10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 11, 2016 3:20 AM by Heather Leventry

    How did you learn to develop applications on the BMC AR System Platform?

      bmc logo.pngLearning Remedy AR System


      About 8 years ago, I started working at BMC. I was hired as a Technical Instructor. My first assignment was to learn the course content of a course called BMC Remedy AR System 7.1: Administering – Part 2. The goal was to be able to teach the course in 3 months. I never used AR System in my life. The process of learning the content for the course consisted of self-study, listening to other instructors teach the course, and presenting the course to other instructors (my peers). After 3 months, I taught the course for the first time. It was very stressful because some students knew a lot more than I did. They would ask challenging questions that I could not answer right away. I learned a lot by researching the answers to the questions that the students asked during class. After teaching AR System for a couple of years I started teaching CMDB, ITSM, and Remedy Knowledge Management. Each time I followed the same process I did to learn Remedy AR System: self-study, listening to other instructors and finally, presenting to my peers. When I was learning the content for the ITSM and CMDB courses, I put myself in the shoes of the students. What would I like to know that was not in the course? I started leaning those things and presenting them too.

      keys to learning.jpgKeys to learning


      By teaching the courses I learned a lot more than I would have if I just read the documentation or took one course. The other key was that each time I taught I had to answer questions from students. Students did not ask the questions the same way each week and they did not ask about the same topics. I learned by engaging with others about AR System.


      Today, I develop courses (not teach) about the AR System platform. Because I am developing courses, I have to think about how other people learn. I spend a lot of time thinking and researching what is the best way to present the material to you. Part of my research includes referencing learning models such as Bloom’s Learning Taxonomy. For the most part, it is about understanding business objectives and then showing the learner how to meet the objectives with software.




      Since I am constantly learning about learning I am very self-aware of my own learning style. I recently read, Brain Rules by John Medina. There are 12 Brain Rules. There are rules about sleep, stress, and exercise to name a few. One of my aha moments while reading this book was that in order to learn more I needed to get enough sleep and exercise. I must have intrinsically known this because when I taught ITIL®, I would tell the students 4 things to do to prepare to take the exam the next day:

      • Go Home
      • Eat Dinner
      • Workout
      • Don’t stay up all night studying. Get your rest.

      Neuroscience or brain-based learning is a hot topic in learning and development today. Information is at our finger tips. However, turning information into knowledge or wisdom is difficult.


      learning.jpgHow do you learn?


      I am continuing to build courses for AR System and would like your help.  If you had to learn AR System or any programming language all over again, How would you do it?

      • Would you like videos on how to perform certain tasks that are available when you need them?
      • Would you like to take a 5 day course presented by an instructor?
      • Would you like to take a course online over the course of many weeks that consisted of videos, lab exercises (homework), office hours with an instructor, and an online forum to post questions?
      • Something else?


      Help me build the best classes for you.  Post your comments and stories below. I can’t wait to hear from you!


      @Laurie Cremona Wagner, @Elaine Miller, @ Nick Barnes, @Kym Ledford, @Geoffrey Bergren, @Rodney Morton, @Terri Lawrence, @Kim Wharton

        • 2. Re: How did you learn to develop applications on the BMC AR System Platform?
          LJ LongWing


          I love reading stories like this because it takes me back to when I was first learning Remedy...the intricacies, the quirks, the way that Remedy does things just different than other languages that makes it unique.  I personally buck the traditional learning trends...I learn by reading, listening, AND doing .  For me, I think the best way that I learn however is with a purpose.  Start off with a base level of understanding, explain where a course is going, what blocks are necessary to get from here to there, and at the end of things, have a functional demo of the principals involved.  I need to then have the reference documentation available to me so that I can go back and re-read the information on the specifics that I might not have gotten all of the details on the first time, or that maybe I mentally bookmarked so I could go back and get more details later.  For me personally, watching videos can be useful, but if they are too long I tend to get distracted and not garner as much from them as I could otherwise.

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          • 4. Re: How did you learn to develop applications on the BMC AR System Platform?
            Derek Gowler

            Great post and thank you for some original content.

            • 5. Re: How did you learn to develop applications on the BMC AR System Platform?
              Brian Stone


              Personally I like to read it, see it, and then get to do it.  Reading is a must and videos are good provided they are short and guided towards the particular lesson objective - coupled with lab exercises.  Access to the instructor is always good, and the ability to collaborate with your peers in an on-line class is a nice feature if you feel stuck and need to reach out.  Having taken on-line college classes like that was nice;  for me anyway.

