Avoid the dark corners – why training gets you on the right track… by Sam Cliff on 9th April 2014 I’ve always been self-taught when it comes to software, same as with most of us, rather because of urgent need than informed choice. Make no mistake, working with software in your own working environment and getting real hands-on experience is the best way to get better in using it. However, when learning this way we tend to skip boring fundamentals and try to get things work for us as quickly as we can, often using software functionalities that we don’t fully understand. Eventually we misuse them and end up in a dark corner realising that we took a wrong turn somewhere at the beginning. What’s worse – to achieve our goal we have to go all the way back. I bet you know this feeling. Now that my role is to train other people, all that self-learning experience has made me really appreciate the value of software training and realise how much time I wasted and – duh – time is money. When I step into a training room full of experienced professionals to deliver an advanced training course there’s always this unpleasant thought: “What if they already know this – what if I’m wasting their time?” Feedback that we get after our training sessions shows that they never think I am. What’s really remarkable is that all of the delegates that I speak to after the course have a greater appreciation of how important an in-depth understanding of fundamental concepts is to their work. The public Tableau courses are a great example of this. As a part of the Tableau Advanced Course we cover in great detail the way the software works and connects to data. We get back to fundamental concepts, help you to use them to your advantage and eventually make right decisions when you start building your dashboards and visualisations. Ultimately, it often helps people to tackle their existing issues which are usually the drive to come to the training session in the first place. If you’re just starting your journey with Tableau, why not save yourself some future frustration? Get ahead of the game and take a Fundamentals course. Jarek is an accredited Tableau Trainer and regularly runs official training courses for Tableau in London. To find out more visit our Training page.