Why Use Capstone Courseware?

What do you expect from the technical training materials you use in your classroom? At Capstone, many years of experience in development and teaching have given us some insights into how to foster the best possible learning experiences. See how our priorities match up with yours:

Technical Accuracy and Authority
We rely on a team of authors who are experts in our target technologies. Each course author brings several years of practical experience in developing real software solutions to the creation of a Capstone course. The result is uncompromisingly thorough and authoritative, timely, and practical, and digs in to hidden issues and "gotchas", with the aim of preparing students for real programming situations.
Learning by Doing
We make a point of providing the student with a great deal of direct experience with solving software problems. Coding labs are an important part of the learning experience, and account for at least 50% of class time. Most courses develop students' skills over a range of related topics by way of an extended case study: a series of exercises, each building on the other, culminating in a moderately complex working system. We want the student to be able to step gracefully from the classroom to a practical project, and to be productive quickly. Taking the time to work through more sophisticated problems allows us to get away from cookbook solutions, and to expose the student to the less pretty, but sometimes more important, details of solving a problem completely and correctly.
Concepts, Skills, and Best Practices
At the same time, this is not guerilla training; this is not "Java boot camp" or any such thing. We believe that it is all too easy to over-emphasize the rough and practical, to obsess about "tricks, tips and techniques." We truly value the theoretical as well as the practical, and we try to foster in each student a desire to find the most elegant solution to a problem, and an understanding of the design decisions behind various APIs and technologies. Yes, this must be motivated by practical exercises, and the student must be shown that application of the theory really will help in reaching practical goals. The well-trained student will not be afraid of the rough and practical, but will be able to arrive at solutions which are not only workable in the short run, but robust and reusable after that next deadline.
Pedagogy and Instructional Design
Training must be more than throwing a few key phrases on a wall and then handing out homework. We've given a great deal of thought, both in general and for each of our courses, to the best flow of information over time: in what order will a person most effectively absorb a set of related concepts? Capstone takes an incremental approach that helps students to develop confidence in each new element of the broader technology.
Instructor's Partner
Effective training relies on compelling, interactive presentation. We value the visual aesthetics of a strong instructional design; we believe that they can help the instructor to be concise in his or her delivery, and help the student to enjoy the learning experience. See samples of our coursebooks: when we visually organize our thinking, it should help instructors and students to do the same.
The Latest Technology
We manage our materials actively over time, tracking the latest versions of the target technology. Your clients and students won't be learning the previous version of a language or API; they'll be learning today's technology — and often looking ahead to the next release as well.
Learning After Class is Over
There's absorption, and then there's retention: we design our coursebooks and lab exercises to function as tutorials during class, but also as references after class. Your students will have full access to lab code from their own workstations. Many past students have told us that they still keep our coursebooks handy on their bookshelves as their go-to reference for a given subject.
Learning Paths
Because we focus in a few areas, we are able to manage deep curricula that support complete training paths. If you need a single three-day course in XML and Schema, well yes, we have that! But we can also support your clients and students in a journey from novice to expert in Java programming, XML content management, J2EE applications, or Web services. Maybe several weeks of study are indicated: not only does Capstone have the courses to support the whole programme, but we enforce consistency in our presentation, from introductory to advanced levels. Concepts originated here are echoed over there; design patterns resonate throughout the process; instructors are well-armed to develop a high-level view for students, and not just to trudge from one detailed exercise to the next.

Take a closer look at our coursebooks, review our courseware offerings, and check out a sample chapter from a course that interests you. We think you'll find Capstone Courseware to be an excellent fit for your training practice.