What is your opinion about the developer learning/training offering these days?

Remo H. Jansen on January 22, 2019

Over the last few years, I have noticed an enormous change in the learning and training landscape. There has been an explosive growth in video ... [Read Full]
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Most of learning materials is a waste of time to me.
What you really need is :

  • Read the main documentation.
  • Practice on a REAL project with REAL use case.
  • Learn how to build abstraction using the tech/libraries of your choice.

Repeat.

 

Thats not actually true. There are good resources over there that give you great insight on how things works and how to apply the best practices. They are made from domain experts who spent time and effort to compile the best resources for you.

You can say that you save time by learning what's needed. So you pay for your time saved plus their expertise and effort. And one thing you cannot afford to waste in your life is time, especially if you have more responsibilities.

Documentation alone is not enough as it only touches simple cases. You need to keep an eye on public articles also explaining how organisations use that particular piece of technology.

 

You might get stuck the chicken-egg problem . The problem is, in order for you to know if a learning material is good enough for you, you have to:

  • Search that material by some ways (google, blogging,...)
  • Afford that material (or just read/watch if it's free)
  • Really spend time learning that materials.

So the whole process is actually NOT WORTH your time and your effort.

Good learning materials are very subjective topic.
So in general case, i don't recommend it if you're not an experienced reader.
That's why, my 1st comment is the most pragmatic way to achieve real knowledge.

If you are an experienced reader, you pick you battles. You may know what you need to learn next without further ado.

If you are not an experienced reader or just clueless you need peer recommendations, or someone who knows or recommends some good resources. Reviews here count. Ask and you will get some good ones. Plus having to see a free demo is easier and quicker than starting to build on your own Facebook just to understand how websites work. You can do this more efficiently.

Now if it's actually NOT WORTH your time and your effort is subjective, because in the short run you always have to spend some time searching anyway.

In a long run, I strongly believe that if you find the right material that will guide you through the process in a clear and concise way, coupled with a good narrative is priceless and I would more than happy to spend the extra buck to use this as a learning helper.

For example I would pay for this material here. It just happens to be free but its of a very good quality.

internetingishard.com/

 

What do you think about cases in which is very hard to get started? For example, create a new project with React and Webpack? It is now easy thanks to create-react-app but about a year ago was a nightmare and the online documentation was not easy to follow for beginners.

 

I think, if the main documentation for a tech/library is not good enough, then that tech/library is not good enough to trust/use.
ReactJS documentation is great since day 1, i've done many projects with React without any learning materials.
Rails is another example for good documentation and ecosystem documentation (most of documentation for Ruby gems is superb).
And many others ... too.

 

As someone that's just starting out, it definitely feels overwhelming how many courses and training materials there are out there. I feel like I need a course just to introduce me to all the different courses/routes I could take while I'm at square one.

I just recently started up Learn Python the Hard Way thinking I was going to get straight into some Python coding, but then I was pointed to the Appendix to learn some command line basics first. I also kind of wondered if I should have studied up on some theory or something before picking a language. In the end though, I trust that this resource figures I'm a total newbie, they'll probably try and explain some theory to me through the material as it's presented... hopefully. 🤞

 

Learn Git and basic command line in linux. It can help you in automating things and collaborate better as a developer once you had done with the book or course.

If you are interested in going for web development using Django I know a few good resources that can help you in becoming a Django developer. if that's what you look for when you are starting out.

 
 

An old teacher I had always told me everything could be found on the internet for free, so when I see a premium course or similar I often think twice about getting it. My overall feeling with the current offering is a good one. If I have to pay I don't pay more than 20 dollars because I don't trust those pages about a full course for an important amount of money. So far I haven't found a course or book I regret buying C:

 

Thanks for your feedback. Is there anything that you find particularly better or more convenient about structured courses when compared against free online resources?

 

Usually structured courses have more content, but nothing you couldn't find on a free course if you investigate enough.

 

I will pay for books, courses or tutorial series as long as it makes senses to me in terms of not wasting time to Google or picking the person's brain in the technology stack I plan to do.

I just choose to pick my own battles in terms of what I buy I guess.

Like I would go for books that help to teach development mindset or fundamentals like Clean Code or Phoenix Project.

Ultimately I pay for their voice & effort to condense what they know into something tangible which might be in a form of books, courses or workshops.

I treat it as I'm paying them to mentor me at my own dime and effort to absorb the material to create something in the real world from what I had learnt.

 

I think it's easier to say you can rely on free resources once you get into the process and grasp the skill of how to learn code. But I also think paid resources and programs are helpful for people needing the accountability, motivation, and support to really commit to learning, or possibly changing careers. There seem to be a lot of resources out there, but everyone learns differently, so I don't see a downside to having more resources to choose from.

 

In my opinion, beginners should choose instructor-led training rather than self-paced courses. Seasoned developers would benefit more from books and video training.

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