Floyd Marinescu to co-teach J2EE Patterns Event -Sept 16,Dallas

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News: Floyd Marinescu to co-teach J2EE Patterns Event -Sept 16,Dallas

  1. Dear TSS Members,

    I thought you'd be interested to know that The Middleware Company has created a J2EE Patterns training course that I will be co-teaching in Dallas during the week of September 16th. The course combines and improves upon the best J2EE design patterns material available in my book EJB Design Patterns, Sun's Core Patterns, TheServerSide's patterns repository and others.

    I have just reviewed the final material and I am very excited with the end product. This class takes an indepth look at all the most important patterns today, both from a theoretical and a practical perspective. One of the cool things about it is that they show you how the patterns were implemented in a variety of popular open source frameworks and production applications, including TheServerSide.com.

    I highly recommend this course to the seasoned J2EE developer or two developers who want to master the cutting edge in J2EE architecture and design.

    If you'd like to register for the course, simply click here:
    http://www.middleware-company.com/training/j2eepatterns.shtml

    Or, if you need assistance, you can contact us at registration@middleware-company.com. Again, I'll be co-teaching the September 16th Dallas class, and it would be great to meet you! If you can't make it to that one, I highly recommend signing up at another date. This class is a unique experience, not to be missed.

    Sincerely,

    Floyd Marinescu
    Author, EJB Design Patterns
    Director of TheServerSide.com J2EE Community

    Threaded Messages (57)

  2. I think it's rather unethical that the Middleware company is continuing to give not unsubstantial presents to the participants of the courses. The idea is obviously that since it's the employer that pays for the course but the participant that gets the present, this will be a nice way to attract people to the course, while in effect subsidising their present with the employer's money.
    I did EJB for Architects about a year ago and it was a very good course; I'm not sure that it's worth for the Middleware company to risk its reputation like this and also make employers question their employee's motives when they ask to take a course...
  3. Good point, but it's been made before, and the only thing that happened was that the comments were removed from the site. I wonder how long these will be available.
  4. Hi,
    last time I did the same comment on the TiVo Philips box...the thread and the comment from Ad Roman are still available: The Middleware Company Offers TiVo to EJB 4 Architects Students

    Mirko
  5. Why is this any different from an airline giving Frequent Flier Miles? The employer buys those trips too, and the employee gets a free vacation.

    I disagree that this is unethical. The employer got significant value from top notch training provided to their employees at a resonable cost. The Middlware Group spent revenue on a marketing and customer loyalty event.

    I see nothing wrong with this in the least.

    Dave Wolf
    The Scupper Group
    dave at scuppergroup dot com
  6. Dave,

    Interesting comparison. I guess there are two things to note though:
    1) All airlines do it, so there's no "unfairness". It's "standard business rules". I doubt the same thing holds for enterprise level training classes. Maybe I'm wrong though.
    2) Just because a lot of companies do it, doesn't change the fact that the basic principle is wrong. It's just that all agree on it.

    The longer we can keep cheap tricks like this out of the industry the better.
  7. There is another difference between frequent flyer miles and the training -gift-. In case of miles programs, most of the time employers have preferred airlines and miles are irrelevant to the decision. In fact, even if miles programs had impact, this would be on "which airline to fly" not "whether to fly or not".

    But the Tivo thing doesn't seem to be related to a competition.
    Perhaps because of the -gift-s many people took classes which they really didn't need to, and this costed to the employers. It's like "you didn't need a flight, but just because of free miles offered, you flied".
  8. Rickard, nice to chat with you again, albeit on a less technical topic :)

    I dont see where this is a 'cheap trick'.

    1) Its all well publicized.

    2) The company chose to pay for the course their employee took. The company whose money was spent decided that this training was in the best interest of their employee, otherwise they never would have spent the money. Lets not forget, the employee got top notch training here, not just an XBox. (I bought my own XBox thank you <wink>)

    3) If as a manager of a company (which I am) the cheap trinket got my employees to engage in training they needed, so be it.

    Let's not forget, the TMG is a for-profit company. Why do you think they provide us this site? You dont think that its pure philanthopy do you? Its marketing for their classes and services. In return for that marketing we get value in the site. Thats no different from an XBox (although the XBox is alot more fun sometimes).

    Cheers,

    Dave Wolf
    The Scupper Group
    dave at scuppergroup dot com
  9. 1) Its all well publicized.


    Doesn't make it any better.

    >2) The company chose to pay for the course their employee
    >took. The company whose money was spent decided that this
    >training was in the best interest of their employee, otherwise
    > they never would have spent the money. Lets not forget, the
    >employee got top notch training here, not just an XBox. (I
    > bought my own XBox thank you <wink>)

    Ah, but the devil is in the details. That decision may have been based on false data, provided by the employee who in his eagerness to get a freebie exaggerated this course a little more than any others. This is one of the basic problems with this. The human nature. In fact, as Ed noted in another thread, he's *counting* on it.

