Let’s assume you’ve got will and time to do some learning - what’s the way to do it in a most efficient way?

  1. There has to be a source of information - person, book, e-book, etc.
  2. Information range has to be suited to your needs (subject, being up-to-date, level of detail) - you don’t want any irrelevant information, do you?
  3. Information has to be served in a proper “pace”, so you can absorb it completely without getting bored
  4. Information has to be clear and understandable
Which way of training should we aim for?
  • Class-room trainings may be fine, but they massively depend on trainer’s quality and availability (and the best trainers are the least available ones)
  • Books are ok, but they are a bit far from hands-on-training experience and as I’ve already written few times - they are rarely up-to-date
  • On-line resources (tutorials, blogs, etc.) have great TTM, but their quality is not guaranteed and they rarely cover wide topics (they rather focus on details)
There is another way. Not a perfect one (as there is no perfect solution), but it combines several pros of the approaches above in quite an interesting manner: video courses

Few months ago I’ve found PluralSight (http://www.pluralsight-training.net/microsoft/) - company that offers on-line course in various development technologies. I’m trying it for some time already and to be honest - quality of course is unmatched:
  • topic coverage is very wide
  • difficulty range is well-spread
  • video quality is much better than what you can find in typical video blogs (even professional ones, like Channel9)
  • new courses appear very frequently and they are related to fresh technology topics
Now, some drawbacks:
  1. Watching videos (even such smart ones) takes a lot of time and it’s harder to adjust the speed (contrary to book learning)
  2. PluralSight is subscription-based - you get the access to all the content, but you have to pay your price every month (fortunately, it’s quite low)
  3. The cheapest subscription is streamed only - you have to pay more to watch offline videos)
Anyway, make your own opinion - there’s a trial option out there. Don’t hesitate to share your opinions in comments below.