Training Careers at Inductive Automation

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12 min video  /  1 minute read

Training Team provides world-class technical customer service to Ignition users worldwide while also delivering high-quality training to the Ignition community. They work closely with product teams to ensure that customers can succeed with Ignition.

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Video Transcript:

So the training department at its core is responsible for educating ignition users on how to use ignition. Like, that is our job, how to ignition.

The training department is the department that ensures that all of our customers and internal employees are educated in the use of ignition, how it works, how you can use it, and how you can improve your company with it. Whether you're just starting out in the scada space and looking for what tools are available to you or you're someone who's experienced in the field for quite a long time and just now using ignition for the first time. We are here to help you learn how to use it effectively and use it to do achieve your goals with whatever you need ignition to do for you. Our founder Steve Heckman has talked about ignition being easy fun and affordable. So I like to think that we're kind of in in charge of that first part, the easy and fun. We try to pave the way for people to get introduced to and proficient with ignition, we try to smooth the path for new users of ignition and get them productive and proficient in comfortable amount of time.

We have two different teams. We have the content team, and then we have the instructors.

The content team is responsible for maintaining the user manual all of the training videos on inductive University. The training content creator works more on the inductive University side creating and revising videos that show people how to use various aspects of ignition. On the other side of training, that's what I'm part of. We're part of the instruct team so I'm an instructor.

I teach our training classes. The instruction team, not only are we teaching courses, we're also going to be facilitating certifications through things like certification test and developing other learning tools for our end users. That could be maybe shorter webinars for conferences like our ICC. In between weeks, we are getting ready for the next class.

We're constantly updating and revamping our materials.

So we're just keeping the classes up to date. The skills that we're looking for in the department are number one knowledge of the software. You need to essentially be a subject matter expert in software knowing everything there is to know about ignition. But we're also looking for people who are really easy to talk to, who are really personable and can command the attention of the audience in a room We need someone who can stand up in front of a class and ensure that when they're speaking, the point is getting across and that everyone's understanding it. Qualities that make an instructor succeed in the training department.

The biggest one, the biggest single quality I can think of is really patience, Alright. We teach classes for five days at a time to about twenty different students, and those students are gonna be very diverse. They're gonna have a variety of backgrounds, a variety of understanding about ignition, about computers, about computer science in general. So you will be dealing with both experts and novices, and you're gonna have to be fielding questions, having that patience to be able to be considerate and kind to your students and to yourself as an instructor will really help you succeed.

A just a curiosity about how things work, the desire to learn things, the ability to distill things, and make them presentable and approachable for other people.

Communication is key at the end of the day in order to educate someone effectively so being able to recognize where a student is and meeting them, where they are bringing potentially the vocabulary terms down to their level, is an essential part of being an instructor.

The ability to to write and speak clearly and coherently obviously.

One thing we all have in common in the instructor team is the like a legitimate passion and desire to teach. We really enjoy seeing those aha moments of someone who's struggling to get something and, oh, this is how you do it. In an ignition, there's many different ways to do any number of things, any you can pick any one thing and there's probably at least three or four different ways to achieve that. So it's all about just the desire to not only impart knowledge and help others to learn to use ignition but to also keep yourself up to date and learning being able to find answers if you don't have one and being okay with being wrong.

That's another big one. There's a little bit of humility that comes along with it. Don't have all the answers in front of the classroom. If you're asked a question, you don't know the answer.

You have to do your best to maintain that air of leading the class. Oh, I can I don't know, but I can find out for you? So there's a humility is a little bit of it, but the biggest one I think is the passion for teaching. On top of that being kind of an independent self starter.

Is also very essential because of that nature that we do have instructors going in a class every week. You're not always gonna have your teammates available. They might be busy. They might be teaching.

You might be the only one available to be working on this new project, so you have to be independent and be able to get started yourself and recognize priorities and I'd say to a certain degree some empathy with users being able to take yourself out of yourself and put yourself into somebody else's shoes and think in terms of their needs and what they're gonna want, you know, when they start their journey with ignition, Yeah. Trying to convert these complex concepts into teachable simple examples can be difficult, but the outcome of it is very rewarding because the outcome is you get to see your students succeeding, you get to see I'm getting excited about our software and recognizing the potential it's going to bring to their organization.

