Apple Reportedly Ends Cupertino-Based Genius Bar Training

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

For years, Apple has sent new Genius hires to its Infinite Loop headquarters in Cupertino, or sometimes an auxiliary campus in Austin or Atlanta, to receive hands-on training for up to three weeks. Recently, however, Apple appears to have stopped offering these group-oriented trips, according to people familiar with the matter.

Apple’s off-site Genius Training program has been replaced by an in-store, self-guided experience using company-provided reference materials, according to a source. The training now involves watching web-based seminars through the Apple Technical Learning Administration System, or ATLAS, another source said.

At its Cupertino headquarters, Apple had a small training facility with a mock Genius Bar and Macs set aside specifically for trainees to take apart and perform test repairs on. But with the switch to web-based seminars, Apple is allegedly providing “virtual take aparts” only now, with no physical hardware.

Via former Genius Stephen Hackett:

I went to Cupertino for my training in October 2007. While I am confident that the experience has changed in the intermediate decade, I can say that the two weeks I spent in California were well worth it.

I bet most members of the public aren’t aware that their Apple Store technician was trained at Appleā€™s headquarters. Hackett posted some of his notes from his training, and it’s seems like taking apart real devices with in-person help was beneficial to his learning experience. Disassembling virtual devices while watching a video doesn’t really seem like an adequate substitute.