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 :