23 Mar 2009

On being good

I saw Dead Poets Society over the weekend.  Not a great movie, in my opinion.  Long after the movie was over, I remembered a trainer called Balu.

During the first 2 years of my computer science (my 11th and 12th standard) I had a good teacher to teach me programming.  (Mr Moorthy, without him I don't think I would be what I am now.)  After that I have seen dozens of computer science teachers and I didn't find any one of them good.  They all suck, big time.

I joined IBM right after I finished college and IBM sent me to a mandatory computer science training, along with other fresh grads joined with me.  It was pretty much like a classroom training I had been having for the past 6 years.  I didn't expect any trainer to be good, and most of them were indeed bad.

Of the lot, there was one trainer called Balu.  He was good.  At least he knew what education is.  He didn't try to repeat whatever the book says.  While all other trainers tried to repeat exactly what the books said, he tried to make us understand how to approach programming and how to approach learning a new language.  Like in the old saying he tried to teach us fishing instead of giving us a few fishes.

I liked his classes, but no one else did.  When IBM came to us asking for trainer feedback everyone said Balu was bad.  I don't know if they cut his pay for his sessions, but I am pretty sure they didn't hire him anymore.

Several proverbs and sayings come to my mind.  I'd write down only one -- life is just unfair.

1 comment:

  1. This is always the case. Any teacher who tries to facilitate learning instead of making students mug up stuff is considered incompetent by the bulk of students (I'm talking about my experience at IIT Roorkee).