Last Sunday when I took off from Omaha I was not really sure what to expect. I have such a love hate relationship with traveling. I always dread when I have to leave but once I am there I have such a great time and do not want to come home.
I went to the Big Nerd Ranch with 3 goals in mind:
- To get a good understanding of arrays
- To get a good understanding of functions and objects
- To learn how to implement AJAX
- Learn more about RSS/XML for pimp my blog
I think this was a perfect way for me to learn as I have a attention span of a nat. They cover sooooo many topics in bootcamp so if there are some you may not be interested in or already are (you think) a expert with those you can work on what you have already learned and ssh out to your server and start doing some real world development. Even when I wasnt working on what most of the other class was Mark (our instructor) would still answer my questions pertaining to my off the wall widget.
The one thing I guess that describes the training at the Big Nerd Ranch is that they cater to you. That is really the best way I can explain it. Some nights we geeked out in the lab on our own special projects and Mark was available to us. We helped each other with off the wall issues that didn’t even pertain to PHP.
For Instance, one of the guys with us, Henry Warren, is a well renounced web designer. After class he gave us a full fledged demo on the Macromedia suite. I learned a ton from that. I could not believe how much you can do with Dreamweaver.
Did I achieve my 3 goals?
I am pretty sure I did. I just finished working on my ajax contact form and it was pretty easy. I even built in a lot of security and error checking into it.
Also I have solved a problem that has been plaguing me for a LONG time. Basically I collaborate on web sites with several people. We all want to share advertising time on these sites. The problem is if you load more then 1 ad then advertisers can get really pissy if they are competing with each other For instance if one of us is using Goggle Adsense and another is using Yahoo Publisher Network and another is using Chitika with contextual advertising turned on… all of these methods of advertising are in violation of there respective terms of services if they are displayed on the same page as each other
So now with my new found tools I have written a simple function that will only show 1 companies ads but will rotate through all of our IDS per product. I am playing with it more and more… pretty cool stuff.
I would say the Big Nerd Ranch was probably one of the best business investments of time and money I have ever made. When you look at the money aspect…. Everything is all inclusive. Snacks, Soda, 3 meals a day, jacuzzi, lodging… I have spent more for that stuff at less quality resorts and not received any training at all…
For more information on the big nerd ranch at these phone numbers-
For information or to enroll in a class in North America: (678) 595-6773
For information or to enroll in a class in Europe: +49 (228) 180-6862
BTW tell them you want the special ShoeMoney discount =)
Other posts about the Big Nerd Ranch: