I finally carved up some time and watched the first episode of Steve Bohlen's Summer of NHibernate. These are sessions that Steve recorded for his team's Dine and Discuss events and he was kind enough to share with the entire community.
Steve undoubtfully knows his stuff and how to explain the topic with the right amount of details and sprinkled with lots of insightful comments. I'm looking forward to watching the other sessions soon.
It takes a lot of effort to put a screencast like that together and I admire the people that create and make them available to us. I think screencasts are quickly becoming the best way to learn a new technology or tool. Imagine the number of hours I would have to spend reading a NHibernate book, 20 or 30 hours for a slow reader like myself? The amount of information you can get from videos, especially screencasts where you feel like you're in a coding session with the author, just can't be matched by a book.
Screencasts aren't without problems either. They're expensive to host, stream, and download. They're typically not searchable. You need a computer so you can't just have them on your side table (no, I'm not gonna watch them on an iPod, sorry.) They don't substitute reference material, which is not really a problem, just not the role of this medium. I can't watch them during my commute because I'm a responsible driver.
I'm happy to see a lot of new sources of .Net screencasts and I wish I had time to watch them all. Here's a list of screencast series that I watch/watched/will watch.
- Derik's DimeCasts
- Summer of NHibernate
- Rob Connery's ASP.NET MVC Storefront
- Scott Hanselman's ASP.NET MVC Tutorials