MURA CMS TRAINING CLASS
March 2011 Sacramento, CA
I just returned from the Mura CMS Training Class held in Sacramento, CA.
This 5 day class included a 1 day Administrative Training section, a 2 day Front-End Developer section and ended with a 2 day Programmer's Guide section. Each of the sections included print outs and exercises that the class could follow and implement to drive home the covered concepts, Most of the dozen of us stayed for the entire week of training; only a handful opted not to stay for the back end Programmer's Guide training on days 4 and 5. Each instructor provided course files that we downloaded and ran from our local ColdFusion installations on our own computers. One of the exercises we covered required an email server and the instructor was kind enough to set us up with a test account on the Mura system for those who did not have immediate access to a mailer server.
Day 1 of Mura CMS training was led by Malcolm who seemed very knowledgeable about how to use the Mura CMS in the real world. Malcolm took us through how to actually use the Mura CMS to build a web site. Each of the parts and pieces was discussed and reviewed, then implemented. He basically showed off how easy it is to build a pretty sophisticated looking web site in a very short time, leveraging all that the Mura CMS has to offer.
Days 4 and 5 of Mura CMS training was led by Matt, who is clearly a system architect and the mastermind of the backend programming piece of this CMS. This guy is scary smart and has clearly been around the software world for long time. If I had to summarize all of the Mura CMS wisdom that Matt imparted to our class (I'm still digesting it all, it was a lot) it was akin to what Sean had worked with us, except Matt's take was how to do everything programmatically, directly through the ColdFusion templates, CFCs and existing Mura CMS infrastructure. I'm not sure any of us were prepared for the amount of data that Matt dropped on us in as short amount of time (plus he's a fast talker), but in Sean's earlier class I was able to type some code and actively participate (read, "Bug Sean with questions"). In Matt's class it was all I could do to hold on and just grasp for the concepts. Of course everyone is available during breaks and after class for private Q&A so all ended well.
The entire Blueriver gang
is cool and easy going. And responsive. I encountered an error on the 2nd day of training implementing a site bundle using the Mura CMS, and by the next day I was able to download the fix which they had built right into a core file update. The hotel was nice, the training facilities were adequate and Blueriver took good care of us. Catered box lunches to die for and they even splurged for dinner one night! While some participants only stayed for the first part of training, most of us hung around for the entire week. It was a nice mix of skill sets; some of us were the self-employed kind, others came from the corporate world and the various industries represented by the class participants included internet hosting, the health care industry, the armed services, higher education and general web application development.
If You Plan on Taking the Mura CMS Training:
Be familiar with ColdFusion (obviously), HTML, CSS and JQuery.
Be familiar with web standards. Don't know what this is? Check out Jeffery Zeldman's Designing With Web Standards.
Have the latest version of Mura CMS (NOT the Mura Express version) downloaded and installed on your laptop (it will just simplify things and make everything go more smoothly).
Make sure your laptop's wireless connection works.
If you know Java and OOP that will help but not knowing it won't hold you back.
Come with your list of all possible Mura CMS questions — you'll get time to address them with the instructors and cover potential solutions.
In My Humbled Opinion:
Take the training. 3 months before the training class I converted a production site from a popular framework to the Mura CMS, and while I could have done a few things differently, it turns out I didn't really do anything "wrong". So I left the training feeling validated, but much better prepared to move my clients onto this cool content management system. Spend a little time with Mura CMS before hand and bring every question you have to the training, you'll get them all answered.
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