I attended JP’s Nothin But .Net course (http://www.jpboodhoo.com/training.oo) last week and I wanted to share my perspective with anyone who might be considering the course. I really enjoyed the experience and I’d happily recommend the course . . . to the right people. Rather than do the usual “I recommend this course because blah, blah, blah” I’d like to tell you why you shouldn’t or wouldn’t want to attend. If you make to the end of this post and still want to attend, I highly recommend you do as soon as possible.
If you already have an incredibly strong understanding of the .Net Framework, TDD, BDD, DDD, or if you have a style/way of programming that is perfectly effective and satisfying for you then don’t attend. If fact, if you’re any good at teaching, you might wish to start your own course.
If you are very comfortable with your life and your method of programming and you don’t wish to be challenged then this would be a bad course for you. JP will challenge you to improve your coding skills and your life. Not your idea of a good time? Stay home.
If you are very weak in .Net, especially if you are new to it, wait. Learn more about the framework, delegates, generics, and unit testing before you consider this course.
If the idea of spending 80+ hours in five days focused on .Net development skills fills you with dread, don’t go. Monday night – 10:30pm, Tuesday – 11:30pm, Wednesday – 12:30pm, Thursday night (well really Friday morning) 4:30am, Friday night – 2:30am All this and a 7:00am return flight on Saturday morning will get you a splitting headache.
If the course still sounds interesting I have some news for you – it rocks . . . but I was fortunate. How? Glad you asked. (you did ask didn’t you?) JP brings an incredible amount of passion for what he does and when I say passion I mean Love. JP obviously loves coding. He loves teaching. He loves his wife and children. I’d say he clearly loves his life. His love for what he’s doing creates a safe environment for the students push themselves to the limit, to be challenged by the task and each other. JP calls it ‘attacking the code without mercy’ and it’s only possible if everyone in the room buys into that atmosphere of trust. It’s like in Peter Pan – JP’s attitude is the pixie dust – all you have to do is have your happy thoughts and we all can fly. The group of guys in the Denver class did just that. We all gave into the spirit JP tried to create and it made everything just work. If even one of the students had decided to attack the others it wouldn’t have been so special. I’m grateful to my fellow classmates for what they brought to our class – it was an awesome experience. I can’t guarantee your classmates will be as cool as those in my class.
Now we get to the worst part of all – after a long week of being taught, encouraged, and cajoled to be the best programmer and person you can be – it all ends. You have to go back to the real world and the real life you left. The ‘lost boys’ have to leave Neverland and grow up. After 80+ hours you may have goals loftier than when you began and a list of things to learn next that would make most college students scream. Unlike most classes, JP’s course isn’t a destination. It isn’t the culmination of journey or a goal – it is the beginning of one. And it is the days, weeks, months, and years that follow that will determine how valuable that beginning was – if Nothin But .Net was the beginning of your own ‘I love my life’ story. This is my challenge now – to walk that path towards that programmer, that person I want to be and find my own way. Thank you JP.
As with all opinions and recommendations this one is based on my experience and things could change. If you take JP’s course and don’t find the same love for coding and teaching coming from JP that I saw please let me know. Somehow, I doubt that will happen.