Charlie Pell and I were discussing the best approach to teaching people new to .NET the ropes and the best way to incorporate the basics into our group meetings, while also covering more advanced topics. I am trying to arrange a dual session meeting that allows participants to go to the track that most interests them. This would consist of a 100/200 level session and another 300/400 level session which solves our user group problem. However there is still the issue of getting people over the initial hurdle of learning .NET.
When you have been using .NET for awhile, your focus turns to other priorities – like completing a project, best practices, and architecture. The basics, like garbage collection and the CLR are stored somewhere in the back of your mind and the topic isn't visited often. However, for someone new to .NET this is the starting point.
If you are new to .NET or looking to expand your knowledge, I suggest a service I first subscribed to in 2003 and continue to use to this day as a lifetime member. LearnVisualStudio.NET has a whole series of online videos on .NET and related topics. Each video is anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes and walks you through the subject in a way that is easy to understand. I did a rough count of total videos, and there has got to be around 500 or more of them. Every one that I watched was professionally produced and narrated. Well, don't take my word for it. Check out one of their free videos on Linq to SQL: http://www.learnvisualstudio.net/content/Samples/LINQtoSQL101_01_01.html.
The price is also right – starting at $63 for a basic subscription and going to $180 for a lifetime subscription (which includes every future video that they release). I'm not posting this blog to sell their service, just to suggest the best way for you to learn .NET quickly and easily – and frankly quite affordably when you consider what it costs to attend instructor lead sessions. You can see what is in their entire content library here: http://www.learnvisualstudio.net/Browse.aspx.
This series is what I turned to a long time ago when I needed to really learn the fundamentals. Even as a senior developer, I still refer to these videos. I found another little juicy nugget from LearnVisualStudio.NET on their website – free .NET cheat sheets that you can refer to while developing. Enjoy!
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