Editor's note: Contributor Stephan Onisick is a Senior Software Developer for HP specializing in SharePoint Portal Applications. Follow him @StephanOnisick
Recently, I published two articles for . The first entailed free offerings on YouTube and Microsoft entitled “Free YouTube and Microsoft Videos from a SharePoint Developer’s Perspective”. The second was about Pluralsight, entitled “Pluralsight.com From a SharePoint Developer's Perspective”.
In the first article, I explored free content. Literally, free for the finding which admittedly can be challenging on both the behemoths, YouTube and Microsoft. Never the less, for those who persevere much free learning is available.
In the second article, I began examining a paid subscription to Pluralsight.com with the aim of getting the best possible deal for finite monetary resources. I discussed the reasons I believe Pluralsight to be an excellent bargain for SharePoint learning featuring the “Who’s Who” of SharePointdom’s authors and expanding SharePoint Courseware, 53 by last count.
This article continues with paid subscriptions: specifically, it focuses on LearnDevNow.com--a site which I have had extensive experience as a paying participant in the last year.
LearnDevNow was the first paid online course vendor I used as a SharePoint Developer. I was ecstatic to find a reasonable priced vendor with quality SharePoint Courses available 24/7 with demo code. (In addition to being my job, SharePoint and learning are also my hobbies: gotta have code to play with!)
The SharePoint offerings on LearnDevNow, aka LearnNowOnline are less extensive than Pluralsight.com. However, they are also less expensive for the basic offering. The price, $99 per year, could easily fit in the budget of most individuals or as a cost-effective company supplemented offering.
If some of the presentation techniques from LearnDevNow seem familiar, they are based on AppDev Training Modules. My past experience with AppDev partaking SQL and .Net courses has been positive. AppDev has supplied numerous well-written courses that have extended my knowledge with competent instructors and credentialed instructors.
The following is the screen from the “http://www.learnnowonline.com/learndevnow” URL:
The last price for an Annual Subscription was $99– but upon occasion I see specials for $49 (a real bargain).
Note: There are several ways to get to this LearnDevNow Screen. Another method involves going straight to url http://www.learnnowonline.com and clicking on the LearnNowExpress link—then clicking on LearnDevNow Microsoft Development Library link.
This is the screen shown after clicking the “Subscribe Now” button
The “Sample Code” option (shown above) is a reasonably priced add-on for $29.99 (This really is a must for a developer!).
Personally, I would bypass and uncheck the “Online Courseware and Hands-on Lab-Exercises” because of the reliance of this option on software called “LockLizard”. The Online Courseware is delivered in a pdf format only decipherable by LockLizard. This limits the viewing of the pdf files to licensed individuals and prevents ANY printing of the material. Also LockLizard will NOT unencrypt the locked pdfs in the presence of open screen capture utilities (Snagit, Snipping Tool, Jing)—normally I write with at least two of the three open.
[Craig Jensen, President & CEO at LearnNowOnline and AppDev, has assured me that there will be a future option for printing course material. Hint: Want to get to a CEO of Learning Site? Just tell Customer Support you’re working on a review of the site.]
On my wish list for future offerings would be the bundling of “Hands-on-Exercises” with the “Sample Code” as printable media—even at a higher price than the “Sample Code” by itself.
These are the main courses that I found useful as a SharePoint Developer—however; other developers might find useful content in the ASP.net, Visual C#, Visual Basic, MVC, and SQL Server section.
The courses that I took were interesting and relevant with competent certified instructors. (Some of the instructors were Microsoft MVPs like Doug Ware, Dan Wahlin, Ken Getz; others, are known in the Industry as prominent authors, speakers and consultants like Jeff Webb, Don Kiely and Michael “Bear” Bibeault.) The courses were also useful in studying for certifications. I passed some of my MCTS Certifications in SharePoint while using LearnDevNow as a supplement to my study.
One additional item on my wish list is an Android App specifically designed for LearnDevNow Courses, I had trouble with Flash on my android Sony Tablet and was unable to view courses from this platform. (I always have trouble with Flash –I never have the right release for each browser— definitely Flash-Challenged. Did I mention I don’t like Flash? Go HTML5!).
I heartily recommend LearnDevNow as an inexpensive learning option for SharePoint Technologies. There is much that can be gleaned on a smaller budget from this site. It is an adjunct to my learning SharePoint.