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Why is technical training so hard to get funding for?

March 29th, 2010

Niall Cooling

Director at Feabhas Limited
Co-Founder and Director of Feabhas since 1995.
Niall has been designing and programming embedded systems for over 30 years. He has worked in different sectors, including aerospace, telecomms, government and banking.
His current interest lie in IoT Security and Agile for Embedded Systems.

Latest posts by Niall Cooling (see all)

Over many years of delivering technical training to the embedded systems sector, two questions have always bothered me:

  • Why, when the economy gets difficult, are training budgets one of the first things to get cut?
  • Why do delegates, who have waited months (sometimes years) to attend training, get pulled off mid-course?

Even though a myriad of articles tell us why businesses should invest in training during an economical downturn (Why Invest in Training During an Economical Downturn?) funding for training is very hard to come by. So why does this happen?

In reality there are only two types of training:

  • Must-do
  • Everything-else

Read more »

Close but no cigar…

March 8th, 2010

After not too much of a learning curve we’ve migrated the website to support wordpress and the associated tools (SQL, PHP, etc.). After checking everything was fine and giving the go ahead for the “go live” for some reason it’s lost the links to all the diagrams from the posts! So I’ll be retrofitting the diagrams over the next week.

First impressions, WordPress is a wonderful leap forward from blogger.

Next post: reflections from embedded world 2010.

The Psychology of Everyday Things

March 5th, 2010
On my recent trip to e mbedded world in Nuremberg, the lift (elevator) system in the hotel only had a single button to call the lift car.

This caused various problems as there was no ability to select direction of travel. My room wasn’t on the top floor, so when the doors opened I had no idea whether I was going to take a trip to a higher floor even though I wanted to go down to breakfast. To make matters worse the indication panel above the door didn’t reflect the subsequent direction of travel only the current direction.

So for example I was on the 4th floor and the lift, coming from the ground level, would arrive and be announced with an arrow pointing upwards. You would get in not knowing whether or not the lift was actually terminating at your floor or stopping just to continue upwards.

This annoyed me as it was just poor design. At times like this I’m always taken back to a book recommended to me by my father, called “The Psychology of Everyday Things” by Donald Norman.
Even though it is quite dated now it is still a good read (e.g. it explains why poor designcauses us to try and pull doors that need pushing).
I noticed the book has subsequently been renamed to “The Design of Everyday Things“.
Now I’ve of got that off my chest I can get back to understanding wordpress! to discontinue support for FTP

March 4th, 2010

Unfortunately Google (via have announced that as of the 26th March 2010 they will discontinue support for FTP uploads from blogger accounts. Current the Feabhas blog is created and managed from blogger but uploaded to our Feabhas server. So having really just got my head around blogging it’s got to be all change. We have a number of posts to publish (including my trip report to embedded world 2010), but I plan to hold off until we have resolved the best route forward (ideally wordpress) . I’m hoping it has no impact on the atom feed, but only time will tell. Watch this space…

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