On September 18th, I conducted a JPA/Hibernate 3 lab at the Connecticut JUG. I allowed people to use either NetBeans 5.5 or Eclipse Dali. This was the first ever lab they had ever done at the JUG and everything worked out quite nicely for a hands-on lab.
Personally, I would do a few things differently the next time I do this lab. Firstly, I think I have to allow just one IDE (probably Eclipse). Two IDEs are just too difficult to support in a single session. Secondly, I think I need to have all required software available for distribution on the spot. No matter how many times you say it, people never seem to come prepared. Lastly, I think this lab needs to be about two-and-a-half hours to cover JPA to a reasonable degree. By the time I am done setup and running, the allotted time is over!
As usual, it was a pleasure to talk with JUG leader Ryan. He is one of the most down-to-earth people in the Java field that I know. In a field full of ego-maniacs, this is definitely refreshing.