Perforce has announced today a new eLearning solution to deliver web-based on-demand training for version management. The logically named Perforce eLearning service has been engineered to present task-specific "role-based content" in small, componentized units lasting between one and four hours.
By delivering role-based content, the company is attempting to provide a more custom-tailored offering to various individual workers across the development shop. Perforce has separated out modules for system administrators, Perforce (version control) administrators, and developers (or Perforce users as the company likes to call them) at a basic, intermediate, and advanced level. There are also specific resources for managers and enterprise architects as two distinct roles.
Perforce defines the advanced user group to include senior developers, build and release engineers, SCM gurus, and other "self-described experts" in codeline management. Advanced users are expected to perform all of the foundation and intermediate user tasks as well as help define and enforce codeline policy. They perform sophisticated codeline management functions, such as those associated with the build/release process, complex branching scenarios, and integrations across codelines.
"Our customers are spread across the globe and to effectively deliver training we realize it has to be offered on the Internet, on-demand, and broken into bite-sized units that don't take up an entire day," said Tony Vinayak, professional services manager for Perforce Software. "Our eLearning offering will make enterprise-wide version management training convenient and affordable."
Although initial promotional details relating to this new offering are somewhat scant, a deeper analysis of the course catalog suggests that the company has attempted to underline the importance of version control in its own right — and not simply use this new launch as a leverage platform to selling more licenses to its product.
According to the course overview, "Performing regular system maintenance activities on your SCM system helps to mitigate problems that can impact your users or lead to system downtime. Learn how to identify and implement maintenance procedures to help you optimize the user experience and insulate you from catastrophic failure if something does go wrong in the Perforce server or client environments. Get pointers on how to identify and resolve problems in your SCM environment, and how to work with the Perforce support staff when you need help troubleshooting Perforce."
While Perforce's training resources come at a price, Subversion-focused company WANdisco appears to offer a degree of tuition materials at no cost. The company's David Richards writes recently on his blog, "Our ever popular Subversion training webinars continue today with a course on branching and merging. The training covers everything from 'what is a branch?' through to 'resolving merge conflicts'. This is just one in a long list of our complete free SVN training webinars which established favorites and exciting new sessions for uberSVN that we have just announced."