In our last post, we talked about wanting to improve our overall JavaScript knowledge and on February 20th and 21st we had the pleasure of having Training in our office led by Joel Hooks.

tl;dr Amazing training that was worth every penny! Here's our recap.

Day ONE:

“You can work really hard, but if you're not training in the right way you're not going to improve and get to the level that you want to.”Michael Chang

Prior to the start of the training, everyone attending was asked to watch some AngularJS training videos and read some tutorials.  This made it so everyone had a basic understanding of the training material and Joel was able to skip some rudimentary steps and really get the ball rolling with great content.

Starting with his seed project, Joel added small pieces here and there, explaining in great detail why and how he was doing things and explored alternative situations.  He continually asked us questions to confirm we were understanding and we were more than welcome to ask questions back to get a solid answer.

By the end of the first day everyone was writing Angular code.  Even those coming in with some Angular knowledge learned something new.

Day TWO:

“The best way to learn is to do; the worst way to teach is to talk.”Paul Halmos

With the basic knowledge transfer under our belts, we started the second day. Prior to the start of the training, Joel asked us for a project (current or prospective) so that we could use it as training material. We provided a basic project summary, wireframes, and a simple concept image.

Joel took these items and used them as a starting point for our project. He helped us organize modules and gave us simple tasks to work on as he started thinking of new ones. He would stop us periodically throughout the day to explain a new concept, give a deep dive on something we were working on, or do a quick code review.

By the end of the second day we had a rough but very functional knowledge of Jasmine testing. Whether or not this code survives to the end product, we are 20 commits further than when we started and that’s something to make us proud.


Everything about the training was great. Joel was a great teacher and getting everything setup for our session was simple and painless.

One of the best things was Joel sending us an email linking to a framework he thought might help our project. While the link was much appreciated, it was the fact that he didn’t simply empty his brain of Sharp Notions after he left. Instead, we got the feeling Joel genuinely cared about our people and projects.


Personally, I was hoping Joel would rain stickers and swag on us but alas. He also had an awesome zip hoodie that made me want to get one for Sharp Notions. Maybe next time!


If asked if we could do it all overall again would we? In a heartbeat. We believe everyone learned a lot, had fun, and got a great jumpstart on a project.

If you are debating about training, don’t. Take it from us—it’s worth every penny.