    >3) If as a manager of a company (which I am) the cheap
    >trinket got my employees to engage in training they needed,
    >so be it.

    Even though there might be other courses available that are cheaper and have better content? If so, then I wouldn't want you as my manager. ;-)

    > Why do you think they provide us this site?

    The full response to that would be censored away in a blink of an eye. But it's a good question.

    > You dont think that its pure philanthopy do you?

    Hell no, quite the contrary.

    > Its marketing for their classes and services.

    That's a part of it. But a rather small part of it.

  10. I'm violating the famous glove principle by asking a question I do not know the answer to, however what the hell.

    >>It gives you an unethical edge over other providers of training classes. >>

    Are you a provider of such training classes? A relevant question to the thread, and honestly I haven't the foggiest idea what you do these days.

    Dave Wolf
    The Scupper Group
    dave at scuppergroup dot com
  11. Are you a provider of such training classes? A relevant

    >question to the thread, and honestly I haven't the foggiest
    >idea what you do these days.

    Definitely relevant, but no, I don't. If I did I would be much more pissed off and use more graphic language.

    What I do? I'm building a new portal product. See my blog at http://dreambean.com for some cool details.
  12. Thanks for your opinions Rickard, but I'll take a real world fact over someones opinion any day, and I believe that Dave Wolf's comments are as real world as they can get.

    Your comments collectively seem to suggest that marketing in general is unethical and malicious. There is definitly no point even bothering to enter that discussion.


  13. Thanks for your opinions Rickard, but I'll take a real world

    >fact over someones opinion any day, and I believe that Dave
    >Wolf's comments are as real world as they can get.

    I didn't think you would do otherwise, but what you think doesn't change anything, even it if would be convenient for you if that was the case.

    >Your comments collectively seem to suggest that marketing in
    >general is unethical and malicious. There is definitly no
    >point even bothering to enter that discussion.

    LOL, no Floyd, I certainly don't think that marketing in general is unethical and malicious. But when it's done using manipulative tactics (that you have no clue about what you're doing doesn't change this fact) that deceive the customer (in this case the employer), and which also tries to increase the market share through these types of methods, I get concerned.

    I don't have any reason to believe that you will ever "get" why this is unethical, or that you will change this policy, but at least now people will have a fair chance of choosing between "yes, I think freebie gifts are cool no matter what. Gimme that training!" or "no, I think freebie gifts are signs of manipulative marketing tactics, and instead choose a provider that is honest about the service and will give me actual value for my money". In the end nothing of this is up to neither you nor me, but the people who decide what training to take.
  14. In the end nothing of this is up to neither you nor me,

    >but the people who decide what training to take

    Exactly! That is the point I have been trying to make throughout this thread.
  15. If I recall correctly, TMC was going to choose one person to attend this J2EE Design Patterns seminar free of charge. Has that person been picked yet? I am eagerly awaiting the results, as I am extremely involved with J2EE and would really appreciate the opportunity to attend this course. However, I happen to be a poor college student and can not afford the price of the course, and I don't believe my employer would pay for it!

    Thank you,

    Ryan LeCompte
    rml7669 at louisiana dot edu
    http://www.louisiana.edu/~rml7669
  16. I hereby call Tyler Jewell, Director of Evangelism & Education Development of BEA Systems to the stand. Tyler is a 7 year veteran of the education business having been an instructor, course developer, business strategist, and manager. He's also been an independent training vendor and part of a training org for a large corporation. The Defense calls Tyler as a witness on the subject of education business, marketing, and ethics.

    Rickard, I think you are using a personal ethics system that is not even considered in most businesses. The issues you have are not with TMC, but with the types of business promotions that are allowed. What TMC is doing is a fairly *simple* promotion in the education arena. What about Oracle's recent promotion of signing up for all 4 classes needed for Certification for the price of 2? I guess I'm a little unclear as to how running a promotion targeted at a company or an individual is at all unethical.

    Hell, at BEA, we offer BEA Education Units (BEUs) which are credits that can be applied to future courses. We offer discounts on those credits so that the more you buy the more you save. We'll sell those to individuals or companies -- is that unethical?

    a) Companies and individuals buy training.
    b) Training vendors offer corporate promotions and individual promotions.
    c) TMC markets their individual promotions on theserverside, but they rarely market their corporate promotions there (on purpose)
    d) The promotions are always fully documented.

    In 99.999% of the businesses around the world, the difference between ethical and unethical marketing is in disclosure. TMC has full disclosure so that any interested party can see the full details. No issues there.

