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As I've described twice this year, an SAP Education class was postponed/canceled due to low enrollment.

 


I'm sure a lot of people like to travel for training classes - it's fun to go to new places, you meet class members who may teach you as much or more than the course material, and it may be one of the few benefits available to people in certain roles.  I'm fortunate to be able to travel to the ASUG Annual Conference, and SAP TechEd this year (more about that tomorrow or so), and even one or two ASUG Chapter meetings or SAP track events.  Since those cut into my travel budget, going to a class was feasible, but seemed less possible return for me, especially if it is a five day class not 3 or 4.  I expect to pick up the content quickly; there is a lot else to do.  40 hours out of my year (or 35 even) is a lot.

 

I expected the virtual training to work more easily than it has so far.  If I had known the probability of the class being canceled (like seeing an airflight's on-time departure rating) I might not have made the plans I did.  However, once I thought about staying near home, not flying somewhere, eating vending machine food or overpriced restaurant food. and then coming back home with a piece of paper (electronic or physical) saying "I have attended a class" I stuck with the virtual education, through 2 disappointments so far.

 

When I asked about the latest re-offering, both Don Gosnell and Frank Weiss let me know that, yes, the class will be held next week.  Which means I need to buy my pencils, erasers, gummed reinforcements and other school supplies before it's too late.  And I better make sure my notebook is prepared for this ordeal.  Oh, and I need a place to sit.  My office is not the ideal place; for one the cubicle walls don't go to the ceiling, meaning it is hardly sound proof - in or out.  For another, if I stay in my office the phone might ring, customers might stop by, I might get distracted.

 

The SAP education web site has a "be prepared" (OK, it says "Learn More") for virtual education link that takes you here:

http://www.sap.com/services/education/catalog/virtual/index.epx

 

Once there, I tabbed past "Planning" and "Registration" to "Preparation".  A link there leads to:

 

http://www.sap.com/services/education/catalog/virtual/vlc_preparation.epx

 

On that page is a description of what a student should do to get ready.   Strangely, there are 2 links to preparation guides (both PDF files, sigh):

 

 

One is 14 pages; the other 16, and one is from  June last year while the other is from October.  And there is a link to another (18 page) PDF file:

 

 

And a link to a test site (now we're getting somewhere!)

 


All right, several screen shots to prove I made it through this far:

 

 

Would I like to "install the Add-in"?  Do I really have a choice at this point?

 

 

 

 

Once that was completed I seemed good to go.  I had not noticed the "plug in your camera now" message at first, since the orange colored (and flavored?) exclamation mark dominated the feedback.  But as I've used my camera on other SAP web casts, I don't think that will be an issue.  Besides, I don't know that I want to chew up all that bandwidth unless I have something to ask or say that demands visual emphasis (pound my shoe on the desk?).

 

A side note (and what would a good Jim Spath blog post be without several irrelevant tangents?) - the "Best Practices" section of the Participation Guide says to fulfill the technical prerequisites "at least 2-3 days before the VLC" (note to proof readers: say "at least 2 days or at least 3 days", please: don't waffle).  Then it goes on to say "one connection test will last 2 hours".  It took 30 seconds, on my home slow home DSL line.  If it takes more than 2 minutes to log on and verify my credentials, I'm going to be mighty peeved.  If a connection test really takes 2 hours, trash this software and get something better.

 

 

 

 

 

Now the only thing left to do is sharpen my pencils.

 

Oh, and wait for the email with the login account and password...

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