10 Pluralsight Courses–A Milestone

I just had my 10th Pluralsight course released; Building .NET Console Applications in C# teaches how to create well-designed, fully-featured .NET Console applications.

When I hit 7 courses I wrote Three Things I’ve Learned Being a Pluralsight Course Author and those learnings still stand but there’s three other things that I think I also appreciate more now.

1 Continuous Improvement

As the saying goes: practice really does make perfect; though aiming for “perfection” is probably not a path to happiness. To paraphrase Mother Teresa: don’t try to do great things in this life, just do small things with great love.

We did not weave the web of life, we are merely strands in it

Continuous improvement doesn’t just apply to code, it applies to ourselves as a whole. A the name of this site implies, if we don’t take good care of our health (mental, physical, spiritual) then our code will be affected adversely. We know this from our own experience, we can bang our head against a problem and stay late for hours only to leave work without success, feeling tired and unproductive. The next morning we start work and solve the problem in 10 minutes. We are not machines, we shouldn’t think of ourselves as such. We are not Human Resources, we’re just Human.

I’ve learnt loads by being a Pluralsight author, maybe one day I’ll make it to 20 courses, there’s one thing for sure: my 20th course will be better than my 1st. We should all look for and feel a sense of progress, if we aren’t then maybe it’s time to revaluate our circumstances.

The goal of getting better and making progress is, I think, a better goal than becoming perfect.

2 Gratitude

No matter how cool the things we do for work are, it’s easy for the common to become unconsciously ignored.

Having my 10th course published is probably a good time to reflect with gratitude.

I’m grateful for:

  • Being part of the Pluralsight vision to democratize online tech training for people around the world, because
  • The work I do on course production helps people to get better at what they do
  • The opportunity to create, and have what I create viewed by thousands of people around the world
  • Being part of what really is a revolution in tech training, and Pluralsight really is leading the way for tech training
  • And finally, simply being able to teach.

3 Changing the World

We sometimes don’t think of the ripples we send out into the world by our actions. No thing exists purely because of a single cause. A complex web of things brought the thing into existence.

Continuous improvement doesn’t just apply to code, it applies to ourselves as a whole

Take for example the clothes you are wearing right now. You aren’t wearing them simply because you bought them: someone made them, someone made the machine that made them, someone harvested the cotton that made them, someone planted the cotton, someone drilled the oil to make the diesel that delivered that t-shirt to the store, and so on.

In the same way, the work we do sends ripples into the world. When we make software, we change people’s lives. When someone learns and uses something from one of my courses, their software gets better, and their lives and the lives of their users is improved. This is a pretty amazing thing to be part of.

“We did not weave the web of life, we are merely strands in it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves” – Chief Seattle.

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New Pluralsight Course: SpecFlow Tips and Tricks

My latest Pluralsight course was released today: SpecFlow Tips and Tricks is a short course to help those who are relatively new to SpecFlow and those who have been using it for a while and want to create more maintainable testing solutions.

The course focuses on 3 main areas:

  • Steps and Bindings
  • Hooks and Scoped Bindings
  • Step Parameters and Data Tables

This course is a loose follow-up to my previous Automated Acceptance Testing with SpecFlow and Gherkin course that covers the Gherkin DSL and other fundamental SpecFlow topics.

You can check out the course on the Pluralsight website or on my author page.

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Kill Your Productivity Demons with my New Pluralsight Course

My new Pluralsight course Personal Productivity & Performance Tools for Windows Developers “get more done in less time” has just been released.

It covers a range of developer-focused and general productivity tools that you can mix and match to suit your way of working.

“We’re constantly under pressure to be more productive. Learn how to use these tools to improve your productivity, streamline your workflows, and get more done in less time. ”

The course consists of:

  • Reduce Typing with AutoHotkey
  • LINQPad – A C# / VB.NET Scratchpad
  • Starting Programs and Websites with SlickRun
  • Take Control of your Clipboard with ClipX
  • Remember What you Did with TimeSnapper
  • Making the Internet Work for You with IFTTT
  • Free Image Editing with Paint.NET

You can find this course along with my other courses on the Pluralsight author page.

