Saturday Morning Reads #3 (free stuff, git resources, blogging and public speaking)

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I read so many good articles during the week, stuff that’s so much better than anything I could dream up. Every week or two, I’ll share some of the more thoughtful and inspiring ones on here. :)

Gift Ideas

For the last minute gift seekers among us, some techie gift ideas from Scott Hanselman and John Sonmez.

Free Stuff

Depending on your MSDN account, you can access either 30 or 45 Pluralsight courses for free. As you might expect, since it’s sponsored by Microsoft, they’re all relevant to Microsoft (C#, Azure, Visual Studio, etc). I like Pluralsight courses. The reviews seem reliable. Not all such sites are the same… caveat emptor.

edX has some intro courses starting soon, some of which have good ratings, like Programming in Scratch, Introduction to Computer Science, Computer Science for Beginners and Intro to Java. If you or anyone you know is looking for some good beginner material, check it out. You could purchase a certificate from edX to show off your accomplishments, but you don’t have to. Courses are nearly always free. (I think Microsoft offered a series of courses on there that you needed to pay for, but it didn’t seem to work out too well for them.)


I started using Git exclusively when I switched jobs a couple months back (previously I used Subversion). If you’re looking to dive more deeply into Git yourself, here are some good resources I found:


I used Disqus for awhile. I liked it at first, but the more I read about it, the less I liked it. Injecting ads, the ability to block your comments (not that they would, but they could choose to block a comment or user), the possibility that if the site ever went down then comments all over the blogosphere would go down too. No thanks.

If you happen to be into blogging yourself, and you’ve thought about using Disqus (or you currently do) this is worth a read: Switching Away from Disqus Review – Increased Comments by 304%. Check out wpDiscuz and de:comments, which use the native WordPress comment system.

Also, naming things is hard. True in programming, true on blogs: Stop Writing Boring Headlines: 11 Types of Headlines That Pique Reader Interest

Public Speaking

Darren Rowse shares some really good thoughts on public speaking, and overcoming the fear most of us feel when we think about stepping up in front of a group of people.

One day as I worked myself into a frenzy of fear in the days before another talk it dawned on me that I was being incredibly selfish. All the ‘what if’ statements that I dwelt on were all about me and how I looked. . . . I began to ask myself ‘how could this talk change their life for the better?’

How to Overcome Fear of Speaking, Podcasting, Live Streaming, Webinars and More

Finally, a parting though from Seth Godin, who’s full of all kinds of tidbits of good advice. Indeed, life is better when we act like we might see someone again soon (as opposed to treating them poorly, figuring we won’t run into them again).

Just passing through


Grant Winney

I write when I've got something to share - a personal project, a solution to a difficult problem, or just an idea. We learn by doing and sharing. We've all got something to contribute.

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