You know the value of professional development and you know that you need to train your development team—but maybe you’re wondering how to get started.

There are so many options available that it can quickly get confusing. You have to ensure that the option you choose is the best value, while also making sure your team gets quality training. So what’s the best way?

Online Training

One option is to have your developers complete a program online, either self-paced or together as a cohort. This is typically the cheapest option and is useful because the training modules can be chosen based on the problems that the developers are facing.

However, online training can present problems, as it’s easy to skip modules or play the training in the background while focusing on other tasks. When this happens, no real knowledge is gained and developers can become resentful if they feel as though their time is being wasted.

Industry Conferences

Conferences can be a great way to learn new skills, especially if the company is selective in where they send employees. Conferences are also a great way for developers to network with one another and receive advice from others outside of the company.

We believe in them so much that we send every single Big Nerd Ranch employee to at least one a year, in addition to any where they are asked to present. Just be sure to check the speaker lineup to ensure that the talks will be useful for solving the problems that your company is facing.

Short-Term Bootcamp

For single developers who are looking to level up their skills or learn a new platform, an intensive bootcamp may be the answer. While many coding bootcamps require weeks (or months) and are meant for those looking to enter the profession, Big Nerd Ranch bootcamps dive deeply into training in just days.

With classes for both the intermediate and advanced learner, there is nearly always a course that will fit the needs of your organization. After just a week, your engineers are soon back in the office, ready to implement all the new things they have learned.

Competitive Projects

For teams who want to learn new skills but like figuring it out on their own, a contest may be the best option. Here at Big Nerd Ranch, we host an annual Clash of the Coders event. This type of contest allows developers to deep dive into a new platform or technology and emerge on the other side with new knowledge, all while having a good time.

With extra points awarded for tackling new topics, the competitive aspect of the event ensures that each team is working their hardest to build something both interesting and useful. While your company may not be able to shut its doors for days each year, a similar competition that encourages developers to work on a new project in their spare time may be all the encouragement they need to learn something new. And prizes never hurt!

Corporate Training

Need to train an entire team, and quickly? A corporate training program is likely the best option for you. This kind of training can help you level up your developers in preparation for their next big project or bring them up to speed on learning new technology.

At Big Nerd Ranch, our classes are very similar to the bootcamp experience, but hosted at your location. Our courses are created to hit the skills your team needs, and because the instructor is on-site with you, your developers are able to ask questions as they arise.

So What Should You Do?

What works for one company will not work for another, and what works for one team within your company may not be the answer for every other team. Our best advice is to ask the people who will be receiving the training—learn how they work best and how they want to learn new skills. Knowing what they want will allow you to choose the option that best fits your needs.

And if that option happens to be a Big Nerd Ranch course, we’d love to train your developers. Check out our bootcamp schedule for your individual developer, or contact us to learn more about how corporate training can benefit your entire team.