This will probably be the last post of the year so I can spend some quality time with my family. Have a very happy holiday season. For those celebrating Christmas, have a very Merry Christmas. Have a joyous and safe New Years as well.
One thing that’s come up recently (and more than once actually) is the need for training materials for REALbasic. I’ve seriously been thinking about doing video training sessions and offering them through the BKeeney.com website as a subscription service and streaming video (physical DVD’s are a possibility but increases the initial startup expense and I want to avoid physical inventory that’s dated).
Any sort of video training will take a fair amount of time to complete. Just covering the basics of REALbasic will take months to get something out the door. Add in the Rapid Release Model and I will always be aiming at a moving target. How many hours of video is needed to put the shingle out? What’s a good price (keeping in mind that while doing the videos I’m not doing as much consulting work)?
My guess is that most RB developers reading my blog have been using RB for a while but I’d like to get your opinions on this as well: How much of a beginner level versus intermediate and advanced material? And even for beginner material do I even need to go so far as to explain what variables are? In other words do I assume the student knows absolutely nothing about software development or has at least a little knowledge of some other language?
In that same light, would problem solving videos be better than a more traditional approach? For example, I could do a video training on “How to Open files of a particular type” versus exploring the various things in the FolderItem. Each approach has its merits and drawbacks. What do you think? I could argue both ways.
Regardless, the one thing I think that will happen is every video will be tagged with the RB objects used and perhaps even the object methods used. So doing a search on FolderItem would result in a bunch of videos that use the folderitem. If you did FolderItem.Item you’d might find videos that iterate through the items in a directory and so on. The drawback to the tags is that any complete application examples will use a lot of different RB objects which then might make the tags worthless because a search will hit every video.
For what it’s worth, there is some existing REALbasic training. They have 7 hours of RB training and a subscription gives you access to a LOT of other applications (which I could never offer). I’ve watched all the free training and it seems to do an adequate job but it hasn’t been updated since 2007. I plan on updating more often than every two years – especially if I can pay my bills from it!
I’ve also done a minor example application and recorded it. With a little editing and speed up of typing sequences it’s at two and half hours and I don’t consider it done yet! Add in an IDE walk-through, some Remote Debugging, and miscellaneous topics and I probably have 4 to 5 hours of relatively decent video footage. I think I can do it, I just need some positive encouragement or negative feedback before I commit myself.
At this point, dear readers, I’d like your thoughts. Good or bad idea? What are the pitfalls that I haven’t thought of yet? Will people actually pay for an on-going video series on REALbasic? Should the emphasis be on beginner, intermediate, or advanced material? Should I let the members determine the production order via an online poll?