When taking on new software development challenges you often find yourself having to learn a lot and very quickly, so having the right training resources for app development is really important. For a lot of developers (myself included) this is part of the enjoyment of the work. Things rarely get stale, things are always challenging and its hard to get bored!
There is no denying that learning new technologies can be somewhat of a challenge – you certainly can’t keep up with everything all the time, so having effective learning resources is a must.
Below I’ve listed out my top 6 learning resources – they are not the only resources I use, but there’s certainly a couple in there that I utilise heavily to either troubleshoot, learn something completely new or catch up on a latest release.
My favourite training resource recently has been treehouse. Its a fairly new player in the online training space, and is gaining traction very quickly, and its easy to see why.
- To start with the videos are presented extremely well – as good, if not better than anything else out there.
- The subjects covered are also right on topic for app developers, sovering app design and development for various platforms including android, ios and web.
- Treehouse also has additional features such as short quizzes, conference coverage and badge collecting that in all make the resource feel much more interactive.
- The free treehouse blog continually publishes excellent quality articles.
All in all I cant say enough good stuff about what Treehouse is doing right now! clicking on the image below will get you a 50% discount on your first month as a referral.
Pluralsight is a fantastic resource of video courses that I find myself using again and again. In the last few years it has become an invaluable resource, and has helped both learn new technologies, and stay up to date with new releases.
The best courses on Pluralsight are those focussing on technical subjects, like ‘Android 4.0 New Features’ or ‘AngularJS Fundamentals’. The content is almost always great, and the authors always knowledgeable.
Lynda.com has probably the biggest bank of design tutorials of any of the providers. The videos are of an excellent quality, and the sheer level of coverage is awesome.
The clear expertise within the Lynda.com videos are within the design arena. I’ve mostly used it when learning Adobe products like Photoshop and Illustrator, or trying to improve general design skills. There are other videos on there that cover subjects like mobile development, but for me the best videos are those dedicated to design skills.
I have to be honest with this one and say that I haven’t used code academy a great deal, other than to have a play around. For that reason I wouldn’t normally put it in this list, other than the fact its free!
The tutorials on code academy tend to be focussed around web technologies and geared towards beginners, so they aren’t for everyone. That said the structure of the courses is excellent, and the interactive way you complete each section is excellent.
All of my previous picks were course-based resources, where you could learn a variety of different technologies in a step-by-step manner. Stack Overflow is totally different in that respect, but is THE resource for software developing questions and answers.
The site facilitates the software development community to help each other by providing a structure for asking questions, and providing answers. The great thing about the site is that unlike forums, you aren’t having to fish through pages of chatter in order to see the answer you’re looking for.
Another thing that is often missed is that the best way to learn something is by teaching it. Over the years I’ve coached numerous developers (and mixed martial artists, but thats another story), and the one thing that I can say is consistently true is that those who try to teach always have better mastery, than those that don’t. This is reason enough for me to spend a little time each day/week answering questions on Stack Overflow!
This is by no means a full list of training resources for app developers, but its the ones that I feel have really high value right now, and worth spending some time with. In addition to these there’s numerous YouTube channels, the Khan Academy and a plethora of blogs (codenutz included) that can all help you learn what you need to.
What kind of training tools do you use? Whats you favourites?