Pluralsight Video Review - Change It Up!

Change It Up! by Rob Conery (53m)

I needed an easy watch after putting in about 8 hours on a previous course, so thought that this would be a perfect relaxer, whilst also learning something new. I wasn’t disappointed!

However, as the video started, I was both pleased and a little worried. What was nice was that I am very familliar with Rob Conery - he is one of the co-hosts on This Developer’s Life, which is a podcast series made in conjunction with Scott Hanselman. I pretty much listened to all of them six months ago and can definitely recommend them. But, I also like how soothing his voice is. Really! Listen to him and see if you agree.

What bothered me though was that at the start, it seemed to be a whole bunch of slides like a Powerpoint presentation with sound. Fortunately, it isn’t, and you soon see that he uses them merely to segment points being made, later on. This video (is it a course?) I feel is all about being happy and making choices which lead you there. He does that mainly by speaking to Rob Ashton but there is a small story of his own and that of an ex-DBA woven in there too.

Since this is mainly about Rob A’s life, it’s worth saying a few words about what caused him to end up being on this video. Basically, my interpretation is that he got fed up of grinding away at work and really needed a change. A change to recharge his batteries, do what he loved and seek some of the happiness which previously, he had placed as a lower priority than money. Through a series of chats, Rob A tells about how he minimised his life (extracting himself from a flat in Belgium), got rid of his furniture and then spent the next half year travelling around with one week’s worth of clothes and two laptops. He was simply a coder for hire and used his public Google calendar to arrange short stays in various parts of the world. The only thing he asked was that they paid for him to get there, gave him somewhere to sleep and sorted out some food. Otherwise, he was free labour. There were a few points he made that I want to repeat:

  • The ability to learn and keep learning is very important. On some of his assignments, he didn’t know what technology or work he would be doing at all and that didn’t bother him.
  • Don’t go against the grain. He spoke about how in the past, he might want to do things his way but learnt that sometimes it’s just easier and better to do it the way that is expected. His example was of using MVC in .NET.
  • Be happy! The whole purpose of this video. He talked about how he was so much less stressed and content now.

If you can’t guess, I really liked this video and recommend it.

Hi! Did you find this useful or interesting? I have an email list coming soon, but in the meantime, if you ready anything you fancy chatting about, I would love to hear from you. You can contact me here or at stephen ‘at’