    I suspect that you want a truly free enterprise where decisions as to what courses are made based upon the content? The price? What's your decision criteria? The point is, there are a lot more things to consider when buying a course than price / content. Location? Availability to suit your needs? Quality, well-known instructor? What do *I* get out of the course?

    Rickard, did you know that most training vendors offer a certificate for course completion, but some don't. That's a type of incentive. Is it unethical for TMC to offer certificates if others do not? What about the instructor? Is it unethical for TMC to market a course taught by Ed Roman? Obviously, Ed is a higher draw and the perceived value would be significantly more if he taught the course. Under the guidelines you listed above, this tactic would be unethical.

    Essentially, if TMC followed your guidelines strictly, they would have no room to maneuver. Outside of courses and instructors and a web site, they would just have to pray for business. Ummm, where I come from, we identify a market and go after it voraciously, not wait for it to come to us.

    Also, and this is big misperception. I have to counter a small point you made above. You made the assumption that a company will raise their rates if there are few people and that more people means fewer rates. This most certainly does not happen. Businesses build a course and that course has value, say 25K for 1 week with up to 16 students. If this course is listed in a city at 2K / person and only 2 people show up, the course would just be cancelled two weeksn in advance. Prices are not reset EVER because that would devalue your training and ruin your business. If people knew that you were willing to only charge 10K for a course that you thought was 25K, they would smell blood and every course you taught would only be 10K. Courses just get cancelled, the prices don't fluctuate.

    A promotion is an easy way to say, "This course is valued at XXXX", but for whatever reason we need to give you a benefit for taking THESE courses at THIS time. Nothing at all unethical there. With my United loyalty program, I get an email every Wed. telling me about all of the flights that I can get at a discount the following weekend because they are dreadfully empty. Heck, if I can get a free tivo by listening to Floyd blabber for 40 hours, I might just be willing to convince my purchasing manager ot make my life easier.

    What about the Java cruises? Their promotion is that the training is on a cruise in the caribbean? I can only imagine what you would have to say about that promotion....

    If you want to get your undies bunched on ethics, I'd avoid the training business. How about diverting your energies to getting SPAM wiped off the planet instead?

    Tyler
  17. IT'S A FREAKING $200 Tivo. Who gives a CRAP?!?!?!?!

    If the time spent on this nonsensical argument was perhaps spent on any of the following, I guarantee the world would be a better place:

    1) Global warming
    2) Microsoft monopolies
    3) Sun's lack of product strategy
    4) Oberg's portal quest

    :D

  18. Tyler,

    >Rickard, I think you are using a personal ethics system that
    >is not even considered in most businesses.

    1) All ethics is personal, individual, and subjective. This thread makes that very clear.
    2) You may be right. I don't know. The problem we are discussing here is based on manipulation and deception. Is this not considered in most businesses? Well, I guess you're the expert, so I'll just have to take your word for it.

    >The issues you have are not with TMC, but with the types of
    >business promotions that are allowed.

    TMC uses, in my view (since ethics is subjective), a business promotion that is unethical, hence my problem is with TMC.

    > What TMC is doing is a fairly *simple* promotion in the
    > education arena.

    The devil is in the details. You should have read the thread more closely.

    >Essentially, if TMC followed your guidelines strictly, they
    >would have no room to maneuver. Outside of courses and
    >instructors and a web site, they would just have to pray for
    > business. Ummm, where I come from, we identify a market and
    > go after it voraciously, not wait for it to come to us.

    Bravo, nice speech, and guess what: I agree with you. The only problem is: this speech has nothing to do with the case at hand. Read it again, and if you don't see what I mean contact me offline and I'll explain it to you.

    >Also, and this is big misperception. I have to counter a
    >small point you made above. You made the assumption that a
    >company will raise their rates if there are few people and
    >that more people means fewer rates.

    Excellent! Now it all makes sense: instead of cancelling completely a class that has too low attendance to make it worthwhile (see Ed's statement), try to get more students so it doesn't have to be reworked with a new name and new price tag. Brilliant. And the "4 for the price for 2" promo would have been an excellent way to do it. What we are discussing in this thread isn't, for reasons already mentioned.

    Tyler, you made a very well-worded defense speech, but I'm a little surprised that you managed to miss the entire point of our/mine objections. It's not like you. Do your homework and try again.

  19. >> 1) All ethics is personal, individual, and subjective. This thread makes that very clear.

    OK. exactly what is it about your point that makes it an objective assessment of TMC policy? Philosophically the subject of ethics has been pounded upon for centuries and to date not a single philosopher is in agreement what the subject's inquiry is supposed to unearth. so lets just leave that 'unethical' part out of this discussion and concentrate on the practices that you consider wrong.

