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#1 User is offline   Beth Robson 

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:49 AM

Delivering live, online classes is new for O'Reilly Media (not so new for CreativeTechs), and this is our first class where our instructor is remote from the studio.

We'd love to hear feedback from people attending the online webinar through GoToWebinar or UStream (creativetechs.com/live) - tell us what works for you? what doesn't? how we can do it better?

We are striving to give you the best possible experience to the largest possible audience that we can for a free, live class.


Elisabeth Robson
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Author: Head First JavaScript Programming, Head First HTML5 Programming, Head First HTML and CSS, Head First Design Patterns
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#2 User is offline   SyedRizvi 

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  Posted 11 February 2010 - 06:58 PM

Hey Great work by CreativeTechs.

I think it was great. Except at one instance the sound got off from Tony's side else everything went smooth.

Keep up the great work. I was watching on the chat there were viewers from all over the world & it was perfect at least here in Karachi, Pakistan.

Best wishes from Pakistan

Syed Rizvi


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#3 User is offline   Barry.S 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:37 PM

Great Webinar, I found it useful and look forward to the remaining classes.

I was on the creativetech site and everything worked fine with the only exception being the temporary loss of Tony's audio mid way through.

A bit of constructive critisim - I think we got Tony off topic several times with questions from the chat room that didn't seem applicable to the content he was presenting. (it seemed like "what version of eclipse is he running?" was asked more than once. )

It felt like we spent too much time on this at the begining and had to rush his main presentation at the end and he had to really fly through some of the code presentation.

Maybe the chat room moderators could put a tighter filter on the chat room questions and put them in a 'parking lot' and use this forum to answer some of those 'parkinglot questions'.

Again, I hope this is constructive, I don't want to sound like I'm complaining because I'm really truely appreciative of this online format as well as it's low cost :-)


Thanks
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#4 User is offline   thillerson 

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 11:59 AM

It's very easy to get me off topic. We're going to work towards fixing that in the next class on Tuesday, thought. Let us know how we did!
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#5 User is offline   GuyWithDogs 

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:36 PM

Just got off the Week 1 Task List webinar via GoToWebinar, and wanted to offer up some comments.

First - I thought it was great. I missed the first Week 0 webinar, so it took my a few minutes to get used to Tony's development style. Once I glommed onto how he codes, I was along for the ride. Learned a lot, and I'm looking forward to the remaining classes.

I also had the Chat session open while the webinar was presented, and it was entertaining to say the least. It's obvious that there are a attendees with vastly different skill levels, and there is a wide range of expectations. I'm surprised by the number of people who seem to think that they should be able to type in all the code presented as the webinar progresses. Wasn't my impression or expectation based on what I read at signup, so I'm a little confused by that.

I do understand that the videos and code are being sold as a package, but I'd urge you to consider making the code available for free prior to the class each week. That way the people who want to be typing could just have the code there and start trying to pay attention to the concepts. That's the big win and selling point to this course - the video and associated audio commentary the covers the WHY of each step. Of course, if people have the "finished" code for the end of the lesson before the lesson starts, then the chat room will be full of people going "how come my code has a lot more functions in it?" at the start of the lesson.

I've got a couple more suggestions, for what they're worth:

1. Tony has what I call an "outside-in" approach. He starts coding and uses classes and variables before they are actually declared, and then lets Eclipse help him do the necessary declarations, etc. Took my a bit to get used to that. The commentary that goes with it actually helps it make sense, but I think this is a source of confusion for some who are used to the "declare everything first, and then go about hooking it up".

2. More reference to the "big picture" would be useful. WHAT are you going to be doing, HOW are you going to do it, WHAT CLASSES do you need to do it, etc. Then do the first logical part, go back and show that's what you did, then do the next logical part, etc. Tony actually did this at the end with the AlertDialog example - showed the Keynote with 3 steps, went to Eclipse and did Step 1, went back and said that Step 1 was done, described Step 2, went back to Eclipse, etc. A lot of the people who had been screaming "Too fast!" in the chat room were then saying "This is good". So that approach works well for the audience you seem to have gathered for this course.

A bunch of people were complaining about sound and video issues. I had no problems at all. It worked great for me.

Incidentally, the reminder email that came an hour before the course starts is excellent. Everything I needed was there. Stellar job on that.

Thanks for the great class, and I look forward to the rest of them!
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#6 User is offline   ribo 

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 02:43 PM

Just finished week 2...

The group of us from Sacramento, CA enjoyed this session much more than session 1. The issues with constant interruptions appeared to be resolved this week. It was a good to hear Tony get through a full segment prior to the questions.

