What is This?
This site is dedicated to helping people learn (or relearn) the fundamental skills, theory and concepts of Computer Science and programming in general. I add to it semi-regularly, filling in videos about:
- Computer Science and Theory
- Programming Concepts and Skills (Gang of Four, Structural Design, Database Theory, Unix essentials, etc)
- Career topics such as interviewing and solo contracting
I’ve curated some of these videos into “playlists” which you can see in the menu above or on the home page.
Over time I plan on adding things on Git, Project Management and Productivity. There’s a LOT to cover - it’s exciting!
So, Who Are You?
I’m Rob Conery, author of The Imposter’s Handbook, A Curious Moonand co-founder of Tekpub.com, one of the very first online video learning sites for developers. I am the creator and co-host of This Developer’s Life with Scott Hanselman and I’ve spun up quite a few open source projects.
I’m an explorer - not an expert. I love digging into concepts and ideas and then sharing what I’ve learned - making videos and helping people. So I decided to create a site focused on what I like to call The Essentials, that’s where you are right now.
Where To Start?
On the home page you’ll see a list of what I call “playlists”, a curated set of videos that follow a theme. Well, to be perfectly honest these were indeed published together in the past but here I’m calling them playlists. Start with those and make your way through! Soon I’ll have the ability to create your own playlist and share it.
Have a Look at the Free Stuff
There’s a lot of content here so I put together a sampler that I am hoping gives you an idea as to my style - in terms of both visual and storytelling. I hate hate hate boring videos where the author repeats themselves 10 times over as you stare at the same slide with a square on it. My goal is to entertain you as much as to inform you.
Search the Catalog
If you’re just poking around, maybe have a look at everything and filter on a topic you like. It’s a fuzzy search so enter a term you’re looking for and hopefully you’ll find it - there’s a lot in here!
Follow the White Rabbit
At the bottom of each video is a list of recommended next videos: Have a click there and follow the rabbit down the hole! These recommendations are based on tags, something I might tweak from time to time. Have a suggestion? Happy to oblige - just drop me an email (rob at bigmachine.io).
There’s a menu at the top of the site: You’ll see all of the tags and playlists here and you can click them any time. It’s even responsive! I read up on CSS like a Big Person :).
Charging You Money
You’ll notice a number of the videos have a little lock next to them and if you click on the title you’ll end up on a page like this: People get grumpy about paywalls and I totally understand - do too. But here’s the thing: I wouldn’t have made these videos for free. I simply would have been able to spend the amount of time it takes to make videos the way I want to see them!
I pride myself on editing each video with a hammer and laser gun - trimming out every bit of fat and excess nonsense. Your time is precious and I want you to feel happy about what you’re watching.
Anyway - that’s why I charge money. I hope you find it worth it! If you don’t, I’ll happily refund you.
But… Is It Worth The Money?
That part is up to you, but I’ll tell you this: I made the videos I wish I had around 5 years ago. Digging into CS topics isn’t easy and while you can indeed find resources online, they tend to be ultra academic or just really poorly made.
I’ll make you a deal, however: you can try it out and if you don’t like it let me know. I have a 15 day refund policy with no questions asked (aside from maybe what you didn’t like… I always want to improve).
Will You Push Content Enough for the Yearly Sub?
Ah good question! This is important: I don’t base the subscriptions on production rate. The content here has a very long shelf life which yes, I will upgrade/improve as needed. I make no guarantees about new content. If you’re worried that I might not produce enough “new stuff” over the year, then please opt for monthly so you can cancel if I’m not meeting your goals. It’s entirely likely I won’t.
Computer Science is a massive field and I’d love to keep going, making more videos and writing more fun posts. If you have a suggestion, just drop me a line (rob at bigmachine.io) and I’ll queue it up if I 1) have time and 2) makes sense for the site. Either way, I’ll respond quickly.