              • 6. Re: How did you learn to develop applications on the BMC AR System Platform?
                Suresh Kannan

                Well thought out post Heather Leventry I like to read, apply and I keep a cheat sheet for my retention sake.

                • 7. Re: How did you learn to develop applications on the BMC AR System Platform?
                  Barry Lindstrom

                  When I was in High School, I played Chess with my friend, Mike, every day at lunch.  I was not very good and Mike was a skilled player.  I lost every game, every day.  But, thanks to the wisdom of my basketball coach, "Never miss the same shot twice", I rarely repeated an opening or a strategy.  Thanks to Mike's skill, I learned what worked for him and what didn't work for me.  As I got better, I was able to challenge Mike with moves he had never seen before.
                  I still lost, but I started to understand why.

                  In 1994 when I started working with this thing called Remedy, there was no Mike. There were, however, 5 pseudo objects Forms, Fields, Links, Filters/Escalations, and Menus and a fairly simple set of rules for making them interact.
                  I played with these Pseudo Objects every day and every day I got lost.  I was sent to a week long Admin Class in, was it Sunnyvale?, yes, I think it was.  There I learned how these objects were supposed to play together.
                  I also learned that some of the things I needed to build, just weren't possible...or so it seemed to all the "experts"
                  at Remedy.
                  When I got back to my job, I was told "Since you are now the Remedy Expert, go and build a Help Desk, Asset Tracking, and an Action Item Request systems".  No detailed requirements.  No examples of how it was supposed to work.  BUT, "whatever you do, don't use the out of the box sample Help Desk, that's never going to work for US".

                  I "pre-internet" researched what a Help Desk should be. I  studied the "just answer the damn phone Help Desk process" currently in place.  And within a month I had written a user's manual reflecting how the process was going to work.  I then set about manipulating Remedy Objects to make them look and feel just like the User's Manual.


                  Along the way, I had to write some external scripts in perl and c-shell, to handle things Remedy just couldn't do,
                  but to my users, it was still all Remedy.
                  Then, being at Motorola, where all things are PROCESS, we developed a naming convention and a data dictionary that made most of our "code" self documenting.
                  Our apps and development process were wildly successuful, but management wanted more.
                  So they sent me to WWRUG, where ALL the Remedy "Mikes" convened annually.  Here I learned what worked for them AND they learned what would and wouldn't work for us. IT WAS GREAT!


                  Unlike Chess, the Remedy Game has changed. CUSTOMer's have been replaced by CONsumers and Administration and Configuration of one size fits all solutions has effectively replaced in-house Development.


                  But I digress...


                  How did I learn Remedy Development? as The Martian would say "I scienced the sh** out of it".

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                  • 8. Re: How did you learn to develop applications on the BMC AR System Platform?

                    Thanks for your feedback. If we follow a more scientific approach, we would have to offer you more than a 1 week course that contained massive amounts of information. We would have to:

                    • Teach some basics.
                    • Have you try a few things
                    • Give you some homework
                    • Get questions from you
                    • Find an expert who can answer to questions
                    • Review the answers
                    • Evaluate them.

                    But of course people don't have years to learn this stuff. What if we followed Josh Kaufman's method of 20 Hour Leaning?  That's probably my next blog. I read this book a while ago, but I need to refresh.

                    • 9. Re: How did you learn to develop applications on the BMC AR System Platform?
                      David Still

                      This is a bit more general rather than just applications but...


                      Since I work in Support, I learn by doing and use reading as a reference point to the stuff I'm currently doing or trying to do.


                      Remedy is a big product, and if I try to learn something new about it by just reading and not doing, it'll soon be forgotten or just not make sense because there is no context to it for me.


                      Additionally, I like to understand how things work because once I know this, I'm halfway there to fixing a problem.


                      It seems like a lot of the customer base like this too, since my Pulse blogs have been pretty popular (Memory Leaks or Admin Changes, Queues & Threads, Private Queues).


                      So maybe incorporate something along these lines, and from their perspective they might be halfway to understanding exactly what they want to achieve and what the best way to go about doing it is.


                      Finally, with each new version comes new features and sometimes a change in the way something works than it did in previous versions (for applications think overlays & granular overlays, and how to deal with them during an upgrade). These should be covered and explained (again an overview of how it works and why it changed) for the training that applies to this version.

                      • 10. Re: How did you learn to develop applications on the BMC AR System Platform?

                        Cute video on the 5 Moments of Learning. Meaningful to me because I have been trying to improve my egg cooking skills.

                        1 of 1 people found this helpful