    >> TMC uses, in my view (since ethics is subjective), a business promotion that is
    >> unethical, hence my problem is with TMC.

    what is unethical here? you got to qualify what you mean. That deception and manipulation doesn't wash. We are not marketing experts. You are moreover somehow rubbishing the fundamental intelligence of corporate executives and IT managers and their ability to sift deception from marketing.

    >> Excellent! Now it all makes sense: instead of cancelling completely a class that has too
    >> low attendance to make it worthwhile (see Ed's statement), try to get more students so it
    >> doesn't have to be reworked with a new name and new price tag

    what is wrong with that? i am confused with your argument. people run companies and training courses for a profit motive. By your logic if they keep cancelling courses for which attendance is low they'd just have to shut down their business and maybe start begging. They present a TiVo for attendees - so what? when managers give permission for employees to attend a training course what do you think is the first thing they look out for? The coverage of the course/who teaches it/what is their reputation or do they look at what kind of freebies are offered? And even if I happen to be an individual making my own decisions with regards to attending courses i dont have the faintest idea how getting a freebie is in anyway unethical. who is losing here? neither me (i get a chance to attend one of the best courses around), nor the company (gets more attendees).

    earlier you said...

    >> The basic principle is exactly the same: you're ignoring the issues around it, because
    >> the outcome benefits you.

    why shouldnt the outcome benefit him? is he running the Great MiddleWare Charitable Trust of America?

    >> Which is not the point. If the employer says "you need some training", the employee is
    >> encouraged by the freebie in your course to say "Let's take TMC's training". Because it's
    >> better? Because it's lower price? No, because he got a freebie. And as Ed said, people
    >> like freebies. That's the whole point of them

    What makes you think you can read the minds of people? why are you an authority on what motivates people to buy a product? Are you a marketing expert?

    >> It gives you an unethical edge over other providers of training classes

    The first principle of marketing is USP a.k.a Unique Selling Proposition. YOu got to differentiate yourselves from the rest. The way you do it is definitely open to debate but you are just clutching at straws here.

    >> I'm saying that they will be making decisions based on false data, not that they're
    >> stupid. Anyone can be misled and manipulated, given the right incentive.

    false data? what is that? can you be more specific..?

    --Dilip



  20. Why do you think they provide us this site?


    <rickard>The full response to that would be censored away in a blink of an eye. But it's a good question.</rickard>

    > You dont think that its pure philanthopy do you?

    <rickard>Hell no, quite the contrary.</rickard>

    > Its marketing for their classes and services.

    <rickard>That's a part of it. But a rather small part of it.</rickard>
     

    I guess all parties involved can feel free to ignore this, but in the name of full ethical disclosure I'd like to know what went down with Rickard working (very briefly) at TMC earlier this year, and how that might be influencing and informing this conversation.
  21. Jason, actually that's a good idea.

    /Rickard
  22. "But the Tivo thing doesn't seem to be related to a competition. "

    I think it is. Obviously a project manager is going to check the competition to see what other similar courses he can buy for his/her employee's. I would.
  23. Frequent Flier Miles[ Go to top ]

    The idea of giving gifs is really okay. No problem with it.

    The point is, don't give those gifts to the one, who attends the training, give them to the one, who "pays" for the training. In this case the company which has to pay for the training. It won't be a problem if after that that company decides to give those gifts to the attendee of the training
    (the employee) ...

    <Dave>
    Why is this any different from an airline giving Frequent Flier Miles? The employer buys those trips too, and the employee gets a free vacation.
    </Dave>
    In my opinion this idea is really nuts and the biggest mistake which ever happens in our industry! Those miles should be given to the employer. Because the company can use the miles for other business trips! Hey, we all know there are two different words like "business" and "private"
    trips, don't we? It's just like public and private methods in Java -> they are different! ;-)

    If everybody agrees with this idea, I just don't wonder why something like Worldcom can happen...

    Lofi.
    http://openuss.sourceforge.net
  24. Frequent Flier Miles[ Go to top ]

    <quote>
    Anyway, I think its Rickard who's spreading the crap (see his dreambean.com and he's talking lot about TSS and its being Floyd's weblog, how STUPID).
    </quote>

    well on the frontpage there are 9 topics by floyd, 8 by others, its fair to say at least that floyd has a big influence on this portal and thus i don't see rickard's comment as beeing unjustified.


