I’ve recently returned from Toronto, Ontario where I was on a training course provided by Interactive Intelligence. Interactive Intelligence provides Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions for businesses of all sizes. This particular course was titled Interaction Center VoIP Professional Bootcamp. A bootcamp it was.
The course ran from 8:30 am until 10 pm and consisted of a one hour lunch break and an hour and a half dinner break. Most days we skipped the dinner break so we could finish up around 8:30 and go for dinner without having to worry about getting back to class.
I’ve been on a few training courses since I graduated from school, a few years back, but this was definitely the most challenging to date. Not only was there a lot to soak in, but I had almost zero experience with VoIP technology to boot. The only experience I did have were basic administrative skills that I picked up at my new job from my co-workers black tie affair dresses. I did have the benefit of two co-workers who already had passed the course and still had last year’s course material available so I could pre-read it before taking the class.
Because Interactive Intelligence’s systems are very diverse in what they support (i.e. VoIP, TDM, PRI, SIP etc) I had to pay close attention to the other classmates when they were having informal discussions so I could learn a bit more about telecommunication systems in general. Of all the technologies I’ve experienced and worked with over the past few years, telecommunication systems were not one of them.
My lack of knowledge may have helped me in the sense that I could focus solely on the solution I was being trained on without getting all mixed up with other technologies. It definitely made it much more difficult to understand some things but I managed to muddle through it.
Our exam on the last day was pretty intense (to say the least). It began with a written test that had 42 questions. The second part was to install the system from scratch with the specs provided on a sheet of paper. For the third, and final, part we had to leave the room while the instructor went and broke three things on our system. It was quite stressful but in the end I passed with very good marks.
The whole trip was very much a rewarding. I added another certification to my portfolio, I learned a ridiculous amount and it was fun. I would like to thank Chris, our instructior, for creating a great atmosphere for learning and Microsoft Bob for providing comic relief. It was a pleasure meeting the rest of the class too and it was a great bunch of people to have around during such an intense experience. I have a funny feeling Derek is still crying (from laughing so hard) over the whole Audio Activated Hacker incident.