the classroom, due to the way I’ve conducted the class and my efforts to promote their presence in the classroom. So the remote class adoption seems similar to the eKits and the remote labs. No always, not never, when appropriate and delegates will get used to.

Many people have different ways in which they learn new things. What would your tips be in order to help someone to learn better?

– As you said different people have different ways to learn. Since the learning materials are the same for all, I think the better way to deal with this is to allow / promote the delegate to tell instructor his preference and to try t adapt the materials and presentation. Sometimes, when possible, I need to explain the same concept in different ways, in order to cover all the audience. As I said, some learn more with practice, some more with theoretical approach.

We know there is a huge lack of digital skills at the moment. What in your opinion are the skills and certifications that would serve people the best in the near future?

– Regarding skills I have the same opinion as the European Commission: 2 years ago a European Commissar said that Europe has a lack of 700 000 certified professionals in IT. Certifications were an Anglo-Saxonic creation, but are now spreading all over the world. So, due to these 2 reasons we need to keep working on training, and of course, eavesdropping European Union projects that may fund training in many ways.