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mTrain lets developers to get their hands dirty, technologically speaking.

Atlanta-based mTrain is more than another training stop–it’s a way for developers to get their hands dirty, technologically speaking. Lead trainer Justin Smith chats about putting training on track.

How did mTrain get started?

A couple of years ago we identified a need in the marketplace for real-world training for experienced developers. “Intro to .NET” classes seemed to be easy to find, but there was nothing of quality out there for the developer with experience — that person who wanted to take their training to the next level, and be able to apply their knowledge in real world settings.

What got you personally interested in doing this work?

As contractors working with .NET on projects, we were spending much of our time answering application questions from other developers who had already been to training classes!

It was evident that large amounts of info had been left off the syllabus of their class, or that the material had not been presented in a way that would encourage retention. Tremendous amounts of positive feedback from our colleagues really got us excited about starting this new adventure.

Why do you feel there’s a need for what you provide?

The response to our classes has been overwhelming, as has the feedback from our alumni. We are really just starting the widespread use of .NET.

Over the next several years more and more people will need to be working with the framework on a very technical level, and we know our classes do the best job at getting those people where they need to be.

With so many training options available, what makes you unique?

Our modern software development experience and approach in transferring knowledge to our clients makes us unique. Our instructors are veteran and active software developers. All have been using .NET commercially since the beta release. We go to great lengths to infuse this wealth of knowledge into our courses. Since we are developers, we know that software developers learn best by doing. Our classes are very heavy on labs and demonstrations and light on slide presentations.

Unfortunately most of our competitors are “jack of all trades and master of none” type companies. They offer a wide range of courses, often taught by the same people. Despite claims to the contrary, they are not able to deliver best of breed classes in each discipline. We deliver what others promise: real-world, hands-on, relevant and productive developer training.

Do you find that with the tech economy coming back that more people are interested in training now than they were in the past couple years?

Absolutely. In fact, the difference between the first half and second half of 2004 was dramatic. Based on the inquiries we have received for future classes, I think 2005 is going to be a busy year!

What kind of reaction do you get from students about your materials?

Our alumni have given us great feedback about our customized materials and the instructors who present it. We recognize that developers learn and retain the most knowledge by actually doing, so we have tailored our classes to be heavy on labs and demonstrations and light on slide presentations. The instructors have such great breadth and depth of knowledge that they can always help drill down in a particular area of interest or difficulty.

What do you like best about what you do?

Its great to meet people from all over the world and hear about the fascinating stuff they are working on. It’s also really rewarding to see how much more productive people can be once they have this knowledge.

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