ITIL Foundation Training

Last week I took 2 days to take ITIL Foundation training through Simplilearn. I am going to review the training company and the subject matter separately.

Simplilearn

There a lot of companies willing to provide for any certificate acronym you can think up. I could find no useful reviews of whose training was better. I knew I wanted to take a course in person. I have done a number of MOOCs over the past 2 years and am burnt out on self-directed learning. I tried to study for the LPIC certification by myself using an online training course but it was horrible and I never felt confident enough to take the certification exam. I signed up for training in September but received a call from an Indian gentleman telling me he had to cancel the in-person training in Pittsburgh for September due to lack of students. He offered to refund me a portion of my fee to travel to Philadelphia to receive the training. That wasn’t going to work for numerous reasons. He offered to refund the difference if I could take the online training, again no. He assured me that the training would happen in October.

The course would be 8am-5pm Thursday and Friday. I was going to take the exam at the end.  I received confirmation that the training was happening the preceding Monday. The class was myself and one other student. The trainer had traveled in from Chicago. The course was supposed to take 18 hours over two days. I think we really spent 10 hours working on material. We finished early both days, and had frequent breaks and started late both days.

The training is very singularly focused on preparing you to pass the exam. It is aimed at certification, NOT education. I am not a ITIL Foundation expert by any means. I know the process and vocabulary, but we didn’t do anything that goes on in most classrooms. We did no case studies, had no discussion, and didn’t apply anything we were learning.

Subject Matter / Course Content

ITIL is a lot of things. It is a framework, it is a list of best practices for IT service management. It is also confusing. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is that it is useful. Its flexibility and therefore almost universal applicability to our profession means it can help out just about everyone and anyone. System Administration is a relatively new profession but its not so new that the wheel hasn’t been invented and re-invented, and re-re-invented. Some really smart and focused people have thought hard and long about how to deliver value through IT. I am smart enough to know when to defer to the experts. I would recommend at least the Foundation training for every sysadmin regardless of experience. The key though, like all learning, is to have an open mind.

Other Thoughts

As soon as I receive my exam results I am going to pursue the next steps in ITIL certification. Thankfully there is no shortage of content or training. I am thinking of focusing on the Operations aspect but almost every stage appeals somewhat to me and how it could better my work and help my company.