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Apple’s off-site Genius Training program has been replaced by an in-store, self-guided experience using company-provided reference materials, according to a source.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 Apple’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.