Learn How to use NHibernate with the Summer of NHibernate Screencast Series
I'm a huge fan of screencasts for learning. There are an increasing number of increasingly sophisticated tools and libraries that we as developers have available and I'm leaning on screencasts to learn them. I really like the screencasts that Rob Conery is doing and I've got really positive response from the ASP.NET MVC Screencasts.
I'm starting to think that all technical books should come with a accompanying screencast series. You typically have to watch closely and pay attention, and it's hard to watch a screencast in double speed (unlike a podcast) but a well-done screencast is the next-best thing to letting an expert take over your computer and show you.
There are many tools that support the fundamental tenets, beliefs, and preferred processes in the ALT.NET space. Certainly ALT.NET isn't "all about the tools," but there are certainly preferred tools.
One of those is NHibernate, a sophisticated Object Relational Mapper. I used NHibernate as my Data Layer recently when I got ASP.NET MVC running under .NET 2.0 using NHibernate examples from Davy Brion (who has an NHibernate Category on his blog).
NHibernate is very flexible, but it's a little overwhelming (for me, at least) to get started. Davy has a good "code-heavy" walkthrough of the concepts. Some NHibernate write-ups assume too much, IMHO.
Perhaps to combat this, Stephen Bohlen has created the Summer of NHibernate Screencast Series as a learning tool to educate engineers at his company. Stephen says:
"Often, our strategy for bringing people up to speed on [NHibernate] has been to rely on word-of-mouth and osmosis (often via pair-programming) to get the points across, but now we have a planned staffing ramp-up of a magnitude that will likely make that approach unwieldy."
He's releasing these screencasts to the public and you can check them out at http://www.summerofnhibernate.com/ or subscribe to the feed and get them downloaded automatically like podcasts! Stephen's also including Code Downloads with each screencast.
If you like them, remember that Stephen's doing this for free, while bandwidth isn't, so you can donate via Paypal to help him out. You can visit Stephen's blog with comments and suggestions. My primary suggestions to him would be to drop his resolution to 1024x768 or even 800x600 (what I do) and raise his font size to Lucida Console 16. Right now, you'll need a high-res (1280) monitor to watch his screencasts.
These small nits aside, I think it's great that NHibernate is getting more screencasts that really help folks get started and augment NHibernate's excellent documentation.
- Official NHibernate Home
- Online NHibernate Docs
- NHibernate Docs (PDF)
- Official NHibernate Forum
- NHUsers Google Group
- ALT.NET Yahoo Group
- NHibernate FAQ Blog