A little while ago, I recorded my first course with Pluralsight, an online training provider.
When discussing this with others, some have expressed reticence to try it, as access to the courses is sold on a subscription basis. In this post I want to tell you why I author courses and blog posts for Pluralsight, and share with you some ways that you can experience this training before paying, so you can ensure you like this way of learning before committing.
I came across Pluralsight about a year ago, as a library of developer focussed learning. Since then, they've expanded and acquired other course libraries, covering the whole spectrum of IT learning, including Open Source and Cloud Computing, as well as commercial software. I still find them my go-to provider for the training I need (you should regard continuing learning in your field as a best practice). The on-line, modular model allows me to learn in the time I have - most courses have modules in 20-40 minute lengths, so they can be watched in a lunch break - and over several days you can cover a whole course. I find their approach to training to be conducive to learning, and the subscription model encourages you to learn and improve as much as you can, rather than each subject or area costing more money.
So how can you try Pluralsight training, and see my course as well as the other great courses in the library, if you can't get budget approval for a subscription immediately?
Well, firstly, you could sign up to a 10 day (200 minute) trial. This is free of charge, giving you time to cancel if you don't like it before it converts to a monthly subscription. But there are other ways to get this sort of training for free that you may want to explore.
Some courses are not charged for, and can therefore be accessed whether you have a subscription or not. For details of which, check these blog posts. There are some free courses for children. But you may find that you already have a subscription which can help you get access to the full Pluralsight training library - such as Microsoft's BizSpark, Dreamspark+ and WebsiteSpark, which each give you 90 days' access.
Of course Pluralsight courses are not the only method of continuing your learning, and I recommend that you attend community events such as SQL Saturdays for in person learning, as well as your local SQL Server User Group.
UPDATE: If you are a member of any of the following industry programmes, you can get a years' free Pluralsight training by filling in this form : Microsoft MVP, EMC Elect, Google Developers Expert, VMware vExpert, Citrix CTP, Salesforce MVP, ASPInsiders, Friends of Red Gate, JavaOne Rock Star, Cisco Champions.