    By offering a tivo you encourage developers to take the course Lets look at some scenarios

    1. architect is running into problems he does not know how to solve or feels additinal training would make him perform better and thus serve his company better

    outcome : developer will take course regardless of tivo, manager will not have any objections


    2. architect has a lot of work to do but his employer suggests sending a couple of senior developers to training, the developer feels he may benefit slightly but is allready quite knowlagable.

    outcome : developer will take the course where he may have otherwise refused because he felt his time would be better served continueing his work

    3. architect is a crack architect or doesn't feel he has an imidiate use for the subject matter discussed. He however isn't to happy with his employer.

    outcome : the developer thinks what the heck, if they want me to go i'll go clueless bunch of #@#$@ at least the tivo will make it worth my effort

    in the first case the developer would have taken the course regardless of the tivo, in the other cases they may have not.
    Is the employer best served here? I dont think so
    Thus is this ethical ?, imho it probably is not because it encourages people to do the wrong thing.

    However reccognize it is widly accepted in the industry so it probably would be foolish for the middleware company to be the most wellbehaved boy in the class because they'll lose to the competition. but inherintly i feel for what rickard is saying. In principle it is wrong. It should have been addressed the first time someone used this "scam" now boundry's have been shifted and there's no turning back unless there is made legislation for this sort of thing

     

    But however
  25. I was part of the decision making process to offer these gifts. There were no unethical or suspicious intentions. It is simply a marketing/customer loyalty initiative, as Dave was so nice to mention.

    Our perspective is that we are making this more fun and worthwile to the employee. After all, who should we give the gift certificates to, the purchasing manager? That could truly be said to be unethical.

    Also, it is not the employer who is subsidizing the gift, its The Middleware Company. We never changed the price of the course before offering this incentive.

    James, thanks for raising the concern about us risking our reputation. That is surely not our intention.
  26. Hi Floyd,
    Despite your best intention, I don't know whether you think about how this will reflect the employee in the eyes of employers, especially in today's economy. Employers will wonder whether employee is really interested in the course or just to line their own pockets. I feel more comfortable by giving the money back to the company.

    My boss did ask me jokingly whether I took the course just to get the Tivo? I said yup, that's exactly why I took the course. :-)
    -- Lei
  27. Floyd,

    What your "intentions" are/were is really quite irrelevant. "Oh I never intended to kill the little lady, I just wanted her money, you know. That makes me innocent, right?".

    If you managed to talk yourselves into thinking that this is ok and just a "fun thing" is besides the point. Ed said differently in a previous TiVO thread, explicitly stating that there were business reasons behind it, i.e. getting more people. And it worked, he noted. Of course it works! Does that make it any better? Hell no.

    >Also, it is not the employer who is subsidizing the gift, its
    >The Middleware Company. We never changed the price of the
    >course before offering this incentive.

    If you read the initial comment it said "in effect", and if you also read Ed's comment he said that this little trick gave you higher attendance to the classes. You don't have to change the price because of the higher attendance, so in effect the employer is subsidizing the gift.
  28. "You don't have to change the price because of the higher attendance, so in effect the employer is subsidizing the gift. "

    I don't understand your allegation. The price of the course is fixed. TMC decides to take a bit out of its own profit margin to reward the developers who take the initiative to tell their bosses about the course (and in many cases its the employer who heard about TMC and bought the course and the employee's get to keep the gifts anyway). The employer is not paying any premium for the course, even if they buy more courses as a result.

    ''What your "intentions" are/were is really quite irrelevant. "Oh I never intended to kill the little lady, I just wanted her money, you know. That makes me innocent, right?''.

    That comment was completely inappropriate. We are talking about giving a gift to a developer attending a j2ee training course, not the murder of innocent people.

    I think people are intelligent and I trust in their ability to decide if their employee's could use some training, with or without incentive programs like the one you are objecting to.

    From that perspective, this gift does not 'fool' anyone, it simply gets more developers to bring our courses to the attention of their bosses who obviously needed training anyway or they wouldn't have paid for the course. There is nothing malicious about this exchange. The incentive benefits all parties involved. To speak contrary is suggesting that the manager buying the courses is stupid. That is certainly not the case.
  29. I don't understand your allegation. The price of the course is

    > fixed.

    Because the attendance is kept up by the freebie. Ed said so. Otherwise there would be fewer classes, with fewer students, hence increasing the prices. Is he lying?

    >That comment was completely inappropriate. We are talking
    >about giving a gift to a developer attending a j2ee training
    >course, not the murder of innocent people.

    The basic principle is exactly the same: you're ignoring the issues around it, because the outcome benefits you.

    >I think people are intelligent and I trust in their ability
    >to decide if their employee's could use some training, with
    >or without incentive programs like the one you are objecting
    > to.

    Which is not the point. If the employer says "you need some training", the employee is encouraged by the freebie in your course to say "Let's take TMC's training". Because it's better? Because it's lower price? No, because he got a freebie. And as Ed said, people like freebies. That's the whole point of them.

    > this gift does not 'fool' anyone

    It gives you an unethical edge over other providers of training classes.

