How to build training that software engineers will actually use
Software engineers like to write code. Not high on their lists: sitting through tedious training on a new regulation or company process. If you want to grab your team’s attention and make sure that everyone understands the process in the same way, forget about dusting off a canned (and boring) training course. What you need is thoughtful, compelling training to explain key concepts in a way that won’t put your engineers to sleep.
We asked our in-house experts—our own Rise software engineers—for suggestions to help you build and share online training that your software engineers will actually enjoy taking. Their top tips include the following:
- Provide training that doubles as reference material.
- Choose a training system that’s easy to update.
- Make it fun.
- Use a training system that works.
So, go ahead and delete your PowerPoint presentations and toss your dated printouts. Because your engineers are eager to learn, it’s time to give them interactive and engaging training that they’ll use.
1. Provide training that doubles as reference material.
Once team members complete the final quiz in a course, they are likely to forget most of the training content, especially if it’s dealing with a process that doesn’t change very often. And even if engineers want to refresh their memory, many online training platforms don’t give them an easy way to go back into the course after finishing to review important topics.
This type of training is not helpful—and it certainly doesn’t aid long-term memory, since there’s no room for repetition.
Instead, why not let your training do double duty as reference materials for your team? Our in-house Rise training for software engineers covers common topics like writing and tracking bugs in GitHub, security awareness training, and SOC2. But we also use Rise to build training for on-call handbooks, guides for incident management, team onboarding, and any other topic that requires context building.
And because learners can return to Rise courses as many times as they’d like, your software engineers can tag their Rise training for quick reference as part of their developer toolkit.
2. Choose a training system that’s easy to update.
Things like software updates, steps for debugging, and in-house protocols for managing code commits are constantly changing and evolving. With Rise, editing your existing training content and adding new content is easy—so easy that anyone can keep training up to date—no technical skills needed. That means any team member with the appropriate collaborator role can access Rise right from their web browser and make changes on the spot, whether it’s swapping out an image or adding a text block to update documentation specs.
This feature is super helpful if you’re onboarding new software engineers. You don’t have to worry about reading through your training every time you have a new engineering hire. Because your engineering team can collectively edit Rise courses, your training will always be up to date on the company’s latest processes and ready for new employees to take.
3. Make it fun.
Your job is to make sure that your software engineering team is equipped with the knowledge they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun doing it. And it doesn’t mean that training for complicated concepts needs to be dull and tedious for your learners, either. Rather than using the same old PDFs or text-heavy training, Rise makes it easy to add a bit of fun to your training.
For instance, Rise gives you an assortment of different blocks—modular components you can stack and arrange to structure your training content. Once you’ve added a block to your lesson, you can customize it in minutes by swapping out the placeholder content, images, and media with your own. There are loads of different block types to choose from, including images, video, text, charts, and graphs, and, most importantly, hands-on activities that make training fun and engaging for your engineers to take.
With interactive blocks, you can reinforce your training content with inherently inviting interactions, like an interactive process that depicts your team’s steps for committing code. And because blocks are so easy to use, you’re free to get creative with your content, mixing different blocks like text and video (a code bloopers reel, anyone?) with interactive blocks that make concepts stick in a fun way. With Rise, the possibilities are endless.
Just because training is fun to take doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Add a quiz to your training to test engineers on key information or reinforce important concepts. With Rise, you can easily view reports to see their scores and make sure they’ve completed their training.
The bottom line is, when your software engineers see that your training is anything but run-of-the-mill, they’ll be eager to dive in and learn.
4. Use a training system that actually works.
Software engineers spend their days coding compelling UX for their users. Why would you make them suffer through a bad user experience when they take training?
With Rise, training is tailor-made for modern, inviting interactions that get your engineers thinking and exploring topics in detail. And once you’ve created your training, there’s no need to post it to an ancient, clunky learning management system (LMS) that was never designed to be used on a mobile device.
Because Rise is an all-in-one system, you create your course in minutes, publish it, and then share it with your engineering team in a few clicks. There’s no need for you to fuss over getting your training to work in some separate LMS. And there’s no need for your engineers to waste their precious time trying to use an aggravating system built on old technology.
Summing it up
The time has come to do away with boring, tedious training in favor of engaging, interactive training that engineers can take from any device. Using Rise simplifies the technological challenges of creating training so that you can spend your time designing meaningful, gorgeous courses that your software engineers will actually enjoy. Best of all, our free 30-day trial lets you and your team experience firsthand how easy Rise makes it to create, take, and manage training—before they invest a dime.