Thursday, July 28, 2011

The EGI Training Marketplace – Time to Spread the Word

By Richard McLennan, EGI User Community Support Officer

A friend of mine lives in one of those luxurious third floor Amsterdam apartments overlooking a picturesque canal in a smart part of town. For many months the street light outside the apartment failed to work but it was not until her gleaming new Yamaha Supersport motorbike needed to be parked securely on a well illuminated spot outside that she took a personal interest in getting the lamp fixed. A little research and a telephone call or two put her in touch with the right City Council maintenance department and within 24 hours, that Amsterdam street lamp was repaired and the Yamaha was securely parked under a bright spotlight. What has any of this got to do with the EGI Training Marketplace? Well, like so much in life, this story is all about the importance of effective communication - the case of repairing a street light is really very simple but nothing can happen until the right ‘someone’ is told that the job needs doing. The same is true for the EGI Training Marketplace.

A short while back I wrote an article for the EGI Blog page in which I compared EGI’s new Training Marketplace to a form of ‘ebay for grid training’. The portal had gone live on 7 June after a good deal of development work by a small team at STFC, UK. Having been personally involved in proposing, testing and fine tuning the product, I was convinced that all that remained for it to become a huge success was for me to tell people how good it was and then to sit back and watch the portal hit rate grow. After all, ebay itself already is a huge success story. Just as it provides a web based framework through which a constantly growing community of buyers and sellers get in touch with each other to exchange something, so the Training Market place provides a web based framework through which ‘grid computing’ training and training needs can be advertised so that those who seek specialist training can find what they need ….. in theory.

So, back to fixing street lights. The way things get fixed – lights on streets, in offices or even in our homes - is by waiting a long time for ‘a miracle to happen’ or alternatively, by playing an active part in the process and thereby making it happen quickly. More often than not we just need to ‘communicate effectively’ for someone to start whatever process we need to happen. The Training Marketplace seems to have remained largely untouched for a couple of months now and while it stands a chance of becoming successful if we all wait for long enough, I am sure that there is much better way. With around 18,000 registered grid users who either need or can provide specialist training, our Marketplace needs little more than to become well known. So here is the reason for this article: did you know that the Training Marketplace existed and that it is accessible through the EGI UCST Webpage? Have you set up any training events which could be promoted via the Training Marketplace? Even if the training event is closed to your own community, it may still help others to know about your training event. Go on, play an active part in putting the spotlight on your training, your training needs and our Training Marketplace.

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