I have had the privilege to participate in couple of Episerver’s trainings. Both for the CMS and for the Commerce. CMS training was a 3-day CMS fundamentals course and the Commerce was a 5-day online boot camp session.
For those who are thinking about participating, and wondering will these trainings give you any useful insights, or you are just interested in the topic, I would recommend keep on reading.
Let’s begin with the CMS part. I took the training at spring 2016. First of all, the material was excellent. Written course book was very helpful and still is. Especially if you are new to Episerver CMS, like I was a couple of years back.
The coding tasks (labs) we’re challenging enough to get your head around the basics. There were lot of coding and doing those exercises during the classroom training. I would have personally liked to hear more theory of advanced concepts and real-world problems, and how to solve them, but that was out of the fundamentals course’s scope.
The material was outdated for some parts. There weren’t always the best practices in the examples. For example, dependency injections were done in the old-fashioned way. (I do believe that these are updated nowadays). Since Episerver publishes new product versions every two weeks, the training material isn’t always up to date. This is understandable.
To get most of the training, you do need to have experience in MVC. It also helps if you already are familiar about the concepts of content management systems. So, check those first before attending.
For me, this training gave a good boost to start extending my knowledge in Episerver CMS. I would recommend this training to anyone who is interested in the topic. That being said, you can learn this stuff on your own through Episerver’s user guides, development documentation, blogs and by practicing.
Commerce Online Bootcamp
Commerce Bootcamp Training was a massive package of information stuffed in 5 intensive days. This was all done online. Training consisted from two parts. First 3 days was Commerce Fundamentals and last 2 days were advanced parts. Before attending, you do need to know your way around the Episerver CMS and it helps if you know some basics from ecommerce (for example, what is a catalog, shopping cart, order process, etc.)
Commerce boot camp was an information overload. This of course depends on your learning habits, but for me, it was a bit extreme. I had to study and read the materials again in the evening few times to get my head around all the concepts. So, its intensive, and requires a great motivation to keep up. You might also need to use your own time to study.
This training gives you a lot if you’re willing to learn. The materials were excellent. Since this was an online training they were given in PDF-format. You get the fundamentals book and the exercise book. You also get the advanced book and exercises for that. Visual Studio solutions and samples are also included in the material.
The training was more theory and lectured based. You do have the exercises for practicing, but the overall flow was that theory first and labs later. I liked this approach and this is of course flexible by the attendants’ wishes.
You also have the possibility to do the Commerce Certification exam right after the training. The timetable for the test is a bit problematic. I hoped for a longer period of time to read more and digest the information, but the certification exam had to be done right after the weekend. Training ended on Friday and the certification exam was on Monday. So, I had to reschedule few things and just read and study hard during the weekend. (It did pay of, yay!).
Episerver Commerce is more complicated product than CMS, so would recommend at least basic training before you start your journey in commerce development. It helps a lot to get the best practices up front, and you don’t have to learn all the things the hard way. Again, you can learn all the things from the documentation like it was in the CMS, but it’s much harder.
Sum it up
Both courses were held by Roger Cevung from Episerver. Excellent trainer, and I would be happy to attend to his other trainings in the future. He was even willing to sacrifice his own time in the weekend to answer any questions that might have come up during the preparations for the coming certification exam.
I also did notice that it seems that there is a pretty good communication happening between the trainers and development teams in the Episerver. So that is a big plus.