Archive for the ‘training’ Category

Today’s post is part of a series exploring areas of focus and innovation for NI software.


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Today’s Featured Author

Shelley Gretlein is a self-proclaimed software geek and robot aficionado. As NI’s director of software marketing, you can find Shelley championing LabVIEW from keynote stages to user forums to elevator conversations. You can follow her on Twitter at @LadyLabVIEW.

 

 

 

The days of the droning instructor—whether in undergrad or executive education—are (thankfully) long gone. No one has the time or patience to learn new techniques and technologies the old way. 

 

The pace of technology is ridiculous, the Internet of Things (IoT) is exploding system complexity, and we’re all finding it hard to keep up. The facts are undeniable, you and your teams have more to learn in your field and have to learn beyond your field, too, if you really want to be competitive. Learning formats must be compatible with your lifestyle.

 

Thankfully there’s good news. Technology, investments, and management trends are in our favor. I’m seeing a rise in learning technologies and techniques from massive open online courses (MOOCs) at universities to in-product learning from customer education departments. But I’m also seeing innovation outside traditional spaces. Options like Connexions, TechShop, and Khan Academy are popping up everywhere.


 

The 70:20:10 Rule: Learning Is More Than the Classroom


 

We need to expand our definition of ‘training’ beyond the classroom to all forms of learning. The 70:20:10 rule reinforces this concept. Traditionally, "customer education" content lives in the 10% (formal learning). NI is also providing the 20% (social) heavily rooted in peer to peer (user groups, summits, developer days). We are evolving our portfolio to include more content that lives in the 70% (experiential learning). Learning spans tutorials to online modules, YouTube to code snippets, mentoring to code reviews, and seminars to white papers. Learning is popping up online, in cubes, and in-product.

 

One key learning enhancement in LabVIEW, shaped by the LabVIEW Community, first came in LabVIEW 2012 with the introduction of templates and sample projects. These recommended starting points are designed to ensure the quality and scalability of a system by demonstrating recommended architectures and illustrating best practices for documenting and organizing code. More than a conceptual illustration of how to use a low-level API or technology within LabVIEW, these open-source projects demonstrate how the code works and best practices for adding or modifying functionality, so you learn by doing.

 

But we aren’t stopping there, we have learning built into LabVIEW Communications Design Suite (the revolution in rapid prototyping for communications) to minimize design flow interruptions and encourage seamless learning. "Just-in-time" learning and access to learning material in product allows you to learn by doing—commonly referred to as "performance support." 

 

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Overcoming the Access Hurdle

 

Regardless of the learning format you prefer, it’s clear to me that access is the key hurdle to overcome. If you know what you don’t know and can access the right training to learn what you need to learn—study upon study demonstrates you will be significantly more productive.

 

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We are doing our part here as well. For the past several years, NI has included online training with most of our products as part of staying on active software service. This online format is optimized to fit your schedule while complementing other formats including live instructor-led virtual training, classroom training, and on-site custom courses. The online courses respect your time and your budget as Thomas Sumrak from PAR Technologies reported, “I estimate that the training courses have saved me more than 150 hours in self-paced learning time to get to an equivalent skill level.”

 

It’s All About Proficiency


As your intuition would tell you, learning, and more importantly—proficiency—really matters. Everyone knows someone who takes every corporate course available and doesn’t learn a thing. You have to learn, not just listen, for the investment to matter. When you do—it does. After becoming proficient (via certification), customers reported the following:

 

  • Over 54% said the quality of their work improved
  • Nearly 45% said their peers’ perceptions of them improved
  • Nearly 30% received new project opportunities


Take your learning into your own hands and take advantage of the many new resources available and suited to your learning preferences, time constraints, and budget needs. Don’t just check a box, but take the time to do, and cement your understanding through experience. It’s at your fingertips.

 

Identify the skills you need and find learning resources to help you successfully develop your application. Visit ni.com/training/learning-paths  or download the course catalog to review the training courses, certification exams, and proficiency events available in your area of interest.


Successfully completing an application with the graphical system design approach means more than simply making a functional program that meets requirements. To help you accelerate your development, NI LabVIEW skills guides assist you in identifying which proficiency level your current application requires. You can then learn more about the skill sets important for proficiency at that level and the training options for obtaining those skills consistent with your time constraints, budget, and personal learning preferences.

