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What is the easiest learning path to WebSphere?

Hi, Jim. I've got a question that is likely on the mind of most Notes shops:

What learning/integration path do you see as the easiest "road" to follow in order to transition our skills from predominately Notes/Domino, to a combination of Notes/Domino and WebSphere?

My company does WebSphere training, primarily for iSeries. Some choices for learning WebSphere include:
  • IBM product documentation
  • IBM Redbooks
  • Third-party training courses such as ours (EBT-now.com)
  • Mentored projects
  • Custom WebSphere workshops
Your first two resources come straight from IBM. I think the Redbooks on WebSphere (there are many) are OK. I think the product documentation has gotten MUCH better along with WebSphere itself in version 5. Unlike Domino, WebSphere's basic architecture has changed significantly from one version to the next. Therefore, avoid at all costs using an earlier version of WebSphere for anything. Among other things, it will be more difficult to learn.

IBM and others offer training courses. We target ours to companies using iSeries for WebSphere since there are significant platform differences between WebSphere versions.

For ANY technology migration, a mentored project is better than a training class. Here, you hire experts on the new technology and they work WITH you to solve YOUR specific issues in developing for the new platform. Your application is usually better designed, built without "beginner" errors and is completed faster.

Our most successful option has been the Custom WebSphere Workshop. This combines a mentored project with a "hands-on" lab training class. We work with the customer to design a new application or port an existing one to WebSphere. We develop the application using best practices methods. Then we create a custom training class and lab on how to build THEIR CUSTOM application. Developers then get the best of both mentored projects AND CUSTOM training. It's been very successful. Given that the application selected for the workshop is representative of larger applications you want to move to WebSphere, the overall cost of the workshop is very reasonable.

For me, the RIGHT path to learn WebSphere is based on six key factors.

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