Wingtip Labs is hard at work on a course called My Hands Remember MySQL. This is a story about where that name comes from, and how it shapes a course that kicks dry theory to the curb in favor of hands-on experience.
After working at Yahoo! for six years as an IT Architect, I spent a year in the Technology & Operations TechLearn team. We created courses to teach Yahoo! employees how to use customized or proprietary technologies.
Part of the gig was talking to the best and brightest engineers, and seeing what parts of the infrastructure gave them trouble, and how we could help with training or documentation.
So I’m having this conversation with a very bright service engineer, and he says “Look, I’m sure these video-on-demand courses you guys build are great, but I’m telling you that I’ve never sat through one, and if I had, I probably wouldn’t remember anything from it. If I’m going to learn a technology, I need to do something with it. My hands have a better memory than I do.”
This wasn’t a novel sentiment, but the way he expressed it got in my head. So when I founded Wingtip Labs, it became a succinct way to express our mission:
- Give people a way to build genuine, hands-on experience
- Anticipate common mistakes and present focused in-the-moment advice
- Reward self-taught students, and help them fill in the gaps
- Pass on expertise from the field