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Three Things I’ve Learned Being a Pluralsight Course Author

Up to this point I’ve produced 7 Pluralsight courses, these are three things I learned along the way:

Be Flexible with Plans

In our industry, “plan the work, and work the plan” is rarely successful – look at the rise of agile software development. So too in producing courses.

Just because I plan to record today, doesn’t mean mother nature won’t throw a wild (noisy) storm at me, or that the new houses being built close by won’t require a thunderous earth-moving machine to be used, or that there wont be a biplane show nearby.

This is definitely a valuable lesson in general: when we grasp desperately at our plans and treat them as if our lives depend on them, we just create unnecessary stress for ourselves. Sometimes you just have to push through regardless, and sometimes you have to let it go; wisdom is knowing which approach to take.

Celebrate Milestones

Life is a series of highs and lows, peaks and troughs. If we don’t celebrate and recognise the highs then all we’re left with are the troughs, the lows. Clearly it’s important to recognise both. For example when C# Tips and Traps got into the top 10 leaderboard, this was a major high so I made sure I celebrated the fact.

The Right Tools

When creating anything the right tools make all the difference. For example I started recording my first course using a Rode NT1-A which is a beautiful microphone for recording rich vocals in music but not great when it comes to sound isolation. I quickly moved to the USB Rode Podcaster which is pretty great – it’s frequency response is tailored for voice and has a fairly narrow end-address pickup that greatly reduces background noise.

The right tools really do make such a difference in all the things we do, as does the right mindset.

I hope to get to ten Pluralsight courses by the end of next year, you can check out my current Pluralsight courses on my author page.

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Automated Acceptance Testing with SpecFlow and Gherkin Course

With my new Pluralsight course you’ll learn how to narrow the gap between the business/customer and the development team by creating business-readable, automated tests.

The course covers how to install SpecFlow in Visual Studio, the Gherkin business-readable domain specific language (DSL), and how to create code-automation from this natural language.

You can find the course on my Pluralsight author page.

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New Pluralsight Course: The xUnit.net Testing Framework

My latest Pluralsight course on the xUnit.net testing framework has just been released.

Course Description

Learn the latest in unit testing technology for C#, VB.NET (and other .NET languages) created by the original inventor of NUnit.

xUnit.net is a free, extensible, open source framework designed for programmers that aligns more closely with the .NET platform.

 

You can check it out now on Pluralsight.com.

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New Pluralsight Course: C# Tips and Traps 2

My latest Pluralsight course has just been released. It’s the follow-up course to the popular first C# Tips and Traps course.

Course Description

Whether you're still learning C# or you already have some experience, it's sometimes hard to know what you don't know. This is the follow-up course to C# Tips and Traps and is designed to further short-circuit your C# learning and provides a whole host of useful information about the sometimes under-used or unknown features of both the C# language and the .Net framework. It's suitable for those who are brand new to C# as well as experienced developers looking to "round off" their C# skills and "fill in the gaps".

Check out the course table of contents for more details.

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New Pluralsight Course: C# Tips and Traps

My latest Pluralsight course: C# Tips and Traps is now live.

It’s a collection of things to:  “Short-circuit your learning of C# with this smorgasbord of handy C# and .NET features.”

It's sometimes hard to know what you don't know

Description: Whether you're still learning C# or you already have some experience, it's sometimes hard to know what you don't know. This course is designed to short-circuit your C# learning and provides a whole host of useful information about the sometimes under-used or unknown features of both the C# language and the .Net framework. It's suitable for those who are brand new to C# as well as experienced developers looking to "round off" their C# skills and "fill in the gaps".

You can watch C# Tips and Traps Pluralsight course now, also if you have a Plus level subscription you can also get access to all the demo code exercise files used in the course and play around with the things yourself.

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