    >simply gets more developers to bring our courses to the
    >attention of their bosses

    Precisely. So it's not just for the "fun of it", or because "you're nice", or anything like that. You want more people, you do anything to get more people, and here's a principle (although unethical) that gets the job done. Thank you Floyd, it's crystal clear now. If I were Ed I'd tell you to shut up now.

    > There is nothing malicious about this exchange

    Maybe not in the intent (who knows?), but certainly in the actual effect of it.

    > The incentive benefits all parties involved

    Nope, it doesn't benefit the employer and it doesn't benefit the training business as a whole.

    >To speak contrary is suggesting that the manager buying the
    >courses is stupid.

    I'm saying that they will be making decisions based on false data, not that they're stupid. Anyone can be misled and manipulated, given the right incentive.

    I rest my case.
  30. this gift does not 'fool' anyone


    <Rickard>
    It gives you an unethical edge over other providers of training classes.
    </Rickard>

    "unethical" is a strong word. I would call it simple marketing. And I know how hard it is for technical people to accept this fact, but it's a real-world part of selling a product.

    <Rickard>
    Ah, but the devil is in the details. That decision may have been based on false data, provided by the employee who in his eagerness to get a freebie exaggerated this course a little more than any others.
    </Rickard>

    In that case, I would question the competence of the manager.

    Rickard, you probably don't realize it, but a lot of the decisions you make every day about purchasing something are influenced by much more than just its intrinsic value. Obviously, not products related to Java or J2EE, where your expertise allows you to make an educated judgment, but in other areas where the influence is too subtle for you to detect (ever had the urge in a theater to go buy a coke just because you just saw an ad about it?).

    Whoever has never snatched a freebie from a Javaone booth throw the first stone.

    --
    Cedric
  31. Cedric,

    > And I know how hard it is for technical people to
    > accept this fact, but it's a real-world part of selling a
    > product.

    Which is another way of saying "we should ignore what you're saying, because you're a techie". I may be a techie, but I understand basic psychology too, and this is all about psychology.

    > In that case, I would question the competence of the manager.

    You should learn some basic psychology. Not thinking that a manager can be deceived by an employee, with the proper incentive, is naive.

    >Whoever has never snatched a freebie from a Javaone booth
    >throw the first stone.

    And here you make the same mistake as Tyler, equating this with any other kind of promo, where in reality they are quite different.
  32. And by the way, this thread should deserve the award for the "biggest acceleration" ever. No messages for four days after the initial posting, and suddenly, twenty-five messages.

    Who is saying marketing doesn't work?

    --
    Cedric
    "There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about. " -- Oscar Wilde
  33. We are finding that there is a need for training providers to provide free giveaways if they want to remain competitive. Even Sun Microsystems was doing it.. they gave away a free Palm Pilot with their Java courses for awhile. I don't think their Palm Pilot giveaway hurt their brand.

    I am ready to compete for my customers' business, both in terms of course quality and in terms of free giveaways. When there is competition and a free market, the customer benefits.

    When we started these initiatives we realized that this could have the drawback of tarnishing our brand. We made the business decision that we can't please them all, and that the majority of developers would like something nice to take home with them to reward them after a challenging week of training.

    -Ed
  34. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    Oftentimes, there's a need for employee training. And sometimes, the employee wants to take the training more out of a desire for a change of pace from the normal workday, for the opportunity to travel to a new city for a few days, and even sometimes for the gift.

    This is nothing new. Employers and employees need to build a strong atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. When that's in place, most of the time (in my experience) employers and employees will try to do what's best for each other, and the company as a whole.

    Bribes are unethical. The gift, or other marketing incentives available to all customers, is not a bribe. The gift is one more incentive to motivate someone to take the course, but the employer will know (or ought to know) about the gift, what city the training is in, etc. With this "full disclosure", reasonable people could not take it as a bribe or otherwise unethical.

    And if I may say so, it's not appropriate for a former employee to rant in his former employer's message board.
  35. You do have a choice![ Go to top ]

    Folks,

    I don't see anything unetichal here with TMCs practice of offering a free gift. In fact, Rickard, the only thing unethical that I see here is you advertising and marketing your product "for free" on this website without paying anything for it.

    If any of the managers or employees decide to deceive each other or not closely inspect an offering, blame them. It is every individual's responsibility to validate the data and then react to it as they see appropriate.

    -RJ
  36. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    <Alex>
    And if I may say so, it's not appropriate for a former employee to rant in his former employer's message board.
    </Alex>

    Excellent point!

    (Dave Wolf - Excellent points too!)

    I think the topic has been beat to death. Even worse it is turning into a "Slashdot" conversation. I thought TSS was a site to read about new product releases and new technologies. I never new it was anarcho-syndicalist commune. :)

    I come here because it is market-driven with a hint of nerd... Not 100% nerd. I read this side because people like Cameron, Cedric, and others from vendors. Not to read OpenSource FREE-EVERYTTHING evangelists harp on how products are marketed.