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With NI training courses, you learn techniques to reduce development time and improve application performance and scalability. Learn from NI and industry experts in a variety of formats, including online, virtual, and classroom settings. NI training is a smart and safe investment to unlock your application development potential.

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In addition to training courses, developers and engineers using NI software can benefit from getting certified. Certification helps inspire confidence in technical skills, leading to promotions, new opportunities, and higher pay. For organizations, certification is a strategic investment that pays off in increased productivity, reduced turnover, and an overall competitive advantage.


>> View the full training brochure.

Calling all LabVIEW users! This is your chance to improve your programming skills by learning from the best. National Instruments is offering complimentary training to users around the U.S.

 

LabVIEW Developer Education Day is a full-day event that offers time-saving tips and expert development techniques to attendees. It’s designed to enhance your LabVIEW skills through practical, in-depth technical presentations and discussions with LabVIEW experts. Specific topics will vary by location.

 

Benefits:

  • Sharpen your LabVIEW programming skills with expert strategies
  • Network with local LabVIEW programmers during a complimentary lunch
  • Receive a certificate good for $200 off an NI proctored exam OR a regional training class AND a 50% discount on a Pearson Vue exam

 

Free food and valuable LabVIEW knowledge? Doesn’t get much better than that!

 

>> Find your local city and register.

Thanks so much to all the faithful readers of the Training Resources blog.

 

With the release of LabVIEW 2012, we are re-engineering our blog strategy. We’re consolidating from four blogs to one. Don't panic, though—all of the same great training and certification posts that you have come to love will be on the new blog, too.

 

You can find the new blog here. We hope to see you there!

 

In the meantime, check out the NI Training and Certification page if you’re looking for other great resources.

Budgets and budget cycles can sometimes interfere with making wise training investments. With training credits, you can purchase training now (when you have the budget) and schedule it later (when you need the training).

 

Purchasing for yourself? You don't have to know what, when, or where you will take training yet. Managers don't even have to know who will be trained yet. Spend the budget while you have it, and schedule the training later when you need it.

 

>> Learn more.

NI LabVIEW software is built in such a way that it not only increases productivity for simple measurement and control applications, but also has the power to automate very large systems. The challenge for many LabVIEW users is making the move up the LabVIEW learning curve to implement more sophisticated systems.

 

Larger, more complex applications differ from simple ones in that they can contain numerous VIs and subVIs and multiple loops or processes running simultaneously; they are often used, supported, or maintained by someone other than the developer; and they may be “mission critical” in nature meaning that problems could result in significant business loss or safety risks.


Even users who have been developing simpler LabVIEW applications for many years can have difficulty delivering a more complex system that is both high quality and on schedule. They may have to learn software engineering practices for designing, developing, and testing before getting started.

 

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There are key software engineering skills at each phase of a project that engineers must know to develop larger, more complex applications in LabVIEW.

 

In order to ensure users move up the LabVIEW learning curve to the point where they can deliver larger applications, National Instruments offers several LabVIEW certification levels to help them achieve success.

 

Associate Developer Proficiency (Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer (CLAD) level, LabVIEW Core 1 and 2 courses)

  • Develop small to medium applications (less than 50 VIs)
  • Use, debug, support, or maintain previously developed LabVIEW code
  • Spend less than 10 hours a week using LabVIEW, only planning one LabVIEW project

 

Developer Proficiency (Certified LabVIEW Developer (CLD) level)

  • Use LabVIEW on a regular basis to develop applications (70 to 80 percent of your time)
  • Design medium to large applications in LabVIEW (50 to 500 VIs)
  • Modify or upgrade previously developed LabVIEW code
  • Develop applications used, supported, or maintained by others
  • Plan a career where you will use LabVIEW for multiple projects
  • Develop LabVIEW code as part of a larger team
  • Manage a team and must know the difference between good and bad code

 

Architect Proficiency (Certified LabVIEW Architect (CLA) level)

  • Design large LabVIEW applications (more than 500 VIs) with high-level design requirements
  • Manage a team responsible for delivering large LabVIEW applications
  • Work in a regulated industry (military/aerospace, automotive, medical) and design mission-critical applications where incorrect execution may result in safety risk or significant loss

 

To obtain these levels of LabVIEW proficiency, there are several options available:

  1. Independent-study education—Read books, product documentation, website tutorials, and so on.
  2. Instructor-led education—LabVIEW training courses in small classes taught by skilled instructors
  3. Hire an expert—Hire a Certified LabVIEW Developer (CLD) or Certified LabVIEW Architect (CLA) for your team
  4. Hire a team of experts to build the system for you—National Instruments Alliance Partners have years of experience

 

To choose your proficiency level and training option today, visit ni.com/training.


