8 reasons why trainers like our books
(Note: For a PDF version of this article, please click here.)
1. Our modular book organization gives the trainer flexibility
In the first section or two of all our books, we present the core content for the book, which includes a complete subset of usable skills. After the core content, each section of the book is designed as an independent module. This means that these sections don't have to be taught in sequence. As a result, you can customize your courses by assigning just those sections that you want to teach.
Whenever possible, each of the chapters is also designed as an independent module. When this is true, you can assign just those chapters that are right for your courses. This approach also makes the chapters better for on-the-job reference later on.
2. Our top-down chapter design puts the essentials first
Unlike many competing books and products, most chapters
in our books have a unique top-down design that moves
from the simple to complex. This makes it easier for
trainees to learn. It also means that you can present
the topics at the start of a chapter to make sure everyone
understands the essential details, without presenting
all of the topics in a chapter. Then, your trainees
can learn the other topics on their own or as they're
needed on the job.
3. Our paired-pages format helps trainees learn faster
If you page through one of our books, you'll see that all of the information is presented in "paired pages." In each pair, the right page is a figure that contains the syntax, guidelines, and examples, and the left page is text that contains the perspective and extra explanation.
One benefit of this format is that it lets trainees learn at their own
pace. If, for example, you're a novice, you'll probably
want to read the text on the left as you refer to the
figure on the right. But if you have experience, you
may be able to get all the information you need from
the figure. Either way, our customers tell us that they
love this presentation method because it helps them
learn faster and better.
4. Our paired-pages format also reinforces training back on the job
On-the-job performance is the measure of a successful course. And our paired-pages format makes it easy for your trainees to access all the information you've covered long after the course is over.
Instead of having to dig through the text or handouts,
they can use the expanded table of contents or the index
to find the topic they're looking for. Then, the figure
on the righthand page will give them the details they
need to apply what they learned in your course.
This type of quick reference is absolutely essential when you're working with the hundreds of classes, methods, and properties of an OO language like Java, Visual Basic, or C#...and yet no other books offer this unique format.
5. Our exercises provide more practice in less time
The exercises for our books give trainees a chance
to get valuable, hands-on experience without wasting
any time. That's because we provide the starting code,
either from our web site or the Instructor's CD, so
that trainees don't have to enter routine code that
they already know.
exercises guide the trainees through the application
of what they've just learned. Sometimes, they challenge
the trainees to apply what they've learned in new ways. And you
can assign the exercises so your trainees do them in
class or on their own.
Incidentally, unlike other books, our exercises
never present new skills or information. As we see
it, this is the only sensible approach to text and exercise
design. Curiously, though, the exercises in some books
do present new skills. Unfortunately, this means that
(1) trainees who don't do the exercises don't learn
the new skills, and (2) there's no easy way for trainees
to find the information they need if they're having
trouble since the skills haven't been covered yet.
6. Our complete, real-world applications ensure mastery
From the first book we published in 1974 to the present, all of our books teach by presenting complete, real-world applications that include design, code, and all related components. These applications help your trainees get started quickly and also help them reach new skill levels. As we see it, studying applications like these is the best way to learn how all of the parts of an application work together, so this is an essential part of the learning process.
7. Our books are carefully coordinated for a series of courses
Unlike other books, ours are designed and developed by a small group of staff writers and editors. As a result, we can and do coordinate the structure and contents of our books so they work together for a series of courses.
This means that you won't get unnecessary duplication in two or more of our books. This also means that you can be sure that one of our beginning books really does provide all of the prerequisites for one of our advanced books...because we designed them that way.
For instance, our COBOL, CICS, DB2, and JCL books are commonly used for a series of courses that teach programmers how to develop mainframe applications. Our two Java books are used to teach programmers how to develop web applications with Java servlets and JSP. And combinations of our .NET books are used to teach programmers how to develop either Windows or web applications with C# or Visual Basic.
Also, because all of our books contain sections that
are treated as independent modules, you can combine
a few sections from one book with a few sections from
another in a single course. For instance, you can combine
the first two sections of our Visual Basic 2008 book
with the first three sections of our ASP.NET 3.5 with
VB 2008 book for a great course on ASP.NET web programming.
Of course, once your trainees use one of our books, they're going to be asking for others. That's why you're going to be glad that our books are carefully coordinated. (The biggest complaint we get is that we don't offer more books on more subjects!)
8. Our Instructor's CDs provide everything else that trainers need
If you review the instructor's materials that come
with the Instructor's CD for one of our books, you'll
see that our CDs provide everything else you need for
an effective course...except the busywork. That's why
you should be able to plan and implement a course that's
based on one of our books in record time. Once that's
done, our books and instructional materials will help
ensure the success of your course.