At the end of march 2012 I was attending a Spring 3 Core Training in Cracow which was organised by the SpringSource. Because I am more of a pure Java EE world type and mainly develop in this area, I wanted to improve my knowledge about Spring. Sure, I’ve used Spring, worked with it but never felt really comfortable with it. I was missing the big picture and so that’s why I decided to go to this training.

The training lasted 4 days and it was really a full-day training: we started at 9.00 and finished at 17.00 with a few short, coffee, breaks and one longer — for a lunch. You can view the syllabus on this site, but mainly, the course focused on the core of Spring Framework, so we’ve spent a lot of time discovering the dependency injection intricacies, bean factories, bean post processors, AOP (and how it is applied to the transactions, security and other cross-cutting concerns.) We’ve just scratched the surface of the Spring MVC, RMI, JMS and JMX.
All this material was presented in a form of an active lecture where the questions were widely accepted during the talk. We were provided with printed version of the slides, so it was easy to make notes directly on the slides.

After each of the sections, there was a lab exercise / exercises — a hands-on session with Spring Tool Suite. For those labs, we were also provided with the printed version of the appropriate tutorial. The tasks were pretty easy, as they based on just presented material. All the source code used in this sessions was provided on a SpringSource 4GB pen-drive that every attendant was given.

The class itself was rather small, as it consists of 6 attendants: 5 Poles and 1 Englishman (cheers Tom!) The lecturer, Tomas Lukosius put a lot of effort into passing the knowledge in easy and simple way – just as all good lecturers should do. The whole training was like “look how simple it is” or “it just another bean post processor” or things like that. It really showed how some complicated stuff like runtime aspects weaving, transactions or security constraints are organised under the hood. Not rarely it seemed quite simple and uncomplicated!
At the beginning of each day there was a revision, a sum-up of all the topics discussed day before. It helped to refresh your memory as well as organise the knowledge better.

My overall opinion about this training is very good. I can see a major improvement of my knowledge about how the core of the Spring Framework works. I’m sure that if you’d put some more effort, read a decent book like “Spring in Action” by Craig Walls and supplement your knowledge with Spring documentation, you’ll earn the same knowledge as in this training.
This will, however, take a lot more time and you’d need a lot of self-discipline. Nevertheless, it’s achievable as the knowledge passed during the training wasn’t any kind of black or secret magic.

One of the nice things about the training is that after it you earn a voucher for Spring Certified Professional exam. Although the passing score is fairly high (in comparison to the Oracle exams) I’ve heard that it’s enough just to re-read all the slides, notes and do once again all the labs. Hope to find some time to attempt to pass the exam soon!

PS. The beverages, snacks and lunch was provided by the company which held the training (Altkom Akademia.) Beverages and snacks were really nice but the lunches… well… just let’s say that I’ve eaten a lot of better things in my life ;-)

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12 thoughts on “After the Spring 3 Core Training

  1. As far as i remember you can’t attempt to Spring Certified Professional exam without going to that course? Prices are horrible ;/

    • That’s unfortunately true. Sometime ago there was a “grandfather” path or something like that. Basically it was a way for experienced Spring developers to go straight to the exam without taking any training.

      Right now you need to take the training, as it’s the only way of getting the voucher (valid 1 year.)

      I agree, the prices are extremely high. The Cracow one was the cheapest one – ca. 1200 EUR. In the matter of fact, it was cheap enough to encourage Tom (the Englishmen I’ve mentioned in the text) to go to the Cracow, pay for tickets, hotel and the whole one-week trip instead of taking the training in England.
      Even the on-line courses were more expensive (this is totally abstract!)

      If I remember correctly, this was the only training in Poland organised by the SpringSource in 2012.

  2. All these certificates costs more nad more (e.g. last year Oracle changes). My (working) student budget is not enough for it ;) Question is have you experienced any profits (apart from gained knowledge e.g. in job salary) from having certificate?

  3. Did Oracle change its requirements for non Developer exams? Do they now charge you a training fee just like SpringSource does?

    Such certification profits are hard to measure. I mean – all your salary negotiations are secret, so it’s not able to compare with someone else with the same job but without a certificate. Moreover, even if you’ll find someone who is willing to break the rule and share his salary with you – this differences might not even come from the certificate itself – it might be just a matter of the negotiations itself.

    Therefore, I’ve never measured it like that and I’m not able to answer your question. One thing is sure – besides the great motivation to gain new knowledge, it does have a positive impact on your interview; perhaps that’s why you’ll be invited for the next interview?

  4. Wow. You guys are paying so much more than us for Spring Training. The cost in the US with the training company with whom I took this class, Hartmann Software Group was $990/person for a 3 day class. I’m not sure how they compare to SpringSource but I found that the class helped me to address some of the confusion that I had encountered.

    • That’s definitely better price! The only difference I can suspect is: do you know if this is a “SpringSource blessed” trainer? I mean – did you receive a voucher for the exam after the training?

      • Yes … But only upon request. I was not interested in certification/vouchers but more interested in using this technology for work, and these guys really helped.

        • That’s just another proof that US prices are much more reasonable than the European ones. But I guess they are not available in Europe, right?

          Average salary in Poland is ca. 580 EUR (net). This means that this training is bloody expensive…

  5. I know that they offer virtual, instructor led, training. The only real cost would be long distance telephone calling but that’s nominal now.

    • That sounds great. So you mean that a telephone call is required? Don’t they have any e-learning platform so you just log in, you’ve got video and sound directly from the website and so on?

  6. If face to exam and get fail, whether I have to re attend to this training course again and get the exam voucher ?


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