Unfortunately, since the code is not posted ahead of time.... we find ourselves typing frantically to stay with Tony (and probably miss half of what he is teaching). We got everything done by the end of the presentation, but just barely. It would be nice if the cut/pasted chunks of code were just typed by hand... or left on the screen a few more seconds. There was plenty of time for us to type and listen... just not when chunks were cut/pasted then moved away from quickly.

The best scenario would be to release the code a few days prior to the meeting so we could have it on our laptops and follow along in a code review format. We all want the code on our machines so we can study/play with it on our own time.
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#7 User is offline   GuyWithDogs 

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 02:45 PM

QUOTE (ribo @ Feb 16 2010, 02:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The best scenario would be to release the code a few days prior to the meeting so we could have it on our laptops and follow along in a code review format. We all want the code on our machines so we can study/play with it on our own time.


Totally agree. And I don't think it would detract from the $49 offer for the course videos.
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#8 User is offline   I_Artist 

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 03:06 PM


Hi,

I attended both webinars, and I agree with GuyWithDogs about the source code. There are at least two links in these very forums that give you the current days code; There's no point in holding it from us as the people who will want it are the people who did not attend. Besides, it's just a little note taking app, nobody really wants that code. However, we do get interupted many times by people who are trying to copy down the source code as Tony talks.

There's a chat? Where? I'd love to go next week smile.gif

As for Tony's coding style, I agree that it's a bit new to me. But that's good! It's a "learning Android" class, not "learning programming" class, we're expected to know the basics. All programmers know how to declare a field and then use it; I didn't know that you could do the opposite! So these things are good smile.gif

I do like that Tony takes the time to answer questions during his discourse, I also agree that the questions can be filtered a little more. However, just not answering anymore 'can I see the code so I can copy it down' questions will greatly improve the flow of the class.

Oh, and speaking of Tony's tendency to use Eclipse tricks and to hack out code: I also prefer editing all the XML files directly in the text editor. But I think it would be more beneficial to us if Tony would use the GUI editors: so that we can learn how to use them. Fact is, we go to the text editors because the GUI XML editors are a little weird, maybe it would be good if you would teach us to use them.

Thank you very much for these classes. They are fantastic on the whole. Don't think that we're not loving it, you guys (and gals) are doing a fantastic job. And Tony has an awesome partner in whoever is co-hosting (Beth?) slyly throwing in pointers and comments that she knows will put everyone back on track, good job!!

Thanks again and looking forward to next Tuesday.

-I_Artist
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#9 User is offline   GuyWithDogs 

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 03:13 PM

I got an email an hour before the class that had this (only with working links) :

Links for Today's Class:
GoToWebinar: gotomeeting.com/register/765232536
Live Video: creativetechs.com/live
Chatroom: creativetechs.com/chat
Twitter Chat: #androidjava
Forum: O'Reilly Android Developers Forum
PAID AREA: Course Videos & Exercise Files!

GoToWebinar vs. Live Video — There are two ways to watch today's free class. GoToWebinar supports up to 1,000 people at a time, so sign-in early to hold your space. The Live Video is a Ustream feed with no viewer limit, however there are occasional embedded ads. [Read our FAQ]
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#10 User is offline   GuyWithDogs 

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 03:15 PM

QUOTE (I_Artist @ Feb 16 2010, 03:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And Tony has an awesome partner in whoever is co-hosting (Beth?) slyly throwing in pointers and comments that she knows will put everyone back on track, good job!!

Great point! I agree 100% with this. I noticed that during the webinar, and it was remiss of me not to comment on that earlier. It really does help.
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#11 User is offline   velazcod 

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 05:14 PM

I agree with GuyWithDogs & I_Artist, everything is great, but there were some parts (mostly when Tony pasted large chunks of code and moved away, as ribo said above) that made it just a little confusing to follow and that's when other people started asking. Other than that, everything went smooth.

I consider myself an Android developer, and I'm attending to see how good it is and seeing if I can recommend the whole package to others that ask me where to start, and this is a good start. As a side note, as others pointed, calling an undeclared method and creating it from there is new to me, but I like it wink.gif

This post has been edited by velazcod: 16 February 2010 - 05:14 PM

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#12 User is offline   thillerson 

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 07:42 PM

Good feedback everyone.

We hear you loud and clear about getting the code to you. We will have a solution before next class, and let you know at least via the forums.

As for my practice of "writing the code that I want" before it's declared: I didn't really realize that it was that different from how other people code; I hope you find it to be useful, but not to be a distraction. First of all, it's just how I code and think while I code, but I also figure that it helps keep the view of the code under discussion the same through the screencast for a longer period of time. I also want to show, by doing, that Eclipse makes it easy and efficient to code this way. I'm heartened by these few posts enough to keep going smile.gif.

