What is the best developer e-learning platform?

What is the best developer e-learning platform?

Welcome to the latest news from TalkIT. This month we are looking at learning to code on the web.What makes a good developer e-learning platform? Is it clear videos, a wide range of courses, in-depth information? ID-100260258Please add your comments at the bottom of the blog. These are just some thoughts, based on 12 years experience training and developing. I would really like to hear your ideas. Or tell us what you want with this short survey. If you complete this you will be entered for a £25 Amazon gift voucher draw. Short easy survey Contents Introduction TalkIT: e-learning for software developers Do Microsoft Certifications really matter? Can you solve this coding problem? Other Bits


In the August newsletter I asked the question: How do you learn to code on the web ? There was a huge response to this question. This included the 32 comments to date on the C# Developers / Architects LinkedIn group. LinkedIn comments This is one of the most interesting comments:

YouTube has a surprisingly large amount of good quality free video content. I personally subscribe to several RSS feeds, to keep track of emerging trends, and begin with a standard sample project that I have used for years, to trial new technologies and / or approaches. Then search Google, GitHub, Codeplex, CodeProject, StackOverflow, Microsoft Virtual Academy, etc, and use this research to refine my personal approach to creating a series of ‘reference implementations’, templates and code snippets that I can refer back to for inspiration for future projects. Pluralsight seems to be good quality, and I would sometimes be tempted to buy a month’s subscription if the topic warranted it (John Papas SPA series for example). And…. don’t forget to discuss with and learn from your colleagues too!

Daniel Nunes Software Engineer Big thanks to anyone who added a comment. Here is a brief distillation of the views expressed. This is the number of mentions in the Linked In comments:

PluralSight     17 Google            9 CodeProject     8 StackOverflow 7 YouTube           4 Channel 9         3

Pluralsight is popular for the depth and range of it courses. Google searches work for instant problem solving. Plus there are a whole range of approaches people adopt depending on the scenario. Developers, as one would suspect are very good at hunting out information on the web. They create their own learning strategies that employ different websites.  

  No. 1 %
W3 Schools United States 21.40%
Treehouse United States 27.60%
Codecademy United States 27.30%
Code Project India 32.90%
Lynda United States 51.50%
Pluralsight United States 32.00%
Tuts+ United States 20.10%
Codeschool United States 29.60%
sitepoint India 22.40%
Udacity United States 27.20%

 Audience Geography


TalkIT: e-learning for software developers

TalkIT has created its own e-learning platform for software developers. This is aimed at developers who have some experience but want to deepen and extend their skills. Our tutorials will show you step-by-step how to build business applications and databases. They are currently free. Take a look: Traininghttp://talk-it.biz/training/tutorials/ Our tutorials will show you how to use a technology, but also look at why you would use it. Its strengths and weaknesses are explained. While software development is a craft that is mostly learnt by doing, developers also need to evaluate languages. On the TalkIT website there are a wide range of tutorials. The topics include:

  • SQL Server Development
  • SQL Server Administration
  • Visuals Studio
  • Programming in C# and VB using OOP
  • ASP.Net MVC & Web Forms
  • HTML 5
 Developers like to learn programming by building real applications.  This is similar to what they would do when working on a project for their companies. This is best done in stages, with new features introduced at each stage. For simplicity, each stage focuses only on a single feature. The complete application solves a real problem and demonstrates best practice. It can be used as a model for future applications.
The TalkIT tutorials guide students through a series of structured labs to create a business application. One of the most useful features are downloads of the completed applications. Developers can compare what they are building, with the completed correct application. In this way they can make sure they are on track. Alternatively, they can learn by investigating the completed application.
Video clips show in detail how to work with the development environment. Samples of the code required to build the application are included. These can be edited and copied to assemble the application.
The tutorials provide a balance of guidance, interest and challenge.
I have not fully investigated all our e-learning competition. But I do not think many of them are as comprehensive as we are. Some use only video. This is helpful to quickly learn individual features, but it is hard to build a real business application from video clips only. Some focus on basic code syntax. While this is necessary, today’s developers need to build complete complex systems that meet client requirements. Our tutorials show them how to do this.Logo TalkIT

The TalkIT tutorials have been created over the last 2 years. The site has been getting lots of global traffic, so we think we are doing something right. This year we have written some innovative courses that will be published in early September. We aim to support people to learn in an effective and enjoyable way. Can you support by giving us feedback? You can add comments at the bottom of each tutorials.

Do Microsoft Certifications really matter?

This question was asked on a developer forum. Also asked were:

  • If so, what are those certifications and their value in market?
  • How to get training, materials and certified?

Microsoft Certifications definitely can demonstrate your proficiency. The exams require that you get to know the technologies in depth. They will force you to learn topics you normally would not focus on. There is a wide and sometimes confusing range of certifications. Microsoft also frequently changes their certification system. Here is the current manifestation. https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-gb/visual-studio-certification.aspx I have passed 13 MCP exams over a period of about 10 years. These helped structure my learning and gain recognised qualifications. So I am an MCPD, MCSD, MCTS … It can all get a bit confusing! You could start with a MTA – Microsoft Certified Technical Associate. This has 3 tracks, IT infrastructure, Database and Developer. Then upgrade to a MCSD – Microsoft Certified Solution Developer. Including certifications on your CV or mentioning them at an interview will give you an advantage. Employers take this, combined with your job experience, as concrete evidence of your skill. You can study by yourself or attend courses at a training centre. Microsoft provides official courses that prepare you for exams. You can only take these at a Microsoft certified training centre. You can also do practice exams to prepare. These have questions similar to a real exam. Practice exams can really help you get ready for the real thing. I recommend that you pass the practice exam, then take the real thing. TalkIT’s classroom and e-learning courses will help prepare you for exams. There are also free tutorials on this website. Also take a look at our course outlines. http://talk-it.biz/category/courses/our-courses  Passing an exam requires good exam technique, as well as knowledge. The exams are mostly multiple choice. You are presented with a coding situation and asked to select the best option. There is a lot to consider in a short space of time. So the pressure is on. At the end of the exam you are told if you have passed or failed. You are also given your score on different sections. If you fail, you can always re-sit the exam.

Can you solve this coding problem?

ID-100211544Here is a coding puzzle. The aim is to write a short and elegant program. Write a program in a language of your choice the outputs the mathematical constant e. The constant occurs in many branches of maths.  

  1. Calculate the value of e using a series
  2. Display the results.

  The number e is an important mathematical constant that is the base of the natural logarithm. It is approximately equal to 2.71828. Great! But how do we derive it in code? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_%28mathematical_constant%29  The constant e (Euler’s Number) can be found by this infinite series. Where 3! is 3 factorial, i.e. 1*2*3.                e = 1 + 1/1 + 1/2! + 1/3! + 1/4! – …

 Other Bits

New online tutorials in MVC, C#.Net and HTML5 will be added to the TalkIT website in September. They cover a wide range of relevant topics and can help you prepare for Microsoft exams. They are roughly equivalent to a 4 day training course. Take an advanced look at what is in the courses: MVC http://talk-it.biz/course/training-in-asp-net-mvc-4-web-development/ C# http://talk-it.biz/course-products/csharp/ HTML5 http://talk-it.biz/course/html5-css3-javascript/  

Photos www.freedigitalphotos.net/

David Ringsell 2014 ©


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