Sunday, June 10, 2007

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About My Courses

I received quite a number of questions pertaining to the Windows Mobile 5.0 Programming course this Aug (16th and 17th). I have reproduced them here for your convenience just in case you have the same questions in mind:

Do I need to bring my own Pocket PC device for the course?
No, Pocket PCs will be provided (you have to share them though). Symbol will be providing 10 units of the MC70 for testing purpose, as well as other accessories such as RFID snap-ons, GPS receiver, as well as Zebra Bluetooth Printers. However, please feel free to bring your own device if you want to see how the sample apps run on your own device.

I have a older Windows Mobile 2003 PPC. Is this course applicable?
While this course is focused on Windows Mobile 5.0, there are some examples that will work on older PPCs. For example, the SerialPort class is new in .NET CF 2.0 and hence it is not tied to the Windows Mobile 5.0 platform, and therefore will work on older PPCs.

How is your course different from others?
If you have attended my course before, you would know that I am a great believer of learning-by-doing. And hence my course is focused extensively on hands-ons. I don't believe in spending lots of time on slides, explaining all the details of a class/methods. For that, you can really read a book or documentation.

I believe that the best way to learn programming is to actually type in the code, debug it, fix it and then seeing the end result yourself. In fact, I encourage my students to make as much mistakes as possible so that the concepts really sink in into their heads (this is actually how I learn new technologies; and in fact the best way to learn a new technology is to write a book! :-)).

And of course, the key ingredient to a good course is the course materials/workbook. For all my courses, I use materials that I develop myself. Each lab exercises contains simple and practical demos that you can modify and use for your own projects. I do not believe in huge and complicated examples/case studies that require you to start in Day 1 and complete in Day 5. As far as possible, each lab exercise is stand-alone so that students who did not manage to follow earlier labs (either they are late or the topics are just not relevant to them) can follow the rest of the course without feeling lost. In fact, I eat my own dog-food - I always refer to my own course materials when I am working on projects and needed to quickly locate a code-snippet to accomplish some functions, such as how to serialize a class, encrypt some text strings, access database, etc.

That said, do send in your questions if you have any. Cheers!


Sachin Palewar said...

You seem to be an interesting person writing books on google as well as microsoft. I am owner of a small startup engaged in windows mobile development. Checked out your article regarding win mobile 6 on DevX it was great. Keep writing such articles. Check out my blog as well if you have some time.

Sachin Palewar said...

BTW I tried opening URL for your company but it took me to some parked page with some ads on it???