How did you become an instructor?
I have been teaching at BMC for 17 years. Prior to BMC, teaching was part of my duties as an IT consultant in the Tulane University IT support organization. And for a year, I taught for Amoco Corporation in New Orleans. Then I started teaching with BMC at the end of 1999.
While I originally began my career as a systems programmer, I realized I had a knack for explaining how things work to customers. This moved me into the teaching field. I enjoy teaching because helping students achieve “aha moments” on a consistent basis gives me a huge buzz.
Inactivity Monitor: Do you wonder if students are still working on their lab exercises
or doing other, non-training related activities? With Inactivity Monitor, you will get
notified if a student is not active in the virtual training lab.
How has training delivery changed since you’ve been an instructor?
Training customers used to mean heavy travel for me. I would spend the first day of every training session setting up the environment, which included setting up the classroom and servers—as well as ensuring the configurations were all correct. At times, this was very stressful. But now, with online training, there’s less travel for everyone—instructors and students. You don’t even need to be on the same continent.
Which tools/features do you use the most?
I am very pleased with ReadyTech. I can teach all over the world, and I don’t have to use an organization’s production servers. Prior to ReadyTech, a simple reboot could completely shut down an entire business. However, with today’s virtual training labs, there’s no need for a risky reboot.
Before we were using ReadyTech, classes were taught on customer servers. Most times, the customer had a test or development server we would use for the class, but sometimes the only available system was the production server that the business was running on. In those cases, it was always a bit scary to teach an administration task because we needed to be cautious about what actions were taken. When using a shared server (testing, development or production), shutting down or stopping components would affect a lot more than just the students in the class.
What’s your favorite tool/feature?
Inactivity Monitor is brilliant. This tool allows me to see when students are working (or not working) on a virtual training lab. I feel like I always know what’s going on with students, and I can intervene when they are struggling.
"Lab Overview is also very helpful. I can observe students or take over their virtual training labs to help support them. This tool gives me control over the classroom and allows for successful remote teaching."
What advice would you give to a new instructor, just starting with ReadyTech’s solutions?
Before you teach, always check the course reservations to ensure you have the correct image in place. This is simple—but necessary. It is rare to have the wrong image, but quite memorable when it does happen.
Learn how to use Lab Manager and be very comfortable with it before you teach. If you want assistance getting comfortable using Lab Manager, don’t be afraid to contact ReadyTech’s Customer Success Managers to schedule a how-to session.
Be sure to turn off the notice about “instructor viewing” because this can be distracting to students. This message resembles a tap on the shoulder.
Remind students to contact support directly. It can be tempting to personally help students, but you end up ignoring the rest of the class when you do this. That’s what ReadyTech support is there for. ReadyTech support differentiates themselves from competitors with their excellent and reliable support.
Build a PowerPoint slide that includes the course URL, all student names and access codes. Put this slide up so students don’t forget the access codes and lab assignment. This will greatly simplify your job.
About BMC Software
BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that enable businesses to transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. The organization’s Digital Enterprise Management solutions are designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mobile to cloud and beyond. BMC digital IT transforms 82% of the Fortune 500 and serves more than 10,000 customers worldwide.
Privatized for $6.9 billion
$2.2 billion in 2012 sales
Houston, TX, United States