First Impressions: TekPub

OK Folks. I don’t do endorsements. I especially dislike commercial / corporate training. The trainers aren’t really experts. They didn’t create this stuff. They don’t even use this stuff. They just *teach* this stuff – day after day, city after city. I can learn 95% of the material with my laptop and 15 minutes with the slide deck.

What’s the alternative?

Blogs? They’re fine for keeping up with trends and knowing what the cool kids are doing, but if you’re trying to learn something from scratch, you’ve got to dig for the good stuff. The worst part about web 2.0 is that any idiot can start a blog about stuff he doesn’t really understand – even me.

Books? While I could recommend a few, the honest truth is that I’ve had a dozen queued up on my bookshelf for nearly a year. Even if you do take the time to read, the information is out of date before the book even hits your shopping cart. On top of that, you have no guarantee that the author is really an expert.

Here’s something different.

TekPub_logo Rob Connery @robconery and James Avery @averyj started That’s @tekpub on Twitter. It’s a library of professional screencast series by Rob, James, and other subject experts with names you’ll recognize. They’re not little 30 minute channel 9 interviews with obscure Microsoft PMs. First, the message is not corporate in any way, shape, or form. Second, the quality is amazing. The audio is clear. The text is crisp and easily readable. The images are both humorous and relevant to the topic.

They just launched. Here’s what’s out there already:

  • Mastering NHibernate – Oren Eini aka Ayende Rahien and Rob integrate NHibernate with Kona, an MVC storefront app. When it comes to NHibernate, Oren is a true master.
  • Building my own Blog – He’s Rob freakin’ Conery. He’s not setting up WordPress. He’s building a blog from scratch with MVC, lean techniques, AgileZen, BDD, MSpec, and a whole lot of other cool stuff – and taking you along for the ride.
  • Mastering Git – A full 3 hours dedicated to the ins and outs of Git. This will be the first one I watch.
  • Coder to Developer 2009 – Rob updates a classic book in screencast form. This one is free folks, so go watch.
  • Concepts – The first one covers IoC and DI with Ninject. Again, this one is free. The basics – stuff you should know - are free. This should be pretty awesome for training the new college grad on your team. When you need a break from the training pace, stick him in front of the conference room flat screen with a bucket of popcorn.

Even if you’re cheap, the previews and free stuff are worth a look. Personally, I hope they get Udi Dahan to talk about NServiceBus.

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