To I_Artist's request to show more gui editor capabilities - I will try. I want to make sure everyone sees the XML, though, because that's the "real deal", so I will try to strike a balance.
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#13 User is offline   virginievirginie 

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 11:16 PM

Hi,
I've missed both classes because they're difficult to integrate into my schedule because of the time zone difference. I was able to watch afterward the video from the first class retreived from the Oreilly web site (and it's available on youtube as well). I really liked it (plus I can pause the video when I don't keep up with Tony's typing). But I can't find the second class anywhere. Does it mean I'll have to buy the $49 package?
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#14 User is offline   Beth Robson 

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 06:42 AM

Just want to second what Tony said - thank you all for the great feedback and we have heard you on the code and will be making it all available prior to the next class!

Elisabeth Robson
Co-founder, WickedlySmart.com
Author: Head First JavaScript Programming, Head First HTML5 Programming, Head First HTML and CSS, Head First Design Patterns
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#15 User is offline   Beth Robson 

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 08:54 AM

Thanks for the great feedback GuyWithDogs! I am reviewing the video and am noting that Tony is indeed doing a great job of outlining what he's going to be doing in each and every step. You may not have noticed that he does this on every step. Perhaps next time take some quick notes during the "steps" slide in each segment so you have those written down during the demo portion.

Hope that helps!

Elisabeth

QUOTE (GuyWithDogs @ Feb 16 2010, 09:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
2. More reference to the "big picture" would be useful. WHAT are you going to be doing, HOW are you going to do it, WHAT CLASSES do you need to do it, etc. Then do the first logical part, go back and show that's what you did, then do the next logical part, etc. Tony actually did this at the end with the AlertDialog example - showed the Keynote with 3 steps, went to Eclipse and did Step 1, went back and said that Step 1 was done, described Step 2, went back to Eclipse, etc. A lot of the people who had been screaming "Too fast!" in the chat room were then saying "This is good". So that approach works well for the audience you seem to have gathered for this course.


Elisabeth Robson
Co-founder, WickedlySmart.com
Author: Head First JavaScript Programming, Head First HTML5 Programming, Head First HTML and CSS, Head First Design Patterns
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#16 User is offline   GuyWithDogs 

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 03:29 PM

QUOTE (thillerson @ Feb 16 2010, 07:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As for my practice of "writing the code that I want" before it's declared: I didn't really realize that it was that different from how other people code; I hope you find it to be useful, but not to be a distraction. First of all, it's just how I code and think while I code, but I also figure that it helps keep the view of the code under discussion the same through the screencast for a longer period of time. I also want to show, by doing, that Eclipse makes it easy and efficient to code this way.

Indeed, I didn't mean it as a criticism, but more of an observation. A former co-worker of mine did the same thing. In fact, it almost seems a style that Eclipse promotes, since the suggestions it comes up with "after the fact" usually include the pieces that you need.

In other editors - Delphi, for example, which I use a lot - if you don't have something declared before you use it, then the code completion functions fail miserably. So I've become used to declaring my variables and types/classes before I start using them. I get the feeling from the chat room commentary that many people are new to Eclipse, too, so the magic that it does is new, and somewhat mysterious. Probably adds to the confusion, even though an attendee should be expected to roll with the editing environment magic, I think.

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#17 User is offline   odbgza 

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 06:09 PM

QUOTE (virginievirginie @ Feb 16 2010, 11:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi,
I've missed both classes because they're difficult to integrate into my schedule because of the time zone difference. I was able to watch afterward the video from the first class retreived from the Oreilly web site (and it's available on youtube as well). I really liked it (plus I can pause the video when I don't keep up with Tony's typing). But I can't find the second class anywhere. Does it mean I'll have to buy the $49 package?


Im in the same situation. Alarm was set for 5.45 am, was just too tired (from coding the night before) to get up. I was told on the live classroom chat after the webinar that the video will be available after about 48hrs. Would someone confirm this please and let us know through what channels it may be available.
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#18 User is offline   afonseca 

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 04:04 PM

Hello,

I wanted to say this class is great. I'm a more experienced Android developer and I'm attending to pick up any tips/tricks. I've learned a few new ones about Eclipse which is great.

One suggestion for improvement for the next session is please adjust the mic/audio levels for both presenters. I had to use headphones with the audio cranked to max to be able to hear at all. I can usually listen to music/YouTube videos on my computer with the volume at about 50% perfectly fine. You can see what I mean by viewing the latest video posted on YouTube as the audio is much lower than other videos.

Otherwise keep up the great work, looking forward to the next one.

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#19 User is offline   unidevdroid 

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 01:42 PM

I liked the Android classes, are you going to have new more advanced courses, if so when?
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#20 User is offline   Bill M 

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 02:31 PM

I'm concerned about the pace of the course with regards to just keeping up day-to-day (week to week actually).

I am watching the first course videos now. I find it very common that I need to pause or rewind. Are the videos made available to those that participate in the course and if so how soon after the original course?

Bill M
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