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PluralSight Review

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For the last 15 years, the primary means that I kept current was reading technical books.  You know the ones, 1000+ pages of pure reading bliss.  I loved being one of the first to buy and read a development book.  The anticipation of Amazon delivering it was terrible.  Good time, good times.

Over the last 5 years, ProModel has been blessed in needing to grow and I felt we needed to add some young hungry developers to keep us old developers honest.  Whereas I generally keep current through reading books, I have observed many younger developers rely more on videos over books to learn.   I love watching videos and have definitely incorporated videos into how I stay current; however, I still felt books were the only option to give me the depth that I desired.  Books generally have the “how to get started” chapter which walks me through setting up the development environment and another chapter dedicated to why the technology is better than the previous.  A 30 second video or even 5 minute video just left me wanting more.

The primary architecture of ProModel web applications rely on Silverlight for the presentation.   Like many development shops who invested in Silverlight, ProModel is researching technology options for the presentations of future products and/or existing products.  MVVM is a design pattern that I have fallen in love with and I was hoping there existed something similar in the JavaScript world.  Low and behold, John Papa’s blog introduced me to Knockout.js.  I quickly burned through the short tutorials and videos and desired something with more depth.  Unfortunately, there we no published books on HTML5 and Knockout.js.  Searching the web, I discovered PluralSight offered the video course “Building HTML5 and JavaScript Apps with MVVM and Knockout”, but, my skepticism prevented me from signing up.  They offered a 200 minute trial so I gave it a try.

I was blown away at the depth and the increase in learning.  Watching someone talk and code in Visual Studio complemented with a presentation is very effective.  I personally download the code and follow along side by side.

Since subscribing to PluralSight, for the first time, I desire video over book.  PluralSight is amazing.  I have had it for a couple of months and so far, this is what I have watched.

Here is the TOC for “Building HTML5 and JavaScript Apps with MVVM and Knockout”:

PluralSightTOC

The first module “Gettinfg Started with Knockout and MVVM in JavaScript” is very similar to a books “Getting Started” chapter.  While watching the video, you can speed it up as seen in the lower left of the following screenshot:

I typically watch at 1.5 playback speed.  I have re-watched a video once at 2.0 and it was great.  PluralSight keeps track what you have watched as shown in the check marks next to each section.

I have an IPad, IPhone and Window Phone.  PluralSight works great on all devices.  One of my favorite features is the ability to download and watch while offline which is great for long flights.

I have not tried the other video services and cannot comment how it compares.  PluralSight has many ProModel relevant courses.  Give it a try!

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Author: Dan Hickman

Chief Technology Officer ProModel Corporation

One thought on “PluralSight Review

  1. Excellent review! I completely agree with you on how PluralSight has changed how I look at videos rather than reading a good ole fashioned book. Keep up the excellent work!

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