Nothin' but .NET - Reaching Out

There are some big, big changes coming this year that will revolve around how Nothin’ but .Net promotes the cause of education. Registration for courses started a couple of weeks ago and I am excited about the potential that this year brings for people who are going to be registering.
After a couple of tweets in the twittersphere, and a great recommendation by Scott; I realized that there were a couple of things that I could do this year to promote the cause of education and make the training a little more accessible. This post outlines the high level plans that are going to be implemented as soon as possible.
In no particular order the items are:
NBDN Scholarship Program
There are lots of people out there who are desperately wanting to get involved with some form of high quality training. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of people who just do not have the resources/support to undertake the financial weight of the course. To that end, this year for each class there is going to be a scholarship issued to one person who will have their complete course tuition wavered. This does not include airfare and accommodations, just the ticket price for a seat in the class. One of the things we are deciding right now is how to go about deciding the format for how this process should work. How do we pick from a potential pool of people who may want to attend the course. Based on the contest I ran last year, it may not be that difficult as in spite of all of the freebies that were being given out, there were very few actual “submissions”. If you have any suggestions on how I should structure the “submission” process it would be greatly appreciated. Right now I am leaning in the direction of having people submit stories that describe why they should be awarded the scholarship.
NBDN Course Primer
In the cities where I can coordinate this (and get the timing right), there is going to be a free 1 day primer course that will be open to the public so that they can come and discuss, code, and get a feel for what the scope of the course will entail. My plan for the primer course is to spend the day working through concepts that I feel are prerequisite knowledge, make developers more productive in general, as well as to dive into some code, patterns, and concepts that people should be familiar with (especially if they want to take the course at a later time). Like the course, there will be limited seating (16-20 max), and people will be expected to come with open minds ready to challenge, learn, and have fun. One bonus (in the cities where there is participation) will be the opportunity to work and share discussions with past students (from the local area) who can speak openly and honestly about their experience with the course. In the primer course day people will get exposure to the following :

  • Build automation with rake/powershell
  • Context/Specification style testing
  • Back to advanced basics with core .Net
  • Fundamental Design Principles

Although it is termed as a primer, the goal of the day is to have people leave with their head stuffed full of new ideas and approaches they may not already be familiar with. The reason for the size of the class is to enable as much rich communication as possible, which is very difficult to do in large class sizes. I expect these primers to generate a lot of questions!!
After a great discussion with Carl, we have decided to set some time aside in May to record 2 full days worth of training material. Again, the goal with these videos is to serve as primers for people to get exposed to many concepts that can be instrumental in making them more productive developers. These videos will be extremely code intensive, and should leave people with a greater awareness of tools and techniques they may not already be familiar with. The scope and material that will be covered in these two days is yet to be determined, though my hope is that these videos will give people a great deep introduction to a host of topics.
As you can see, there are lots of plans that are in store this year and I am excited about what the Lord has in store for myself and all of the people I hope to interact with!!
Develop With Passion!!