I first started programming at school. This was in the computer Stone Age, when you had to save programs on paper tape punched with holes.
I enjoyed this so much that I went on to study Computer Science at Sussex University. I then got a job with ICL working on mainframe computer operating systems, including a spell on a European Union project in Luxembourg. From there I moved to education, including lecturing and writing IT tutorials for Middlesex University.
Over the last 8 years I have been training software developers in Visual Studio and SQL Server. I have worked with many companies, particularly when they are starting a project using a new technology. I aim to support companies to get the most out of their investment in IT.
Creating Web Tutorials
I always wanted to create web tutorials in Visual Studio and SQL Server. I realised that online tutorials are very different from face-to-face delivery.
I designed the online training to be very clear to follow, but also concise and interactive. I always start with structure of a tutorial. The tutorials contain labs that teach a specific skill.
What You Will Get Out Of Doing A Tutorial
They will get a really good understanding of how to work with aspects of Visual Studio and SQL Server. They can do this where they want and when they want. They can select only the tutorial or tutorial chapters that are relevant to them and ignore the rest.
By completing tutorials you can improve your skills and career prospects. You can use the tutorials to help them prepare for an exam, for example a Microsoft certification. Each tutorial focuses on a different topic. The tutorials introduction contains a clear list of objectives. For example there is a tutorial in programming in C#. You can follow simple and concise instructions to build solutions.
The tutorials contain screenshots to make these instructions easy to follow. Learners can paste in code from the tutorial to save typing and can also download a prebuilt solution and then compare this to the application they are building.
This approach offers many advantages over tutorials that just contain only video clips. By following the stages, learners will become confident that they can master a product.
A Tip For Software Developers Looking To Enhance Their Skills
Learn the theory and then do the practical. First gain a good understanding of the principles, purpose and limits of a new technology. Next, start to build an application using the technology.
Many developers start to build something, and may even get it to work, without really knowing what exactly they are doing, or why. That is why having a good understanding is important. With software development, theory and practice go hand in hand.
For the practical bit, it is fine to start by copying code or following step-by-step instructions. But then try, by yourself, building a program from scratch. That is when you really get a sense of achievement.
David Ringsell 14/04/2013