What Is a Dev Training Environment & How to Use them Efficiently

What Is a Dev Training Environment & How to Use them Efficiently

Every other type of environment has been mentioned so far, except for training environments. Yet they are essential for learning about the software you’re working on and coming up with solutions to bugs or other issues.

This article explains what training environments are, how you can leverage them within your team, some common challenges you could face, and the benefits of using training environments. Towards the end, we’ll also show you how Bunnyshell’s Environment as a Service solution can help you set up training environments. 

What Is a Training Environment?

A training environment is an educational setting designed to assist individuals in gaining new skills or familiarizing themselves with a product. You can use them for multiple scenarios, from software rollouts before releasing into production to helping trainers provide hands-on guidance on the operating system. They can also have the configuration of a test environment.

Training environments can be helpful for new hires, returning team members, or onboarding and training business partners and stakeholders. Participants can access online training sessions from anywhere, on any device. This is especially helpful when you need to conduct training for a new feature, technology, or if there’s a need for additional experimenting within an environment. 

Training Environment Use Cases 

In software development, training environments can be considered more like a playground. Developers (or other stakeholders) can log into the environment and check out features, upgrades, and test new configurations. 

Consider the following use cases:

  1. A dev team wants to optimize a database and offer training for new software and features. Environments are all created equal for each of the training participants. From there, you can have exercises (with slightly varied datasets) to solve various problems or issues within the environment.
  2. A sales team wants to demo something for a client to show them how the platform works. Similarly, you can onboard new colleagues and show them how the app works. 
  3. You have a customer support team, and you need to train them on certain user issues that may come up. These issues don’t come up naturally, so you have to simulate them. This is essentially a “broken environment”. Say you have one such environment - a user is missing a phone number, although that’s required to move on to the next step in the app. You have a bug somewhere in your code and you need to find it. You may create multiple environments where you test different configurations to eliminate code issues. That way, when you move to the testing or production environment, you’re already bug-free. Additionally, your team can be aware of various types of customer issues. 

Training Environments Common Challenges

  • There’s a need for additional storage (can’t really expand without the flexibility of the cloud)
  • They aren’t as frequently updated as other environments (but they should be; you want them to be carbon copies of your production environment to be useful)
  • Learners playing around in training environments can mess things up
  • The dev team doesn’t care for your training environment. They’re keener on developing and testing the software 
  • The dev team also doesn’t realize that as they make updates to an environment or dataset, it can impact the training you’ve already designed
  • Training environments aren’t used every day, so they may fail and you might not know.

Benefits to Creating Dev Environments for Training

To combat the challenges of creating a training environment, you need a scalable model to update and modify environments without requiring participants to keep track of or install new software updates. Enter: Environment as a Service (EaaS). Using an EaaS solution for training environments can have many benefits, and we list some below:

  • Training environments can be extremely successful for IT training (and not only)
  • Compared to test environments, training environments are more reliable. This is because, through training environments, you’re able to experiment with and test different features or datasets to get the best possible outcome. Conversely, with test environments, you’re only able to test the features or upgrades already developed
  • You can create product demos more quickly and efficiently than before, making onboarding and training business partners and stakeholders faster and more efficient. Instead of the onboarding process taking hours, it will only take you minutes to do
  • You can create a large number of training environments because EaaS has a cost-effective environment implementation. Since you may sometimes need to create hundreds of different training environments to fix bugs or train multiple stakeholders, cost efficiency is a top priority
  • You don’t have to manually create these training environments; this is especially useful when creating many environments. 

Learn more about online training environments and other environments in our What is EaaS article. 

Expert Training Leads to Excellent Apps

Broad knowledge comes from a learner going “off-road” and playing around with the software in a training environment. The level of accessibility a training environment offers also makes learning easier for stakeholders and gives consumers a better overall impression of your product. 

Bunnyshell allows you to incorporate an EaaS solution for your training environments, whatever you may need them for. You won’t have to sacrifice quality, and your team will always feel like they have the support they need to train for new features or updates accordingly. Read more about all of the environments EaaS helps with below:

Enable High Velocity Development

Breakaway from the inability to quickly deploy isolated environments of any specification.