For the past three days, I've been able to skip out on work and spend my days training in how to use Adobe Premiere Pro: a professional video editing software. My employer has paid for me to take a course, which just finished today.
I did take a one-on-one training about a year ago, but at the time I had never laid a finger on the software and so didn't really have a good sense of what I needed to know. It wasn't a structured course and I had no clue what questions to ask. So I just soaked up what I could and went back to the office to practice.
That training wasn't bad. It certainly allowed me to use some of the program's basic features to create a couple of basic slide shows. I'm even working on putting together a video highlight reel from a lecture organized through work, but it's not quite done yet.
Anyway, not to speak ill of the first trainer, but for me, a 3-day, structured, hands-on course is a much better way to learn. I now feel that I know a helluva lot more about Premiere Pro than I did going in. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on some video footage.
Adobe is a great set of products. They just take so much effort to learn. In the end, that effort always pays off with really professional-looking results, but finding the time and budget to do the training is the hard part. I have done some training on my own, with videos, but it's so much easier to veg out on the sofa in the evening than to sit in front of a computer watching tutorials. I'm lucky that my employer budgets funds for professional development.
I'm also happy that I got to use my personal PD budget before the end of fiscal year and that, in a couple of months, I can start looking into other software worth learning!