Geeks With Blogs
Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer

First of all, as a computer science trainer for many years, I'm biased to classroom training. As a trainer, you can see someone's eyes and determine if your students are learning concepts that you are teaching.  I will adjust my presentation if needed so that the majority of the audience understands. There's always that minority that needs more help. Also, as a student, getting one on one help is the best way to learn.

However, as you might know, there might not be a class in what you need to learn or you don't have the money for the course along with the travel expenses that goes along with that.

So what's the alternative? The first thing that comes to my mind are free code camps that are happening across the country. Granted the trainers are not professional trainers and might have a hard time being nervous for the presentation or worse yet having equipment problems during the presentation. What I see from that trainer is motivation. Motivation to share their knowledge with you during that presentation. In addition, you get to meet others who want to learn as well.  We have several code camps in the state of Florida. Our Microsoft Guru, Joe Healy aka DevFish does a great job promoting Code Camps and getting involved. Joe knows a lot of people and if you are looking for help on something, he'll hook you up with someone to help you.

User groups are another way to learn new concepts. There are more and more of these groups popping up across the country and now groups are specialized. XNA groups, DotNetNuke groups, SQL groups, .NET groups etc. You can go to codezone to find groups in your area.

Books are another way to learn. As you know, some books are better than others and some chapters in books are better than others as well. Books with code samples are always helpful to learn how things are done. I am sure that you have several books on your shelf that you still go back to when needed. I know I do as I stare at my bookcase full of DotNetNuke, Programming and other books.  I have always like books from Wrox even before I became an author for them.

Videos are another way to learn new concepts. Bob Tabor has a great series of programming videos that I like. Bob has been around for a long time and has been endorsed by Microsoft as well. When I was learning DotNetNuke, I used the videos that traincert had. The prices for video lessons are quite reasonable but you don't get help directly from the vendor if you get stuck on something or you have a bug in your code etc. Traincert has videos on ASP.NET, VB.NET and C#. Dnncreative has accumulated a great deal of video training for DotNetNuke. To date, they have 365 videos.

Always preview a sample of the videos. Sometimes you might not like the accent that the trainer might have and you have a hard time following along. Check out youtube for free videos. I did find some that were helpful in my learning.

Finally, e-learning classes are an alternative to live learning. Online lectures are good to have because you can see how things work by the teacher.

Everyone learns differently. Remember, Learning Never Ends! Good luck and learn something new today!

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Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 10:10 AM | Back to top

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