Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why I'm liking Pluralsight

My department had scheduled to send each of us to training. We had different training classes, and the specific vendor for my class needed to cancel. That left me short notice to squeeze in different training by year end. So, being creative, I got an online subscription to Pluralsight instead of the traditional training.
PluralSight is a set of online .Net videos created by industry experts.  Each video seems 2-4 hours' worth of power point slides and code demos. It's worked out very well. What I'm liking so far:
·         Different medium - After 10 linear feet of books, I like the different medium. Hearing someone's voice seems to trigger a different part of the brain for remembering, and seeing the demo from end-to-end has obvious benefits over isolated screenshots in a book or article.
·         It's on-demand – It's hard to make it to physical events. I like the inherent benefit of on-demand training, where I can listen on my schedule (by which I mean everyone else's schedule - my kid's sleeping schedule, my company's work schedule, etc…)
·         Professional content - There are tons of free videos online, but these are often like reactionary scraps. To break the ice with a new technology, it helps to have a systematic 2-hour block that goes from end-to-end.
·         Track progress – Some personality types won't care about this, but I like how it tracks completion progress through courses. It's almost like finishing levels of a video game.
·         Coordinated – I don't need 10 videos all telling different or rehashed angles of the same thing (which is often what I'd find in a google search) – rather I need one good video that nails it, or a collection of videos that each explains their specific part well.
·         Continually Improving – They seem to come out with a few new "courses" every week.
It's getting to the point where rather than watch my favorite sitcom, I watch the next Pluralsight video.

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