The other week I was fortunate enough to grab an extra freebie spot on Spring Source's "Spring Core" course. It's a marathon. Four days jam-packed with just about everything you could imagine Spring-related. I thought I'd post a bit about my impressions...
First the good side; the course material is exhaustive and the instructor knew his stuff cold. While I was the only one in the course with no practical Spring experience, those that had been using it extensively carried on some pretty detailed conversations; the kinds of conversations you have when you're shoulder deep in some technology and you're having esoteric problems with it.
The material was well organized and the instructor did a really good job at calibrating to the overall skill level of the class. As much as I believe in substance-before-style he also remained refreshingly professional the entire time.
The labs were really well prepared containing problem solution and sometimes alternative solution sets. As someone who gleans more from a 3 line example than a four page reference chapter, this was really worthwhile. Everyone got a copy of Spring In Action too which was a nice bonus.
The only fault I found with the course was its length; drinking from the firehose for four days is a lot of drinking. If I was more familiar with the underlying framework, or if I was still in school "input mode", my mental integration would have been higher.
A two-day introduction course would have definitely been enough. Any organization planning on flying an instructor out for four days would be better off bootstrapping twice as many developers with a double shot of the two day introduction. Only those who have already muddled through some of the integrations would get a lot more from the full course.