Saturday, October 09, 2010

I don’t mind being wrong.

A few months ago, I was gifted with a couple of free one-month subscription cards to TekPub, an online learning site. For a while, I basically ignored them because I was busy with moving, studying, playing with code, etc. I’ll even admit that the idea seemed a little silly to me – sitting watching someone else code on a recorded video.

Since they expire in a couple of months, I finally got around to trying one of them.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong for ignoring them until now. It’s a good resource. In fact, at times it feels a little bit like being back in college and being walked though some of the things that I’ve been trying to get a handle on.

The videos are actually, from what I’ve seen so far, rather high quality from an educational standpoint.

I started out with the Linq videos since that was one of the many things that I’ve been trying to pick up lately. To be honest, it felt like I was writing backward, drug addled SQL statements in the beginning (using the SQL-like syntax). Add to that the fact that the method syntax made no sense to me, and it ended up being like pulling teeth.

Seeing someone use the method syntax instead of trying to muddle through it myself made it a lot more understandable. I’m not a master at it now by any stretch, but I can at least work my way through it, which is a major improvement. Mastery, after all, will come with use.

The “This is what it looks like. This is what it means. This is what it does. This is how it works, and this is what happens if we change it” approach cleared up a lot of things for me on the subject. Also made me miss a couple of my favorite profs a bit =]

That alone made it worth taking the time to register and check it out.

Now I find that I prefer the method syntax for the most part because it’s much less repetitive and, once you get used to it, fairly easy to read. It also has the advantage of being “new” to my mind, so my brain doesn’t try to look at it like SQL code and make me second guess myself.

I don’t think I’ll be picking up the $200 annual subscription just yet, but then I still have another month after this one, so that may change. I can, however, see myself picking up additional months as they have more topics that interest me.

I don’t mind being wrong as long as I can recover and learn from it.

Current mood – tired
Current music – Shades Apart – Valentine


mgroves said...

Yeah I prefer the extension method Linq syntax myself. It did take a little while for me to really grok Linq, but at this point, Linq seems to be the single best feature of C# and I couldn't imagine programming without it.

And actually, speaking of college, if you think back to your Scheme course (I assume you took the same Scheme course I did), I find it useful to sometimes think in terms of that that when using Linq (i.e. lambdas, functional programming, etc). That class was good for something :)

James Hollingshead said...

Yes, I took the programming languages class with Bruggeman. He was actually one of my favorite CS profs there. Osterman was the other one =]

And you're right. It does remind me somewhat of Scheme