 

This article first appeared in the Q4 2011 issue of Instrumentation Newsletter.

NI LabVIEW software is built in such a way that it not only increases productivity for simple measurement and control applications, but also has the power to automate very large systems. The challenge for many LabVIEW users is making the move up the LabVIEW learning curve to implement more sophisticated systems.

 

Larger, more complex applications differ from simple ones in that they can contain numerous VIs and subVIs and multiple loops or processes running simultaneously; they are often used, supported, or maintained by someone other than the developer; and they may be “mission critical” in nature meaning that problems could result in significant business loss or safety risks.


Even users who have been developing simpler LabVIEW applications for many years can have difficulty delivering a more complex system that is both high quality and on schedule. They may have to learn software engineering practices for designing, developing, and testing before getting started.

 

In order to ensure users move up the LabVIEW learning curve to the point where they can deliver larger applications, National Instruments offers several LabVIEW certification levels to help them achieve success.

 

Associate Developer Proficiency (Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer (CLAD) level, LabVIEW Core 1 and 2 courses)

  • Develop small to medium applications (less than 50 VIs)
  • Use, debug, support, or maintain previously developed LabVIEW code
  • Spend less than 10 hours a week using LabVIEW, only planning one LabVIEW project

 

Developer Proficiency (Certified LabVIEW Developer (CLD) level)

  • Use LabVIEW on a regular basis to develop applications (70 to 80 percent of your time)
  • Design medium to large applications in LabVIEW (50 to 500 VIs)
  • Modify or upgrade previously developed LabVIEW code
  • Develop applications used, supported, or maintained by others
  • Plan a career where you will use LabVIEW for multiple projects
  • Develop LabVIEW code as part of a larger team
  • Manage a team and must know the difference between good and bad code

 

Architect Proficiency (Certified LabVIEW Architect (CLA) level)

  • Design large LabVIEW applications (more than 500 VIs) with high-level design requirements
  • Manage a team responsible for delivering large LabVIEW applications
  • Work in a regulated industry (military/aerospace, automotive, medical) and design mission-critical applications where incorrect execution may result in safety risk or significant loss

 

To obtain these levels of LabVIEW proficiency, there are several options available:

  1. Independent-study education—Read books, product documentation, website tutorials, and so on.
  2. Instructor-led education—LabVIEW training courses in small classes taught by skilled instructors
  3. Hire an expert—Hire a Certified LabVIEW Developer (CLD) or Certified LabVIEW Architect (CLA) for your team
  4. Hire a team of experts to build the system for you—National Instruments Alliance Partners have years of experience

 

To choose your proficiency level and training option today, visit ni.com/training.


 

This article first appeared in the Q4 2011 issue of Instrumentation Newsletter.

Listen to a Certified LabVIEW Architect (CLA) as he shares tips and tricks to take your LabVIEW development to a new level, increasing your productivity and your application performance.

 

>> Watch webcast

Professional certification is a proven way to boost your career potential. Certification helps inspire confidence in technical skills and demonstrates familiarity with and proficiency in a skill area, as well as knowledge of best practices in that area. NI surveyed nearly 400 active Certified LabVIEW Developers (CLDs) to learn more about how the NI certification program helps them advance their careers.

 

>> Check out the results from this survey

To better quantify the value of training, NI surveyed 659 customers from 11 countries who recently completed NI training course(s). We asked survey respondents to estimate the impact of the NI training courses they attended on the following:

Learning speed – How much more or less time it would have taken to reach their current skill levels with the software if they had not taken NI training. NI training courses typically range from a half day to three days per course.

Development speed – How much improvement in development speed resulted from taking NI training course(s). In addition to helping attendees become familiar with the software environment, NI training courses teach the most effective and efficient methods for developing applications. Instructors also demonstrate additional time-saving tips and tricks as part of the courses.

Maintenance time – How much more or less time maintenance or modifications to existing applications had taken or would take as a result of skills learned in NI training course(s). NI training courses not only focus on development techniques but also introduce attendees to useful debugging tools, best practices for documenting code for readability, and techniques for creating modular applications that they can easily modify and reuse.

In addition, we applied the results from the survey to a sample project to evaluate the data in terms of dollar savings or return on investment.

 

>> Check out the results from the survey