Presenting the next installment in our interview series, focused on our AppDynamics University instructors. Get acquainted with the professionals who teach instructor-led (ILT*) AppDynamics University courses.
ILT courses are exclusive to our Premium and Multi-User University subscription holders. Visit our site for more information on subscription types.
Please feel free to add your comments and questions for Gurjit and our Community moderators, below. We look forward to engaging with you!
– Johanna & Claudia
In this post…
Gurjit, modeling good listening skills for his smallest student.—his toddler son
Your work as an Instructor
Can you give us a picture of “a day in the life”?
- I start the morning by doing the daily Wordle and quick crossword — that gets my brain in gear for the day.
- Next I do a patience+endurance test where I try to feed my 3 year-old his breakfast, which typically takes 45 mins. If I have more time in the morning, I do the school drop off: He’s still at the age where it’s ok to do a sing-a-long with dad, in the car!
- I dial my radio into dinner jazz, which plays in the background, just to break the silence and provide an atmosphere.
- I fire up the PC and get everything set up for and wait for the students to arrive at the virtual class. As the students arrive, I do a meet and greet. Once we’re at 75% - it’s show time!
- Once the session has finished, I wrap up and thank the students for their attentiveness and interest in the course.
I try to teach with passion and enthusiasm (it’s not easy to maintain that for the whole day - but I try). Hopefully, the positivity will rub off on the students.
How did you get involved with technical instruction?
Back in 2000, I was working as a developer on a customer project in Holland. On a particular occasion, I had to visit the customer and present the current state of the application we were developing. The audience was non-technical and I was asked about implementing other functionality. I found I really enjoyed the aspect of standing up, talking, drawing, and explaining—that was my first-ever professional presentation.
In 2004 I studied to become an English teacher (TEFL) and this gave me my first true taste of what it was like to teach people. Whilst studying for this course, I learned the importance of establishing a rapport with the students, talking with enthusiasm, and picking up the different cultural nuances between students.
Later in 2005, I was offered my first opportunity to work as a technical trainer. In this role, I took my programming background and teaching skills and applied them to telecommunications.
Working as a trainer, I’ve had the opportunity to teach around the world and it has been and continues to be, a wonderful opportunity.
Tips for successful learning
What are your top tips for maximizing learning in an AppDynamics instructor-led course?
Don’t be afraid
to ask a question!
Ask anything that you need an answer to. The trainer is on your side and they want to help you succeed.
BONUS TIP | On WebEx, send the question to everyone, not just the instructor. Chances are if one person has written the question, there are probably 3 people thinking the same thing.
Get to know
your training environment
Investigate your training environment, before, during, and after the training course.
use two monitors
Use one monitor to show the lab document and another to show the AppD controller for training.
Log into your own company’s AppD Controller and follow the training while looking at your application
I find students tend to get a better understanding when they can look at their IT systems being modeled in AppDynamics.
Can you tell us about a positive experience you’ve had while teaching?
I was scheduled to give training to a bunch of graduates in Gurgaon, India.
The graduates were enrolled in a 6-week boot camp of back-to-back courses and my course was in their 4th week. I had a feeling they were already supersaturated with knowledge. Before beginning, I remembered thinking “I need to give these students something special, their brains are frazzled with what they’ve learnt over the last few weeks and if I’m not careful, they’re going to gloss over this training.”
I delivered the course with gusto! I pulled out all the stops and turned the course delivery into a performance of the likes they’d never experienced. The most rewarding thing is, 10 years later, the students still remember me and my training.
How and where do you find inspiration?
I draw inspiration from my previous experiences:
As a student: I have attended numerous IT training courses over the past 15 years. In that time, I’ve witnessed other trainers and learned ‘what works for me’ and ‘what doesn’t work for me’.
TEFL course: This experience gave me great insight into the skill set needed to become an optimal trainer. It wasn’t enough for me to become ‘all knowledgeable’-- I needed to connect with my students and understand their learning experience. I use that as my basis when I teach, not to impart knowledge, but to guide my students to attain an understanding.
As a trainer: I’m continually looking to better myself, figuring out better ways to explain concepts, and finding better ways to inspire and motivate my students. Through it all, I keep my delivery upbeat and engaging!
What advice would you give someone who is interested in getting started with AppDynamics University?
If you’re new to AppDynamics, get a hold of a Controller and play with it. My personal opinion is that you’ll get a lot more out of AppD University if you’ve previously had the opportunity to work with the product.