Sergio and the sigil

Taking PeepCode for a spin

Posted by Sergio on 2009-04-28

A rainy weekend and some brain hunger made me finally do something I had been meaning to do for a while. Once I posted about my interest in screencasts and their power to make information memorable. This last weekend I filled up my shopping cart over at PeepCode with a bunch of material that was on my to watch list.


This video was pretty interesting. It will definitely let you get off the ground quickly with git. I learned and still remember more from this screencast than from any other time spent on documentation and tutorials.

This is one of those screencasts where the author starts cranking out commands at the command line. If you can't stand the command line, you won't like this one. The advantage is that the command line is the same in all platforms.

My only negative comments, which is applicable to almost all the other videos I've watched, is that the author has the habit of clearing the screen way too early and often. At least it's recorded so you can rewind and absorb the information at your own pace.

GIT Internals (PDF)

While on my git learning mode, I went ahead and bought this PDF as well. Boy, this is money. If you're a sucker for internal details, this one is for you.

The PDF was written by Scott Chacon, who is very well known in git circles. The material is dense but is very well explained by Scott. Worth every penny.

The PDF ships with some videos from gitcasts and some handy shell shortcuts.

Rails from Scratch Part 1 and Part 2

I already have a reasonable level of experience with Rails. What made me buy these two episodes was to see a competent Rails programmer showing how he works. After watching both videos I was happy to see that I was not so far off. I know these screencasts are definitely simplified for the newbie and that a number of things changed in Rails since the first edition of this material, but the good advices on how to organize code and use the Rake tasks are still valid.

There's a whole lot more to Rails than it's possible to cram in 2h40 of screencasts but if you need to start somewhere, this is a good choice. I wish there was a little more ActiveRecord and plugins covered but, hey, it's still one of the greatest bargains out there.

Objective-C for Rubyists

I just started watching this one. My early impression (25 minutes in) is that its pace is a little too frantic. I don't buy the argument that knowing Ruby helps you learning Objective-C because of their SmallTalk heritage.

I've been trying to get into Objective-C from books and whitepapers but I had hopes a screencast like this would be more effective. I'm not too optimistic so far (I'll update this post if I'm convinced otherwise.)

Worth the investment

A good thing with the PeepCode episodes is that they are positioned at a price point (US $9.00) that doesn't let you feel too bad, even if you expected more of them. They have definitely been worth more than the sticker price.

I'm looking forward to a few more episodes later this year. RSpec and Haml are on my crosshair.