Our New, Improved Technology for Live Training

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Live training has always been the cornerstone of OSTraining.

We started this business by doing live training classes around the US. Over the last few years, we’ve expanded and have created thousands of videos and written 2 best-selling books.

But, despite our growth in those areas, our commitment to live training hasn’t wavered.

Our History With Live Training

Live TrainingSince we started OSTraining has done live training for thousands of people.

Steve started the company by offering on-location training in cities like New York, Chicago and Washington DC, using computer training centers wherever he could find them.

In 2010, he realized that if he wanted to scale the business, he’d need to put the lessons online so people could subscribe and learn at their own pace. I created the first Joomla training videos later that year and joined OSTraining in May 2011 as a minority owner and principle online trainer. OSTraining now has over 1,500 online lessons enjoyed by thousands of people around the world.

Even with all the options online, OSTraining’s commitment to live training hasn’t wavered! We are regularly in Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington DC. We have provided the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Drupal training at DrupalCons Chicago, Denver, London, Portland, and Prague. We trainign at events from Florida to Ohio and Atlanta to San Diego.

We also provide a lot of on-site corporate training each year. We’ve done live training for large and small companies, non-profits and government agencies.

In short, we firmly believe in the power of live, face-to-face learning.

However, live training brings some unique challenges. There are problems with the venue. For example, several times we’ve lost an hour or more to a fire drills in the training buildings. Once in New York, large parts of downtown Manhattan lost their internet connection for a couple hours, right when we were teaching a class.

So today, we’re announcing a change in the way we do live training.

How We Held Classes Before

Live TrainingFor training venues, we used computer training labs.

For servers, we used WAMP / MAMP stacks to reduce our reliance on the internet. We used Acquia’s DevDesktop for Drupal and a Server2Go for Joomla. We’ve found both these solutions to be adequate, but with their own shortcomings. Both required a significant amount of setup time and support from the facility where we were holding the training. The installs could also be buggy on some operating systems.

How We’ll Do Things in the Future

In October, we began experimenting with the idea of building our own portable server environment so we wouldn’t have to rely on computer labs. We now have our own server that can support up to 50 students.

Here’s our new server setup:

  • Mac Mini Server: 2.6Mhz Quad Core Intel i7, 32G RAM and a 256G solid state drive.
  • MAMP Pro: we can spin up 50 WordPress, Joomla or Drupal websites in under 2 minutes.
  • Airport Express: up to 50 connections.
  • Epson 1761W portable projector.

This server set up is so small that it fits in a briefcase! We have everything we need on the server, so even if the internet goes down, we can continue the class! The whole set-up cost around $2000. We can now host a class anywhere and don’t need to rely on a computer lab.

What This Means for You

Our goal with live training is to introduce you to the content management system and provide you with the tools you’ll need to build and maintain your site.

  1. You’ll get to use your own computer.
  2. You’ll be able to take your work with you if you want.
  3. This server environment is FAST. We don’t have to wait for things to upload or processes to finish, allowing us to cover more material.
  4. By hosting all of the sites on one server, this also makes it much easier for our teachers to fix problems with any student sites.

We’ve tested this server setup thoroughly and our students have unanimously given it the thumbs-up.

We’ll be working through 2014 on opening up some more cities to our live training. We’re planning on Austin, Houston, Indianapolis and Columbus in February and March. Take a look and see if we’re closer to you!

Finally, let us know if you’d like us to come to your city!

We’re pretty excited about this evolution in our live training offerings. But don’t worry, you still get six months of support and access to our online training too! – we’d love to see you soon!


  • Rod Martin

    Rod holds two masters degrees and has been training people how to do "things" for over 25 years. Originally from Australia, he grew up in Canada and now resides just outside Cincinnati, Ohio. He has worked in both the non-profit and for-profit worlds, in small companies and large corporations. His extensive open source experience includes WordPress, Joomla and Drupal and he really knows how to help you get the most out of the system you chose. Rod plays ice hockey a couple of times a week and rides his Goldwing motorcycle pretty much everywhere he can.

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