Top 5 reasons not to train your developers

Every time I talk to managers about training their developers I get excuses. Some of them are heartfelt, some of them are sincere, all of them are excuses why they can’t/won’t train their developers. So I’ve collected my five favorite excuses here, and I’ve also debunked all five. Which of these excuses have you used?

5. It costs too much

If you have been reading my articles on training then you know that the cost of training pales in comparison to having to replace a developer who found an employer who will invest in training them. If your next thought is “They won’t leave me, they haven’t got time to look for a job” then stop, read this article by Harvard Business Review and replace the word manager with developer: “Why Top Young Managers Are in a Nonstop Job Hunt”. Investing $1,500 in each of your developer costs you way less than the time lost trying to replace them.

4. If I invest in my developers, they might leave and find better jobs

This is an old joke.

CEO: What if we train our developers and they leave?
CTO: What if we don’t train them and they stay?

Do you want to lead the team of people too afraid to leave because they fear they don’t know anything? That doesn’t sound like a very productive team. A better tactic is to take the advice of Richard Branson:

“Train people well enough so that they can leave, treat them well enough so that they can stay.”

A confident, well-trained team that is secure in their knowledge and position can spend their time worrying about the problems that need to be solved, not about other factors like whether they need to find a new job.

3. I don’t have time

This is a crutch. There is always time for the important things. What you’re really saying here is that training your developers is not a high enough priority to make time for it. Many managers will think nothing of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new technology that they’re convinced will increase productivity. The idea however, of training developers to increase productivity, seems alien to them.

Make time to train you developers. Make it a regular part of your annual budget right up there with free coffee and the CEO’s bar-tab. You’ll find that your investment pays off in so many different ways, not the least of which is increased productivity.

2. If my developers aren’t working, then my projects won’t get done.

“A stitch in time saves nine.”

For development teams, this means solving a problem early and saves trying to solve it late in the project. Well-trained developers see those problems early and know how to solve them. Investing a week in training your developers (a stitch) will increase productivity and throughput and your project will get done faster (saves nine).

1. I don’t know where to start.

Start with Zend training. We offer only live, instructor-led training for developers. Whether your developers are just starting out, or you want to elevate a senior developer to principal architect, Zend Training has the answer for you. All you need to do is ask and we will help develop a custom training plan for your team.

If you are ready to take the next step, contact us and we can talk about how we can help increase the productivity and velocity of your development team.

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    Cal Evans is the technical manager for Zend training and certification at Rogue Wave Software. For the past 10 years Cal has worked with PHP and MySQL on Linux OSX, and when necessary, Windows. He has built on a variety of projects ranging in size from simple web pages to multi-million dollar web applications.

    About Cal Evans

    Cal Evans is the technical manager for Zend training and certification at Rogue Wave Software. For the past 10 years Cal has worked with PHP and MySQL on Linux OSX, and when necessary, Windows. He has built on a variety of projects ranging in size from simple web pages to multi-million dollar web applications.