Remote training
By Delicious Insights • Published on Apr 20, 2020

Last updated on October 25, 2021, 11:28pm

This post is also available in French.

From the very first day of stay-at-home Covid-19 orders, Delicious Insights has put together a comprehensive, attractive remote training offer, allowing ever more people to access our training classes from anywhere. This opens up our entire catalog for you or your company when it might have been impossible in-room. Learn all about it below.

TL;DR

  • 🎥 Interactions are as rich and fluid as in-room (full A/V duplex with everyone, multi-directional screenshares, whiteboarding, etc.)
  • ⁉️ You can ask questions just as easily on-the-fly, be it by just uttering them or by writing them down in the embedded chat.
  • This does not require broadband (1Mbps is enough, 5Mbps makes HD easy, anything above that is a bonus)
  • Fully-remote sessions can use easier scheduling (e.g. 3hr/day across days that are not necessarily adjacent)
  • 💰 (French employees) This can leverage all the usual financing options (OPCO, AIF, “training budgets,” etc.)
  • 🎉 Our entire training catalog is available for remote training; in fact, multi-client sessions are exclusively online until further notice (re-opening in-rooms would happen no earlier than March 31, 2022).
  • 💻 You don’t need a powerful computer (the client software isn't even mandated, and our tech stack are not CPU-heavy)

What does it look like in practice?

Prepping

Our summons e-mails will reference our setup guide (English version forthcoming), to prep all the necessary software (sometimes course-specific) so you can have a fluid, nitfy training experience. Most of the time that boils down to a modern browser, Git and VS Code, with sometimes a few extra specifics (e.g. Node.js and MongoDB).

Uou probably want to install Zoom, which doesn't even require creating an account with them. When you first launch it, you’ll get toured through setting up and testing audio and video to avoid later surprises. They have a getting-started guide.

In practice, the pure-Web client, which doesn't require any install and is therefore compatible with stricter IT requirements (e.g. banking, defense, avionics, nuclear industries) is enough to enjoy all the features we use (A/V, screensharing, quizzes, breakout rooms…), but on certains machines, especially those not on the higher end of hardware requirements, it might be a bit janky.

General schedule

  1. One week ahead of the training, you’ll get a detailed summons e-mail, with tons of info. This will include an automatic join link to the “recurring meeting” that materializes the session in Zoom. This authenticated link will connect you automatically when the time comes.
  2. Every day at the start of the training, the trainer connects slightly ahead of opening time so you can, using the link you were provided, land in the waiting room. When the opening time comes, your trainer gets you in the “training room” proper. You’ll be there for the entire training slot of that day, but you can dash in and out of the waiting room during breaks, especially the lunch break if the schedule spans the entire day.
  3. Inside the meeting, you’ll see the video streams of trainees who enabled theirs (which we very strongly recommend, as this not only helps you feel the group, but helps the trainer optimize their quality of teaching and mentoring), can open or mute your mike (and your video, if need be), chat on the… chat (public or private), look at the shared screen (slides, code editor, terminal, whiteboard, etc.) and react at any time by speaking, as you would in-room. You can also, when the trainer invites you to, share your own windows or desktop with them or even the entire group.
  4. During sessions, quizzes can be used to add a playful touch and improve the assessment of your understanding and skill acquisition.
  5. During lab times, you usually get split across breakout rooms of 2–3 people working collaboratively on a solution, where you take turns “taking point” for solving it. You can ping the teacher for help at any time and breakout rooms are shuffled anew every day.
  6. Every time the day’s work ends, the trainer disconnects everyone (“closing the room”), and we start again on the next scheduled day, using that same link.

Not just during the pandemic…

Training remotely obviously makes a ton of sense, and becomes pretty much mandatory, during the extraordinary circumstances of a pandemic. But we retain a remote offering for the long-term. Indeed, we currently only offer remote for multi-client sessions (we might re-open in-rooms no earlier than March 31, 2022).

Still, remote is also a facilitator:

  • For single-client sessions that couldn’t happen in-room, be it because the team is too geographically distributed, or the cost related to in-room is too high (more about this farther down).
  • For some multi-client sessions that will be scheduled as 100% remote from the get-go (no in-room trainee). This would also help us hold more sessions in parallel, as we would not be constrained by the amount of available training rooms at given specific dates.

Adaptive scheduling

For multi-client, 100% remote sessions, two main schedules are used:

  • If the training does not exceed 21hr, we usually schedule it on afternoons (Europe/Paris timezone, that is): 4 × 14h30–18h for sessions of 14hr, or 5 × 13h48–18h for sessions of 21hr (e.g. Web Performance or 360° ES).
  • Beyond that duration, we stay with the usual 7-hour day schedules, so as to avoid wedging a week-end in the middle of it.

For in-house, 100% remote sessions, things are much more flexible. In a single-client session, we can tailor timing to your constraints. For instance, we could imagine a 3–4 hours per day rhythm, which avoids locking a company’s entire production team for too long at a time, and opens the way to optional assignments, “homework,” etc. We can also schedule on non-adjacent days, e.g. 4 days on both sides of a week-end.

A golden opportunity for small-size / far-away single-client sessions

We often get requests for single-client sessions from SMBs all across France or farther abroad. Such requests can be difficult to fill: if we come hold an in-room session, they need to pay for the training’s flat rate plus our Expenses Flat Rate (EFR). When there are only 3 to 4 people to train, the cost can seem overkill (a 3-day 360° Git session in regional France with a bit of tailored content, for instance, often goes for a total of about €8,500 excl. VAT).

Offering remote single-client is a useful alternative: no EFR (the trainer has no expenses, really…).

We thus also offer that new format, from now on, for our single-client sessions. We can go in-room, but at as a client’s specific requirement.

What courses are available remotely?

Our entire English-language catalog is available as in-room or fully remote:

Preparing for a remote session

  • We currently use Zoom, but you don't need to install the desktop client. The pure-web client is enough, which is good for accomodating stricter IT systems that would forbid the native client.
  • Make sure your webcam and mic are detected and work fine (and to have a webcam to start with! most laptops embed one); it is very hard for the trainer to spot your hesitations, blocks, questions, etc. if they don't get your video feed.
  • Make sure you avoid Larsen effects and annoying audio feedbacks / echoes by using a headset or earbuds; your laptop/webcam's built-in mic is usually enough, but if it grabs too much ambient or keyboard noise, try using another one (perhaps the one in your headset or earbuds, the one from the webcam, etc.)
  • If you can get a dual screen setup, that will be super-handy to work through exercises or type along whilst retaining the session's main video feed (e.g. trainer's screensharing and other trainees' video thumbnails, chat, etc.)
  • Be advised that virtual or blurred backgrounds can be very compute-intensive and hurt the quality of your feeds. Instead, try to arrange your actual background in a way you deem acceptable; no-one will judge you on this anyway :-)
  • If you usually have a background disk synchronization tool running (e.g. Dropbox, OneDrive, Time Machine, Backblaze), suspend it for the duration of session periods, or at the very least make sure you don't work inside a synchronized folder so as not to eat too much bandwidth that would compete with your feeds.

Check out our video courses! 🖥

Our screencasts are the ideal, affordable complement to our tech articles and in-room training courses, tackling Git, JavaScript and other topics. Check out these high-quality, affordable courses that are specially crafted to take on your biggest pain points and roadblocks.