RIPE NCC Training Survey Results

Sandra Brás — Jul 01, 2014 02:19 PM
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At the beginning of each year and after each course we send a survey to our members who participated in our training courses. Our goal is to find out if what the participants learn in these courses is useful for their daily operations. We use this feedback to adjust our courses as much as possible to our members' learning needs. Please find below the results of the yearly 2014 survey.
The results below cover all courses offered in 2013 by the RIPE NCC and the live Webinars:
  • IPv6 course
  • LIR course
  • RIPE Database course
  • Routing Security course

IPv6 Course

We received 128 responses from members who participated in one of the IPv6 courses provided in 43 cities in our service region.
It is interesting to see that 68% of the respondents already had an IPv6 allocation and were providing IPv6 services prior to attending the course. Of those who did not yet have an IPv6 allocation, lack of customer demand was the biggest hurdle (see more details in Figure 1 below). You can enlarge all images by clicking on them.
Reasons not to deploy IPv6
Figure 1: Reasons why LIRs don't deploy IPv6 (yet)
Many attendees stated that the course helped them to understand the need for deploying IPv6, how IPv6 works and where to find additional information.
When asked which topics were most useful, the following scored the highest:
  • IPv6 addressing plan
  • IPv6 basics
  • How to get an IPv6 allocation
But "how to make IPv6 assignments in the RIPE Database" and "transition mechanisms" also scored very highly. The exercises were also viewed very positively: "well thought out, interactive and helped grasp an understanding of implementing IPv6 across a network".

The interaction between participants in the RIPE NCC courses is always a positive factor that the participants mention. In the case of this specific course, it was useful  "to get a feeling how far along others are and what obstacles they are facing".

As for suggestions for future IPv6 courses, the participants mentioned the following:

  • Provide courses online
  • More information on transition and more real case scenarios
  • More hands-on exercises

LIR Course

We received 81 responses from members who participated in one of the LIR courses provided in 36 cities in our service region. After the course they found the following actions the easiest to do:

  • Querying the RIPE DB
  • Using the LIR Portal
  • Registering IPv4 assignments in the RIPE DB
Enabling Resource Certification, discussing policies on the working group mailing lists and de-registering unused resources from the DB were considered by the participants the least easy to do by the participants. See the distribution of all responses in Figure 2 below.

Most useful topics in LIR CourseFigure 2: Actions the participants found the easiest to do after the course

We received the following suggestions and comments:
  • One more day
  • More IPv6 exercises
  • More hands-on exercises
  • Courses conducted in Russian
Some of the participants felt that the fact that they could share ideas with other people who work in the same field is an additional benefit of the training courses: "teamwork with other people with the same position/work tasks".
In general, the participants think that "all aspects within the course are very interesting".

RIPE Database Course

We received 53 responses from participants of one of the RIPE Database courses delivered in 24 cities in our service region. According to the participants, the following topics were the easiest to do after the course:

  • Querying the RIPE DB
  • Updating objects in the RIPE DB
  • How to find contact information in the DB
It is very interesting to see that, according to 14% of the participants who took the survey, RIPEStat can help them in querying the RIPE Database. See the detailed responses below in Figure 3.
Most useful topics in DB CourseFigure 3: Topics the participants have a better understanding of after the course.
According to the participants, the most useful topics for their jobs that were covered in this course were "updating objects and querying the RIPE Database". It was mentioned that "the querying (part) was nice and in-depth".
The participants are very happy with how practical and hands-on the RIPE Database course is and the way the RIPE NCC trainers deliver the course: "the delivery from the RIPE NCC trainers was stellar!".
Nevertheless, some participants suggested that we could have "more exercises" and "further practical implementation of adding data to the Test Database and management of IP assignments". Other participants think that the amount of exercises is enough.

Routing Security Course

We received 21 responses from LIRs that participated in  one of the Routing Security courses provided in 12 cities in our service region.

We were happy to see that right after the course 16 people (76%) added a route object and 15 (71%) updated their routing policy in the RIPE Database.

Most participants had not yet set up resource certification (RPKI) for the address space maintained by them, many stated that they would request a certificate and create route origin authorisation (ROA) soon after the course  (see Figure 4 below).

RPKI StatusFigure 4: Status of RPKI deployment after Routing Security course

See below what topics attendees found most useful:
Most useful topics in Routing Security Course
Figure 5: Most useful topics in Routing Security course
It is interesting to see that maintaining resources in the RIPE Database (creating and updating objects) scores pretty high in all courses. We will think about how we can make this process easier and more straight forward. We will also take all of the other suggestions into account.

Meeting RIPE NCC staff in person

One question that we always ask all the participants in our training courses is how important it is for them to meet the RIPE NCC staff in person, since most of the communication between the RIPE NCC and the LIRs is done by e-mail. For 53,4% of the participants who took the survey, meeting the RIPE NCC staff in person is very important. For only 3,35%, it is not important (see Figure 6 below).

Importance of meeting RIPE NCC staff in person.Figure 6: Importance of meeting RIPE NCC staff in person
This shows that, although we will keep organising more online learning opportunities to the RIPE NCC members, it is important to keep organising onsite training courses to benefit from face-to-face interaction with our members.

Webinars

In 2013, the RIPE NCC offered four different Webinar topics for LIRs, and we held 40 Webinar sessions. The topics offered were:

  • Introduction to the RIPE Database
  • RIPE Database - Advanced topics
  • Resource Certification (RPKI)
  • IPv6 in the RIPE Database

Overall, the participants are very satisfied with the Webinar experience.

Satisfaction with the Webinar experienceFigure 7: Level of satisfaction with webinars

For the participants, the advantages of this type of learning experience are the "quick and precise learning", a "short and interesting presentation" and the fact that they can "learn small topics of interest at the moment".

The participants also mentioned the fact that it saves travel costs and that they get the chance "to improve my knowledge of the RIPE NCC's services without leaving my workplace". It is a "very useful way to pick up knowledge without having to do the research personally". Therefore, it doesn't only save on travel costs, but it also saves our members' time.

The fact that the Webinars are recorded and the recording is sent to the participants is mentioned as beneficial. Another positive aspect of the Webinars is that they are live and interactive: "one can ask questions! :)".

The RIPE NCC Webinars have been very well accepted by our members, and, based on their suggestions in the surveys, we added two new Webinar topics in 2014:

  • Webinar for new LIRs
  • IPv6 Addressing Plan Webinar.

We would like to thank all our course and Webinar participants for their feedback.

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