We're actually hiring people right now from outside of the company that have no ignition experience, but do have that teaching experience, that ability to command the room. And we say that's okay. We are looking for people like that because at the end of the day, All they really need to know is how ignition works and surprise surprise, we're the training department. We can teach them how the software works. And once they know how the software works, they can turn around and apply that and teach people themselves.

I think it's a great group of people everybody is really friendly and helpful and cooperative.

I always feel like if I've got a question or I'm stuck on something, I can always go to somebody and quickly get an answer.

You know, there's no egos, everybody's approachable, We really work well together due to the fact that all of us are very tech oriented, and also have that passion for teaching. When you have both of those together, it makes working in the training department, specifically the instruction team quite easy because we have a bunch of colleagues who we all get along with because we have the same passions and interests.

And at our core, we have similar technical backgrounds, so we are able to communicate very quickly and efficiently with one another about our software and the more complex nature of it We do have a really nice cohesive team dynamic, but everyone's left to work on their individual pieces how they feel most comfortable to do that.

We are very independent in how we do a lot of our work.

But we are also very similar in how our minds think. Oftentimes, you'll see we come together for a day or two at a time collaborate, share ideas, get things going. And then we sort of go off on our own, build our own ideas, try things out, and then we come back together and sort of share what our findings are, share what we discovered and what worked and what didn't, and it helps us move forward as a team. The training department is growing very quickly right now. We're really trying to get more instructors to offer more classes, more diverse classes as well, so there's gonna be a lot of growth in terms of new content to produce Additionally, we're also gonna be trying to push out new initiatives to teach ignition in different ways other than just the classes. Is there other tools we can utilize to get ignition out there to get people learning and to build training resources.

I think that training is a great place to get some grounding in the company and the product.

It's a great place to learn how to use ignition from a user's perspective.

You're definitely gonna learn a lot more about the software than you ever thought you could. You will learn more about other industries than you ever thought you would know about other industries.

I have people in class from all these different businesses, all these different industries, And they're often telling me what they use ignition for. So not only do I know ignition, I know how other companies utilize our software as well. Yes. We are adapting to a very quickly growing company.

We have a lot more internal employees to hire. We hire people. We need them to learn how to use our products so they can you know, work here effectively. And then we're growing because we have so many more customers, and that means more people outside of inductive automation looking to learn ignition.

I do get a lot of value out of working as an instructor here in duct of automation because of that bigger picture idea of what our software is doing and and where we sit and in the supply chain of the world.

I really enjoy helping make light bulbs go on in people's heads when they can make the connections and connect the dots and feel like they get it, and that I had a part in helping make that happen, Enductive automation is my first job after college. If I had a time machine, I would go back and tell myself to apply here again. When you help a customer, when you help someone solve a problem, fix something, figure out a solution, we call them in training those aha moments, that light bulb moment where it all clicks into place and it makes sense.

And they're super grateful and you're the best person in the world to them at that moment.

Those moments are what I live for. And I think all of us in the training department live for. It quickly became apparent to me that the company was serious about wanting people to be successful with their product, just the volume of free training with inductive automation white papers, case studies, webinars, videos.

Without an educated user base, we're not going to have the fantastic ignition projects being created that we see today. The more people know ignition, the more excited they are about getting other people to use it. So we have more people learning to use ignition, the more people learn to use ignition, it seems like there's just a snowball effect. I would say training is key to the success of inductive automation because without knowledge you can't really get anywhere.

Inductive automation is all about bringing data to people, bringing knowledge to people, from the plant floor to the office building to anywhere in the world. And to do that, you need to have knowledge of the software. You need to know what makes ignition tick, you need to know how to utilize ignition to the best of your ability. And we're the ones to teach you how to do that.

Posted on June 26, 2023