Real Software Job: Product Educator

An interesting job post came up today for Real Software.  They are looking for a Product Educator.  This position will be responsible for:

  • Updating the Real Studio Documentation
  • Interacting with customers via email, live chat and social media
  • Maintaining & Updating Real Studio example projects
  • Creating training videos
  • Giving Weekly “Intro to Real Studio” Webinars
  • Updating & Maintaining the Real Studio curriculum
This is a work from home position and ideal for someone familiar and energetic about the product.  Applicants should enjoy teaching and like writing tutorials and creating training videos.
I think this position should have been created long, long ago.  There are very few videos on their website (and those that are there are more marketing IMO), the example projects aren’t very good, the documentation isn’t very complete, and that there is no ‘user contribution’ area on their website is a real shame.  Hopefully a new position will do some real good.
One thing I hope they let this new person do is make mistakes in training videos.  One of the more consistent comments I get about my training videos is that people like it that I make mistakes and then I have to fix them.  That’s using the product like most people do.
I also hope that the person doing the training videos makes ‘real world’ projects and not just simple, let’s show off a single aspect of ‘x’.  I’d also recommend doing videos in each supported platform.
If I wasn’t already engaged in full-time Real Studio consulting work I’d seriously consider this.  I love the product and I really like showing it off.  I really like doing the training videos and wish I had more time to do them.

Getting Started with SQL?

Many Real Studio projects require the use of a database.  In 10 years of Real Studio consulting and many, many projects both internally and for clients, I can tell you the projects that did NOT use a database simply because they are the oddities in my career.  If truth be told, even some that didn’t use a database could have been, and perhaps should have been using a database.

A lot of Real Studio developers avoid them because the term ‘database’ is scary and mysterious and brings up images of having to wrestle with huge problematic installations of MS SQL Server, PostgreSQL and MySQL.  While you might have to use them eventually, we do a lot of development on the lowly and surprisingly powerful SQLite.  It is a lightweight database that offers most of the features of the big database servers.  But for many, SQL, the language behind databases, is mysterious and arcane.  Not so!

At last weeks Real Studio Database Days training in Frankfurt, Simon Larkin of QiSQL gave a very interesting talk about SQL.  He also has a section on his website devoted to learning SQL.  His SQL School takes you through the basics of the terms and then starts introducing you to more and more complex situations.

Equally important is his Database Design section that walks you through the best ways of designing your database.  Learn about primary keys, entities, relationships and database normalization.  All in all the tutorials are very well done and if you’re just starting to use databases this is a good place to start.

Simon likes to use raw SQL, which is fine, but I’m lazy and SQL-challenged at times so I tend to use a number of SQLite utility applications.  Since each seems to have some compelling feature over the others I use the one that best fits the project.  I use Base, SQLiteManager, NaviCat, and the FireFox plugin SQLite Manager.  Of these, SQLiteManager and NaviCat can open encrypted databases and only Navicat being able to remember the encryption key.  Navicat also has a visual Query Builder that newbies to SQL might find attractive.

What SQLite tool are you using and why?

Learn REALbasic With Video Training

We (BKeeney Software) updated our REALbasic Training Videos today with H.264 video as the default rather than Flash.  This allows access for iPad and iPhone users.

We have over a hundred videos and around 20 hours of training videos.  Our Journal Entry project, a simply diary application, goes through the process of creating a REALbasic database application from start to finish.  While we do all of the development on Mac OS X, we regularly go into Windows and Linux and explore the differences between controls and how to workaround those differences.

If you’ve ever wanted to see how other people use REALbasic, this is an excellent opportunity.  We have around two hours of free video (with registration).  Subscriptions are available and if you’re a student or educator, contact us to get up to 40% off full price.  ARBP paid members can get a 20% discount.

So far we’ve been getting excellent reviews!

[Updated]  Part of my motivation to moving to H.264 was to view the videos on my iPad.  The iPad is a really good medium for video training because it can run beside the desktop/laptop computer and you can do the same things in REALbasic while I’m showing it to you in the video.  Video on the iPad is gorgeous!