Being new to LABVANTAGE and entirely new to the world of LIMS, I found it useful to take the introductory training class with Lisa Hagerty. I was informed about the option of taking the training online. However, hoping to steer clear of daily office distractions, I choose the classroom training instead. When I arrived at the class, 9 AM Tuesday morning, Lisa was there to greet me along with her first student.  The classroom was thoughtfully well-stocked with snacks, drinks and coffee, therefore creating a very inviting learning environment. Each student was given two training manuals: one of printed PowerPoint slides and the other, an exercise book.

Lisa began by running through several introductory PowerPoint slides. At first, I was a bit intimidated by the laboratory informatics jargon. I felt as though someone with little technical background would be lost in this type of learning environment. However, Lisa presented the material in ways that made it accessible to novice learners, such as myself. She presented slides of each chapter on topics such as: LABVANTAGE Architecture, the Jaguar Application Server, The LABVANTAGE Console and Parameters. At the end of each chapter were exercises to be completed on the computer.

 The exercises gave me the opportunity to apply what I had learned. This allowed me to better understand and absorb the technical lingo that Lisa was using. The exercises ranged from very basic steps, such as starting Jaguar, to more advanced maneuvers, such as how to create an ESIG Reference Type. We practiced releasing and deleting samples, creating templates and were able to see live site maps and tram lines. I soon found out that LABVANTAGE architecture had nothing to do with physical buildings. The console would not hold my morning Java, like in my trusty SUV, and I could not use my GPS to navigate the site maps. All humor aside, I found that, once applied, I absorbed the information more than I originally thought I would.

At the end of the training is the option of taking a test. Although not required, I chose to take it, curious as to what my score would be after 3 days of heavy LIMS training. Having said that, I realized that the uncertainty I felt at first was simply a fear of the unknown. I survived my first LIMS training class… and, much to my surprise, actually scored well on my test! Although, still no LIMS expert, I am glad I was able to experience LABVANTAGE in a hands-on, applicable way. It really helped me gain some solid insight into the inner workings of LABVANTAGE.

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