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'[PIC] Microchip MASTERs 2009: class recommendation'
2009\06\03@155324 by Vitaliy

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I plan to build my class schedule for the MASTERs conference today. If
you've attended a MASTERs conference in the past, I would appreciate it if
you could comment on the classes you've attended.

Just like in college, I noticed that some were great, some so-so, and others
were a total waste of time. Quality of instruction is more important than
subject matter.

Thank you in advance!

Vitaliy

2009\06\03@163755 by olin piclist

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Vitaliy wrote:
> I plan to build my class schedule for the MASTERs conference today. If
> you've attended a MASTERs conference in the past, I would appreciate
> it if you could comment on the classes you've attended.
>
> Just like in college, I noticed that some were great, some so-so, and
> others were a total waste of time. Quality of instruction is more
> important than subject matter.

I haven't found any way to predict quality of instruction.  I go with topics
that interest me or are relevant to what I'm doing or think I might do.  My
only general rule is to stay away from the hands on classes.  You get half
the information in twice the time, and things inevitably get held up because
someone's ICD2 doesn't work right or whatever.  Even if things do go right,
all the hands on parts I have tried are so cookbook to be useless.  Yes, I
can copy that piece of code from that other file into this template, but
doing that exactly their way using the MPLAB editor on their machines with
their setup doesn't teach me anything.

Unfortunately there are many of these hands on classes, so you will find
some topics you'd really like to hear about only taught that way.  When I do
attend one, I just sit and watch and let someone else use a workstation.
That actually makes it easier to learn the topic because you aren't
distracted by the details of what keystrokes do what in a editor you never
plan to use.

The other thing I do a lot at Masters is to browse around.  If I don't like
a class, I leave and look around at the posters to see what else is going
on.  Signing up for classes is only so that Microchip can plan the size of
room and number of sessions a class is taught.  You are free to walk in and
out of any class at any time.  If I go into a class I didn't sign up for and
find it's full, I understand I may have to stand in the back so as not to
take a seat from someone that did sign up.  The hard part is keep the
Microchip folks from getting up and trying to give you their seat.  It seems
a edict went around that a Microchip person must always yield their seat to
a paying customer when it's standing room only.  Most classes have room
though.

Standing in the back also makes it easy to bug out if the talk is boring or
the speaker can't speak english.  Yes that happens.  There was a guy last
year who clearly knew what he was talking about in regards to RF antennas,
but his accent was so thick that I wasn't getting anything out of the class,
so I left.

The biggest problem for me is finding enough advanced material.  Too often I
think to myself that I could be teaching this class and doing a better job
of it.

2009\06\03@164419 by Charles Craft

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The class list I downloaded didn't have instructor names on it.
That's a shame because if it did you could see if the instructors have
done any webinars (http://techtrain.microchip.com/webseminars/Archived.aspx)
and see their style.

Been a couple years since I attended.
I enjoyed classes with Keith Curtis and Bonnie Baker.
Not sure if they are still there.

Don't see any RF/wireless/Zigbee/MiWi presentations in the webinars.
Steven Bible did a pretty good job with the RF classes.

{Original Message removed}

2009\06\03@181025 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Bonnie Baker.
>Not sure if they are still there.

Bonnie Baker works for TI these days - least that is what her byline in EDN
says.

2009\06\04@044729 by Rikard Bosnjakovic

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On Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 22:27, Olin Lathrop <spam_OUTolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamembedinc.com> wrote:

[...]
> Too often I think to myself that I could be teaching this class and doing a
> better job of it.

So, the *real* reason you attend these classes is to get the
opportunity to look down on people and fuel your own ego.


--
- Rikard.

2009\06\04@183323 by Vitaliy

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Olin Lathrop wrote:
> I haven't found any way to predict quality of instruction.  I go with
> topics
> that interest me or are relevant to what I'm doing or think I might do.

That's what I've done. I was hoping, though, that the same classes would be
taught by the same instructors. I took a signal conditioning class that used
an inverted pendulum system for demonstration (1384 SCE) last year. It was
taught by a guy with a British (?) accent. Even though it was a "filler"
class for lack of a better alternative, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My partner attended the 1383 PGN class, and he said there was lots of very
useful info for proper PCB layout.


{Quote hidden}

True. We do use MPLAB IDE for development, so it wasn't a total waste for me
last year -- I ended up learning a few tricks.


{Quote hidden}

I was in that class, it was taught not by Microchip, but by an outside
company -- correct? The accent wasn't that bad, IIRC -- maybe you just
needed to move up closer so you could hear him better. :-)

Vitaliy

2009\06\04@183650 by Vitaliy

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Rikard Bosnjakovic wrote:
>> Too often I think to myself that I could be teaching this class and doing
>> a
>> better job of it.
>
> So, the *real* reason you attend these classes is to get the
> opportunity to look down on people and fuel your own ego.

Olin does have a point. I have far less experience, but a few times I
thought the same thing myself. Some instructors come to the class totally
unprepared.

There was this one guy teaching USB class using VB .Net. His presentation
was haphazard and he couldn't even get the code examples to work.

Vitaliy

2009\06\05@044426 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I took a signal conditioning class that used an inverted
>pendulum system for demonstration (1384 SCE) last year.

Is that the source of the AN964 application note where they do that?

2009\06\05@081603 by VICENTE COLOMAR PRATS

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Going out a little of the main theme, any of you know where can I find the
microchip inverted pendulum system board to buy? I've sniffed MC web page,
but havn't found it. Does any of you know where it can be found?

2009\06\05@082059 by olin piclist

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Vitaliy wrote:
> I was in that class, it was taught not by Microchip, but by an outside
> company -- correct? The accent wasn't that bad, IIRC -- maybe you just
> needed to move up closer so you could hear him better. :-)

I'm pretty sure the one I went to was taught by a Microchip employee from
Italy, or maybe it was eastern Europe.  Again, it was clear he knew what he
was talking about, but it was just too difficult to try to figure out what
he was saying.  Others may not have had the problem.  I seem to be worse
than most at interpreting speech thru a accent or other noise.


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2009\06\05@213118 by Vitaliy

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Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> >I took a signal conditioning class that used an inverted
>>pendulum system for demonstration (1384 SCE) last year.
>
> Is that the source of the AN964 application note where they do that?

I don't know, but the inverted pendulum thingie looks exactly like the one
in the presentation, and AN964 is also referenced.

Vitaliy



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