    Rickard I think you have been listening to too much Refused.

    Want to talk about free gifts... Go to JavaONE.

    Greg
  37. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    Being an outsider, it is interesting to watch the J2EE industry heavy weights debating on an issue of "principle" :)

    Let's be fair to Rickard - coming from an open source background and taking a pure academic approach, his ethical standards may be somewhat different from the rest of the people who work in commercial organizations for a living. To him, if something is really good, well-informed people will automatically come to you for it, instead of your having to use "gimmicks" to attract people's attention. This is like the JBoss approach.

    However, the world is not that simple and pure - sometimes you need to give incentives to people for them to buy your products - this applies to the software industry and associated training and services. Ethics are always subjective. As long as the well-accepted practices are followed, I think it should be fine.
  38. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    Well, I think the way this discussion is going (x vs 1), it definitely has something to do with Rickard's brief stay at TMC and then leaving silently. Perhaps he could not convince Floyd et al to use Webwork in theserverside.com's design/development efford. I remember there were some new features planned for this site and that never happened. I guess there should have been a formal announcement of Ricard leaving TMC (more like his joining announcement) so people know what's going on and don't spend anytime reading all this crap. (which I did and regret).

    Peace
    /c
  39. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    Well, I think the way this discussion is going (x vs 1),

    >it definitely has something to do with Rickard's

      The "x vs 1" doesn't have any thing to do with TMC's former professional relationship with Rickard. So far only one TMC employee has countered Rickard (me). The other X-1 are just people in the industry that disagree with him.

      We didn't see the need to make a formal announcement inorder to avoid questions like the one being raised here. This is not the appropriate forum to discuss such issues.

    Floyd
  40. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    Floyd,

    I didn't mean 'x' as TMC but other industry people in this discussion (Tyler for one). And I totally agree that there's nothing unethical in giving away freebies as part of any promotion. I also know its not required to announce employees/consultants leaving organizations on public forums. But when you announce someone as knows as Rickar's joining and people saying congratulations etc etc, I think its reasonable to announce decently that he's found other ventures or whatever and is leaving TMC.

    Anyway, I think its Rickard who's spreading the crap (see his dreambean.com and he's talking lot about TSS and its being Floyd's weblog, how STUPID).

    I dont have any doubt about his technical abilities but he still sounds like in his teens sometime. Hope to see him grown some day.

    /c
  41. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    Rattan,Gregory,Chris,

    Wow. I'm amazed at the level of ignorance, lies, innuendo, and pure silliness you managed to get into those posts. I'm stunned. Thanks! It's really enlightening you know. When it comes to understanding the human psyche it's always great to have such fine examples as you to study. It sure helps a lot.

    /Rickard
  42. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    Rickard,

    Anybody who disagrees with you is a silly ignorant liar ? Oh, and you must be *the* reference in understanding the human psyche too to be so condescending about the opinion of the people you mention.

    Don't worry, you are a nice example of human behaviour to study too. Truely!

                    Yann
  43. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    If Tyler or Cedric suddenly went to work for IBM, I wouldn't consider their insights to be any more or less relevant. So Rickard worked for TMC, and now he doesn't. Who really cares? Not me, not Floyd, not anyone but a few individuals trying to stir sh** up for no reason.

    Sheesh, there are times when I swear that this site has been taken over by a bunch of twelve year old girls.

    This was actually an interesting thread about 10-12 posts ago.

    No need to come back to it again, I see.

    -- Jason
  44. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    Rickard,

    If you would care to look at all the responses, you will find out that most of the people seem to think it's not big deal that TSS is promoting this. What lies, innuendo are you talking about? These guys make perfect sense. And if anyone were to be a good case for a Psychology study, it would most certainly be you.

    RK
  45. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    I think it's really sad this whole thread is taken up with this gumpf about the gifts, instead of someone talking perhaps about the actual content of the course, or anything truly relevant to the topic. A pity.
  46. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    <Scott>
     I think it's really sad this whole thread is taken up with this gumpf about the gifts, instead of someone talking perhaps about the actual content of the course, or anything truly relevant to the topic. A pity.
    </Scott>

    Excellent point.

    Having seen Floyd speak on many occasions I highly recommend attending anything he co-hosts. Floyd is a professional speaker who is passionate about J2EE and Java. He has spent a considerable amount of time engulfing himself in the technologies. He will bring a lot to the table in the class for sure.

    Again, I can only qualify Floyd's professionalism as I have not attended any classes taught by TMC.

