TekPub is a website set up by Rob Conery and James Avery, two very respected named in the world of development, to deliver video content on many development-related subjects. Rob’s one of my development heroes, who previously worked for Microsoft on ASP.Net MVC, gave us the SubSonic data access framework, and has much good content on the web already in video and blog form.
Anyway, TekPub isn’t free, a year’s subscription costs $200 (or you can pay on a per video or monthly basis), but there are several free videos on there which are well worth watching. (I luckily won a year’s free subscription at a NxtGenUG user group meeting, which is what took me there in the first place).
There are two free series of videos, which are both useful. One is based on Mike Gunderloy’s book ‘Coder to Developer’ and basically discussed how to move from a cowboy to a professional developer, making proper use of things like source control and project organisation tools. Not much new for a seasoned developer, but useful for many currently making the journey.
The other free series is called ‘Concepts‘, which (using C#) covers a lot of the things a growing developer needs to learn – IOC Containers, Unit Testing, Interfaces, and even Behaviour Driven Design (BDD).
And if you’re willing to fork out, there are tens if not hundreds of hours of content on subjects from ASP.Net MVC to iPhone development, jQuery, Git, Ruby, and many more.
So instead of turning on the TV tonight, get over to TekPub and learn something useful instead!
I’m reading The Pragmatic Programmer at the moment, and one thing they recommend is to always use source control, even for small prototypes and personal projects. Now I’ve been using source control at work ever since I started coding, but I’ve never given serious thought to using it at home – I only have a single machine for a start.
But that’s not really an issue these days, as there are a number of Internet hosts that can act as your source control server – and this gives the additional advantage of being able to access your code wherever you can get on the ‘net. And as well as being a good way of backing things up, you also get a full revision history, which can be handy when things go pear-shaped!
Now, I don’t want to spend any actual money on this, but that’s not a problem as there are many open source options available – I didn’t look too hard here as I’ve already used Subversion (SVN) at a previous job and it has a big following, and is supported by most of the online hosts. Same with the client, which is the part I had to install on my machine – TortoiseSVN integrates with Windows Explorer, is free, easy to use, and has all the functionality you’d expect.
So the main thing to do was chose a host. Again, there are many free options – this site has an excellent comparison of the available options, including several free ones. One of the main things you need to decide is whether you want your code to be open source or not, as several of them only host open source projects. I’m happy enough with that, so after a little research online I went for Google Code, which has a lot of space, unlimited users, and some useful features. Two minutes to create a Google account, then you can crate a new project by entering a few basic details, and you’re ready to rock & roll!
Once you’ve got TortoiseSVN installed and your Google Code project set up, you just need to upload your project – this blog has some useful tips that will get you up and running in a couple of minutes. And that’s it! In less than 10 minutes you can be up and running with a full source control solution, including online administration:
And if you want to get someone fixing your defects for you, all they need is an SVN client and you’ve got yourself a development team. If I’d known it was that easy, I’d have done it years ago..