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Applescript Pro FAQs

We realize that attending multiple-day training event is a significant investment of time and money. Below, we are trying to provide as much information as possible to help you in making a decision. If you have any additional questions, please e-mail us.

What time are the classes?
Monday-Friday, the sessions begin at 8:30 am and ends at 4:00 pm. Each day is followed by an optional bonus session from 4:15-5:00 pm.

How many people attend each session?
Our average class size is about 25. With two main instructors plus guest speakers, that makes for an excellent student-teacher ratio. See the sidebar for partial list of the companies that have sent people to previous sessions.

Are these sessions appropriate for someone with no experience with AppleScript or any programming language?
There's no doubt that some beginners will feel overwhelmed by the pace and depth of the course. However, our experience has shown that full immersion in AppleScript for five days provides a beginner with the best opportunity for success. We like to use an analogy of someone learning to swim. We could proceed at a very slow pace, and hope that every student retains all the information covered. Beginners might then leave the session confident they can swim, but return home and find they had learned only enough to get their feet wet. At AppleScript Pro, some beginners may feel overwhelmed at times, but we believe the experience will be memorable, and help them remember how to tackle real-world scripting challenges. Plus, they will have the course sample scripts, in addition to the support available on our alumni mailing list (see below).

Will veteran scripters learn anything?
Lots! We can say that with confidence because of our experience with advanced scripters at previous sessions. With the number of applications now supporting AppleScript, it is certain than no one person knows everything about scripting (if they did, or thought they did, they would be insufferable to be around regardless). Our sessions help fill in gaps for experienced scripters who are usually self-taught. Scripters also learn by talking and mixing with their fellow scripters—that's one of the reasons we choose venues like Monterey.

What if I have questions after the sessions are over?
Learning AppleScript is a continuing experience that extends beyond the classroom. For that reason, we have set up a mailing list for AppleScript Pro alumni. There, you can ask questions and receive responses from Shane, Ray, or other alumni. Soon enough, you'll probably find yourself answering some of the questions.

Do you offer what I need?
AppleScript Pro Sessions is not based on a static curriculum. We are continually updating the coursework as software is upgraded, and we also try to customize each class as much as possible for those in attendance. Before each event, we send out a pre-event survey so we can be aware of not only the experience level of each attendee, but also their goals. The final curriculum takes all this into account.

I've done some simple tasks with AppleScript by revising scripts created by others, but I still don't feel like I know how to read a dictionary and start from scratch. Will this be covered in detail?
Yes. Learning to understand the object model and reading a dictionary are the keys to becoming a successful scripter. We cover the details of how to approach the dictionary of an application for the first time, and how to understand all the information dictionaries contain.

I still find that my best way to learn is from looking at sample scripts. Do you provide a CD with every script covered in class?
Yes. Our CD includes every example shown in class, plus more. And they are organized in such a way as too help you with the most common tasks you will confront when scripting an application. The scripts are fully commented, and include explanations of idiosyncrasies or bugs with suggested workarounds.

Why two instructors?
If you think five solid days of sessions sounds a bit daunting, spare a (small) thought for us. By splitting the workload, we can concentrate on different areas. And having two main instructors plus guests helps us to spend more time individually with each class member, whether on breaks or at the start or end of each day. One more bonus: Shane and Ray don't agree on every point. You get to hear both sides of some arguments. And you certainly get contrasting accents.

Do alumni ever come back for future sessions?
Yes. In many cases, alumni come back to find out the latest info after upgrades to major applications or the OS itself, or to take a second look at some of the more advanced topics covered in class. Most alumni mention the value of the sample scripts received on the course CD. Lastly, students also return because they recognize the great value of getting together with other experienced scripters to share tips, tricks, workarounds, and other experiences.

Can I bring my laptop?
Sure. While this is not a hands-on course, we encourage everyone to bring a laptop and follow along with the class as they want. Laptops will also help with examining the course CD immediately, and working on solutions inspired during the sessions.

Will you be able to answer all of my questions about my scripting needs?
Shane and Ray are both full-time developers, not full-time trainers. As such, they are able to answer most questions, and in many cases suggest a faster route to workflow solutions. If they can’t answer a question, other scripters and automation experts in attendance may help. That’s just one of the great virtues of having experienced scripters (and Mac users) gathered together.

Is the course up-to-date with all the latest versions of software?
To the minute! Well, almost. We have covered major application upgrades introduced only days before a session began. If the upgrades are very recent, we cover them in relation to, and along with, previous versions, and in cases where there are significant numbers still using older versions, we cover them too. But if anything gets upgraded a week before you turn up, don't be surprised if you see it covered in detail.

Will internet access be available in the meeting room?
Yes. Broadband access will be available in the meeting room.

Why can't I attend only one or two days?
Logistics meets economics—because we tightly limit overall numbers, we have to try to balance the days out. We also believe the mixing and sharing between attendees is very important, and we want to encourage it as much as possible.

Why are you covering Microsoft Excel and not Apple Numbers?
Only one of them is scriptable.

Do you offer this course on video or in a CD format?
No. Mass production of static, one-way training is just not our thing.

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