Training Discussion Notes from March 2013 Partners Meeting

A More Distributed Training Model

  • Right now training is mostly done by DCE (Data Curation Experts). While they do it well to know their stuff, they aren't always able to be the best expert in every Hydra subject (especially with the current state of documentation but do rely on individual members of the community to learn their stuff where that is lacking).
  • So some discussion about how to chunk it into different modules and involve other members of the community.
  • Also allows for smaller institutes to more easily train others in their area in less formal environments without the need for bigger events that have hotel costs, conference room costs, etc.

More like the Railsbridge Curriculum?

  • Break it into lessons.
  • After each lesson, have clearly listed that the person should now be able to do X.
  • Creates a curriculum that is very easy to teach and scale to offer more workshops as a community.
  • Can even use it to self-teach yourself.
  • So - self-trainable but still would go to camp to have people there to help you.

Documentation Cross-over

  • The documentation in a style of the above along with general improvements to our documentation work for all 3 use cases.
    • While at camp.
    • A person at home who is unable to go to camp.
    • And finally as a refresher since no one is able to retain everything.

Another important Camp Aspect

  • It will help to teach one to properly use the Hydra documentation in the first place.

Stuff beyond coding is important too! Don't forget to train behaviour.

  • One example is that we need to teach people how to write good bug reports. 
    • Make sure they are useful.
    • Make sure one does them in a way to not cause conflict (ie. blaming others for problems).
  • Need to also train coders in the "Hydra Way" of doing things in general.
  • Test Driven Development (TDD) Training also pointed out as having been highly useful for one institution and they would like to see more of this pushed.
    • Question on what a module for this might look like? How to best teach TDD? What existing training resources are out there?
      • If you know of some awesome resources for this as this is a more general topic, let the group know!

Training for Managers?

  • Courses designed to give managers a bit of a coding taste to better understand the framework they are managing.
    • Given as a good example: Railsbridge for managers.
  • Courses perhaps to help them hire the right people for their Hydra project.
  • Overall this type of spin-off content could exist well in the new modular format.
  • Possibly a developer and a manager track? But that might not work out well. Difference between saying "we need to teach you how to manage" vs "I need to learn this to get our repository up and running" on people wanting to attend. So perhaps better to do something like this at DLF rather than its own event.

(Aside Topic) How to get a Test Installation Up and Running for Product Evaluation?

  • Some type of trianing or documentation to get the bare bones stuff up in order to see what it is like without having to delve too deeply in it.
    • If evaluating six products, don't want to spend much time or money into any one before deciding on a platform. So the lack of this type of documentation or training is a barrier to entry.
      • Example: Oregon went with Islandora first because they couldn't get training or a demo for their evaluation.

Get Us Into Library Curriculum (IE. the "Microsoft method")

  • Example that they are interested: One person invited by the University of Wisconsin to develop a 1-hour Railsbridge curriculum to library students. Since they are open to stuff like Railsbridge, perhaps open then to even a more specific implementation of it for repositories?
  • Would be nice to have an "army of students" brought up on the stack. They could then go forth and push their organisations into adopting it as that would be what they know.

Hydra Certified Trainers?

  • Have a group of people certified for teaching Hydra related materials.
  • Would be good to have some type of get together event to learn on how to become a trainer.
  • Perhaps show up the day before Hydra Camp to learn tips on how to do that. Then act as a TA. Then at the end get some type of certificate.
  • Also allows institutions to build up a "local expert" who keeps up on the training requirements.

Ready Made Materials?

  • Suggested to create a set of generic tutorial materials for presentations and conferences that anyone can give as well.
  • Example of one team was asked to present at some local conference but didn't have the time to create a presentation for so turned it down.

  • Proven pre-done materials like this would also give confidence in someone's ability to adequately teach it without missing or misrepresenting things.

  • Can make us overall better equipped so we can all give consistent answers to inquiries on how things work and other projects in the community.

Hydra Community Training Plan wiki page (not shared before):

Courses for Sys Ops Needed!

  • Not really communicating how to build out the stack in a production environment.
  • A general need for training and documentation in this area.

Tone of the Training

  • A lot of the power of RailsBridge is about sitting down with a small group. Setting a "tone". A safe space you can ask all the questions that you may think is stupid in a non-large group.
  • It's not I'm coming here to be the expert to provide you training. But I'm here and I have better touch points to help expand what you know. Be a resource. Something about having a person communited to training with you helps others to focus on Hydra and not what is on fire today.

Action Item: Tack onto the next partner meeting on how train partners?

What does certification mean? How does one get certified?

  • Initially a mechanism not unlike how we select commiters. Just see who does it well and then reach out to them if one feels like they would do a good job acting as a representative of the community.
  • Then perhaps having a type of ladder system. Like start as a TA and then next time maybe run a small event to get the certification.

Codify a Training Working Group (a committee on the subject):

  • Make the community approach to training. Nominated Bess, Mike, and Tom about heading up a committee for getting this started perhaps.

  • Discussion on where to reach out to others who might be interested. Hydra Partner's list? Just reach out to potentially interested people? Etc.
    • I'm unsure of the exact resolution of this. But I believe it was decided to put out an open call Partner's List about who might be interested in this process and assigning resources to it. Don't quote me on this!

Documentation Licensing Woes:

  • With the decision to move much of the documentation to the github wiki, does this mean they fall under the code MOU thebn? Confusion over this but it seems like implicitly it would.
    • We need to explicitly define a more documentation oriented license for materials. Unsure of what that would be yet. Creative Commons 0? Creative Commons 5? Non-Commercial Creative Commons?
  • One thing we want to avoid is building this awesome training juggernaut. Then DCE build this modified curriculum based on this. Then 5 years where are we in terms of rights. Should be real clear on the usage rights.
  • Need an action item on how to license this content.

Even More Licensing Woes:

  • A side topic, but it came up on how we handle copyrights in general. For example, we can't say "Copyright 2013 Project Hydra" due that not being a legal entity. No one organisation owns all the code or documentation either to give them copyright. Maintaining a large list for each project would be cumbersome. Need to figure this out soon.

Data Curation Experts Potential Compensation to Teachers?

  • Perhaps reimburse expenses for travel as can be a standard practice for giving lectures elsewhere.
    • Example of: If one could teach, get reimbursed, then stay to learn, that would be great.

Rough Calendar Ideas for 2013:

  • As prior to June seems a poor choice along with summer being a poor choice, likely do early Fall as that is the traditional for the North American one. Solicit either WGBH or Boston to possibly host the event.
    • Specifically the New England area due to many potential adopters in the Northeast.
    • Would be useful to know when the September Partner's meeting would be to help plan the training more appropriately. Avoid scheduling too close.
    • Size? Seems like Penn State is the largest one would want to do for a one-track event. If more, break it into two tracks or do two separate weeks?
  • Dublin Hydra Camp in April (
  • Perhaps some micro training events? Mentioned DCE will be doing a morning workship in their Mineappolis office soon to bring new people on board. Can maybe invite 1-2 more people about to it.

High Level Documentation for the Hydra Framework:

  • Something to tell others interested in the framework and a concise plus effective way to communicate about it.
  • The "marketing message".
  • Is Hydra meant to build something or install something? The is is hydra a "framework" or an "application" discussion.
    • The official stance is that it is a framework and that it is moving towards being able to offer application solutions. Moving towards that path but not there yet.
  • Some unsure about what different gems do? Hydra is unique in how it works. It is a toolbox. Once done for awhile, it all makes sense, but ... Not quite modules like how Drupal does it. But hard to piece that information together clearly to explain to others.