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10 Years of Workshop Material Added to the Creative Commons

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

I’ve kept most of my workshop and conference materials in a private GitHub repository for years. I recently made the repository public and added a CC-BY-4.0 license. The material includes slides, and hands-on labs, too. Some of the workshops are old (you’ll find some WinJS material inside [shudder]), but many of the workshops have aged well – C#, LINQ, and TDD are three workshops I could open and teach today. Other material, like the ASP.NET Core workshop, is recently updated. Actually, I think the ASP.NET Core material is the most practical and value focused technology workshop I’ve ever put together.

Why Now?

Ten years ago, Pluralsight decided to stop instructor led training and go 100% into video courses. As an author, I was happy to make video courses, but I also wanted to continue meeting students in face-to-face workshops. I still prefer workshops to conference sessions. I started making my own workshop material and ran classes under my own name and brand. Over the last 10 years I’ve been fortunate to work with remarkable teams from Mountain View in Silicon Valley, to Hyderabad, India, and many places in between. Four years ago on this day, actually, I was in Rotkruez, Switzerland, where I snapped the following picture on the way to lunch – one of numerous terrific meals I’ve shared with students over the years.

Road to Where?

The memory of being driven through the snowy forests of Switzerland is enough to spike my wanderlust, which for several reasons I now need to temper. I still enjoy the workshops and conferences, and seeing good friends, but I don’t need the stress and repetition of traveling and performing more than a few times a year. If I see a place I’d like to visit, I’m in the privileged position of being able to go without needing work as an excuse. For that, I’m thankful that Pluralsight decided to go all-in with video training.

I don’t advertise my workshops or publicize the fact that I offer training for sale. I still receive regular request for private training, and again I am lucky to choose where I want to go. Conferences still ask me for workshops, but conferences can also be political and finicky (thanks to Tibi and Nick P for being notable exceptions).

What I’m saying is that I’m not using my workshop material enough to justify keeping the material private. Besides, training on some of my favorite topics is a commodity these days. Everyone does ASP.NET Core training, for example. And, if there is one lesson I’ve learned from years of training in person and on video, it’s that the training materials are not the secret sauce that can make for a great workshop. The secret sauce is the teacher.

Maybe, someone else can find something useful to do with this stuff.