I consider myself a self-taught developer for the most part. And, free screencasts where the next best thing to having a trainer for me. The importance of screencasts gets lost once you get a grip on programming and development. But, in the initial days when you don’t know anything about programming, having a human voice guide you can make all the difference in the world.
Below is a list of screencasts/videos/books which helped me in my initial days of web development:
- ASP.NET Soup to Nuts by Bill Steele. I learnt how things really worked on the world wide web here for the first time. The first couple of videos are relevant even for non-ASP.NET web devs.
- Visual C# Soup to Nuts by the same Bill Steele. This is where I really learnt concepts about programming.
- Computer Science - E1 : Understanding Computers and the Internet by David Malan. This course filled up a lot of gaps about computer science for me.
- ASP.NET MVC : Storefront series by our very own Rob Conery. This was the series of screencasts which made me truly understand what serious web-development was all about.
- Summer of NHibernate by Stephen Bohlen
- Dimecasts by Derik Whittaker and friends
- Railscasts by Ryan Bates
- Head First OOA&D Although this book has examples in Java, it taught me a lot about the SOLID OO principles and Object Oriented Design in general.
I haven’t talked about my past on my blog. But, I had a secure and high paying job at a big MNC called TCS from 2006 to 2008. I used to work as an ETL developer, designing jobs using a tool called Datastage. It was a niche skill and I was very good at it. The only problem was it didn’t give me an opportunity to program. Designing high performance ETL jobs was interesting but it never satisfied my hunger for programming. Anyway, I decided to leave my secure job and start my own gig around Aug 2008. My first programming job as a freelancer was fixing a slow performing sql query(btw, the problem it had was that it was doing a cartesian join instead of an inner join). I did it for $8(out of which I got $5, and the other $3 went to rentacoder.com), but the satisfaction and confidence it gave me was priceless. I have come a long way since then. I have developed atleast half a dozen high quality web applications since then. And I owe a lot of what I know to the gentlemen who devoted their time in spreading knowledge through screencasts, blog posts and books.
I am planning to do a series of screencasts to look at ruby on rails development using ubuntu and post them on vimeo, hoping to help beginners. I’ll try and post atleast one video every week.