At 487bn gigabytes (GB), if the world’s rapidly expanding digital content were printed and bound into books it would form a stack that would stretch from Earth to Pluto 10 times.
There’s no question technology is evolving at a rapid pace and top developers (i.e. those that want to remain top) must be dedicated to continuous learning. But with deadlines looming and an ever-shrinking time margin, it’s not sufficient to rely on following twitter bit.ly links for discovering learning content; you need to be accessing the right kind of content. The kind of content that appeals to your particular learning style.
I’ve worked with developers that, well before they launch Visual Studio, want to read the full documentation about the product or SDK. Others prefer to watch someone else demonstrate setting up the right environment and dependencies. Some need to have a discussion first, verbally working through the options. Then there is a set that will hold their hands to their ears, shut their eyes, and loudly say “La la la…” until you finally disappear, manuals in hand, and leave them alone to fire up their dev environment and learn by writing code.
At Southworks, we’ve had the opportunity to partner with Microsoft to create a large set of guidance and learning content for developers, including keynote demos, hands-on labs, books and more. This content is targeted for a large spectrum of developers, and includes a variety of assets to address the various learning styles. A small sample of work we’ve helped create includes:
- Tankster Keynote Demo at //build/, for visual learners
- Whitepaper on how to Create WebMatrix Helpers, for those that learn by reading
- Identity Developer Training Kit, containing videos, presentations and hands-on labs, for all types of learners
- A Developers Guide to Microsoft Prism book, for visual learners
- Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7, for those tactile learners
When it comes time for the next round of paradigm-shifting, platform-shaking, where-the-heck-am-I–inducing technology rollouts, don’t just consider where your team should get the content, think about how to get the right content.