    Greg
  47. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    <Gregory>
    Again, I can only qualify Floyd's professionalism as I have not attended any classes taught by TMC.
    </Gregory>

    Greg, what kind of gift do you expect before you attend a class by TMC? :-)

    cu Michael


  48. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    I'm almost tempted to offer gifts for people to stop this discussion :-)

    How many people go on courses and keep the training material? Keep the knowledge? When they leave do they somehow hand that back to the company? Is that stealing???

  49. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    some companies infact will only have you recieve training (the very expensive kind, tmc offers) if you promise to stay with them for a fixed period of time, wich i think is fair.
  50. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    <Michael>
    Greg, what kind of gift do you expect before you attend a class by TMC? :-)
    </Michael>

    Just a good class. :)

    Greg
  51. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    yeah! it goes like this:

    loyd: mommy says we are going to the park and sell story with free candy...
    ikard: no candy!!! it's bad to the teeth...
    others: just brush your teeth after eating candy...
    loyd: why candy is bad?!? the stories are good anyways...
    ikard: no candy!!! daddy says so...
    others: we said brush your teeth after eating candy!!! every body do it anyways...

    and on... and on... and on... and on...

    Is this theserverside?!?..... uh...oh... argghhhh!!!
  52. I think this is a bit over the top[ Go to top ]

    Rickard,

    I thought my reference to Refused was quite funny. :D It was either that or a reference to Tom Green. ;)

    If TMC can run good classes, give incentives like these and still turn a profit congratulations to them! Companies have been doing it for years! Typically it has been only executives who get this kind of special treatment from vendors.

    It is good to see Software Engineers getting this kind of treatment.

    Mind you I am a capitalist pig so my opinion doesn't matter. I must have some crazy "psyche" because I am not a socialist.

    Last time I went to the grocery store food cost money. Don't know if food costs money where you are from but here in North America we need to pay for things.

    Greg
  53. Rickard,

    Don't you think you are overreacting a bit ? From an external viewpoint (mine), you *really* sound like you have something personal against Floyd and you were waiting for any opportunity to jump on him. That's quite an agressive thread from your part. Who in his right mind would care about such a non-issue when many other commercial companies already do it and attendees and their respective companies know about it and accept it ? This is a widespread practice whether you like it or not. You are certainly extremely skilled, clever and all but your attitude only reflects that you are under too much coffeine today.

                    Yann
  54. I would be happy just to have some of TMW courses in other places in Canada besides Toronto. How about Calgary or Edmonton?

    The US exchange and the very high cost of hotels in the major US cities just makes it very difficult to attend TMW training in the US. You mention training in the US and your manager immediately asks if there are alternatives in Canada (even if it is in Toronto).

  55. Craig,

      We do not have any plans to bring our courses to other cities in Canada (outside of Toronto, where I live BTW). We don't think there is enough of a demand in other cities. However, if you can get 6 people interested, we'll surely fly down! Email ken@middleware-company.com if you want to arrange something like that.

    Floyd
  56. Giveaways are ethical[ Go to top ]

    I've been a trainer for over 2 years and consultant for over 5 years with both J2EE and .NET. In that time I've given away many an item: books, shirts, software, usually either based on a raffle at the end of the course, or based on some sort of skill-testing game at the end. We've given away copies of IDEs valued at $1000 - which is significantly higher value than a TiVO.

    I will say that based on my experience with many large clients including most Wall Street brokerages, several international banks, a couple hardware manufacturers, insurance companies, software companies, hardware manufacturers -- there has not been a single incident where a manager felt such an offering was unethical. Actually, the majority thought it was a wonderful gesture -- not as the major incentive to attend the course, but as a gesture to the students (similar to the way most professional courses or conferences supply things like course textbooks, course notes, pens, notepads, dufflebags, etc.)

    Giveaways are blunt but effective pedagogical tools -- similar to the gold stars you received in grade school when you scored high on a test. They intice people to stick around for the whole course because the vendor gave them something (or will raffle off something), they encourage people to listen to most topics so they can answer any quizzes at the end, and they add to the satisfaction of all attending. This also goes for conferences where the "freebie hunt" is often the main reason for attending.

    When you disclose up-front that certain giveaways are available, there is no bribery or unethical behavior -- it's all inclusive in the service you're offering. A hairdresser that offers a free bottle of shampoo is no different.

    To suggest otherwise is just silly.
  57. Giveaways are ethical[ Go to top ]

    Stu: "We've given away copies of IDEs valued at $1000 - which is significantly higher value than a TiVO."

    Sun is currently offerring $100 off registration fee plus $5000 in free software if you register for SunNetwork in San Francisco on Sep 18 ... not that I see anything wrong with that ;-)

    -- Igor
  58. For those people who have read this far ... did you manage to read between the lines? Catch a hint or two maybe. I must say its been interesting.

    TLK.