Resources

Resources for Succeess

This page is a one-stop solution for all your exam preparation needs. It lists all the resources that I have recommended in my blogs

Full disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I receive some commission if you purchase through them. This way you can support my blog at not extra cost to you!

TOP DEVELOPER & IT TRAINING COURSES

PLURALSIGHT

One of the best, in-depth technical resources to keep your skills up-to-date. 

Being an author myself, I can vouch that an enormous amount of effort goes into making every course, with peer reviews, Production Editor reviews etc.

With Pluralsight Premium plan, you can access Azure Certification exams with Kaplan, which has helped me immensely to clear my AZ-103 exam.

I cannot recommend any better

LINKEDIN LEARNING

LinkedIn Learning, Lynda earlier, has a few courses that will be very helpful for your IT certification exams, like the exam tips etc.,I always enjoyed their delivery

While Pluralsight has purely IT and software development related, LinkedIn Learning has a much bigger scope in that they also cater to topics on Creativity and Business fields

With free trials in the offing, there is absolutely no reason not to grab one

Also, check out their a la carte courses

UDEMY

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Udemy is vast, and has a huge range of courses for your Certification needs

With a 30-day refund policy, you needn’t fret about trying one

Most of the time, their courses are cheap, starting with $10.

COURSERA

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Coursera is known for their offerings in Machine Learning, Deep Learning & Google certifications. 

Check out their Specialization courses, which I absolutely recommend, which you can try for a 7-day trial.

My earlier organization depended purely on Coursera’s certifications, so I understand the value certifications bring. 

If you need certifications to showcase your credentials, this is the place to be!

SKILLSHARE

Learn on Skillshare

Skillshare has top-notch content, that too at the lower price.

You get a free, 2-month Premium trial, post which their annual subscription costs around $100, which is the cheapest of all

Skillshare is rapidly growing, and I am sure it will be tough to beat in the near future.

You don’t want to miss out the free 2-month premium trial

TREEHOUSE

Team Treehouse is more suited for beginners. If you are a beginner in web development, I would say go for it.

It’s courses are clear and well-narrated. But it might become a little boring if you are already at an advanced level.

Get a free trial and try for yourself. You will find out if it is for you in a matter of days

Many have asked me what my setup is like for producing Pluralsight/Udemy/Youtube videos/courses. Here, I share with you all the tools I use for my video production. Feel free to share this page for someone getting started.

TOOLS FOR YOUTUBE/UDEMY/VIDEO COURSE PRODUCTION

EV RE320

Aesthetically pleasing, very sturdy and heavy, RE320 from Electro-Voice is easily one of the best microphones in the market (Many rate it higher than Shure SM7B)

First suggested by my Production Editor at Pluralsight and I couldn’t thank him enough. Cheaper than the SM7B, a must-have if you are serious into course/YouTube video, Podcast or music production

To begin with, RE320 is a dynamic microphone which implies that it works great even if you have a noisy environment.

Check this video for the audio recorded with RE320 for my Pluralsight course. I highly recommend this mic and you wouldn’t regret purchasing it.

FOCUSRITE SCARLETT SOLO

Simply put, Focusrite Scarlett, an audio interface converts analog signal (sound) to digital signal that your computer can process

It also does the reverse. Convert digital signal from your computer to analog so you can hear the sound by plugging in the microphone

Now, you might ask, that sounds pretty much like the sound card in my computer. Why do I need one?Well, the sound cards in your computer are of low quality. They are not meant for professional sound recording and do not handle interference well.

In addition to that, audio interface also acts as a preamp. This is needed as the output from dynamic microphones are so low, that it needs to be amplified before it is sent to the computer.

There is literally no competition to Focusrite Scarlett in the market.

RODE PSA1 BOOM ARM

If you go for RE320 or any other heavier mics like Shure SM7B, be sure to get a high-grade boom arm

You cannot put a $300 mic on a $15 boom arm and expect it to hold at all times

I highly recommend Rode PSA1 Boom Arm. Note that Boom arm has to support both the RE320 mic and the shock mount (which is heavier itself)

Initially I was worried if RE320 would be too strong for the PSA1. And when I hooked them up, to my surprise, it worked like a gem and there were hardly any vibrations affecting the mic

Boom arm has 2 options:

  • to drill a hole onto your table (permanent solution) 
  • Or to just clamp to the table (temporary solution)

EV 309A
SHOCK MOUNT

Since you will clamp the microphone to the desk, all the vibrations on your desk will travel up to the stand and into your microphone’s diaphragm.

To prevent this, you need a shock mount, the one from Electro-Voice themselves, the 309A. 

This setup can quickly become expensive, so you might want to try out this bundle, which includes both the shock mount and the stand with your RE320 microphone

I did not use the stand it came with it, as I wanted a Rode Boom arm, although you can try

POP FILTER

When you speak, you cause vibrations in air which gets captured as sound. 

But for certain kinds of sound, namely the Plosives (the ‘p’ and the ‘b’ sound), there is a sudden burst of air on to your microphone’s diaphragm.

This sudden burst of air sounds very unpleasant. To stop this, you need a pop filter

A pop filter filters the popping sounds by spreading out the air across different directions.

You can practically go for any cheapest double-meshed pop filter. The brand does not matter.

FOAM WINDSCREEN

Although foam windscreen is similar to pop filters, i.e., they both prevent an excess gush of air from entering the microphone, foam windscreens are often used when recording outdoors.

I use both in my recording studio, and it does not have much impact on the quality of the sound produced. Some people have concerns, so I thought I will bring this up.

One of the reasons why I use this, in addition to pop filter, is to protect the microphone from unwanted dust and other objects from entering the microphone.

Your microphone contains sensitive elements and it deserves this protection.

PROFESSIONALMONITOR HEADPHONES

Monitoring your audio as you record is very important to improve your productivity.

When you monitor, you can easily detect the problems in your audio like: 

  • Does the audio has too much echo?
  • Are the audio levels too low or too high?
These problems can be easily uncovered, with a monitor headphones. Else you need to record a short clip every time, save them and then test your audio, which is a cumbersome process
 
When you think the audio is perfect, you might continue recording a big clip (approx 20 minutes), only to later realize that there were software issues, or other unintended changes to your settings, which would result in a low-grade audio. The professional monitor headphones will help you to uncover them.

AT ATR2100

Audio-Technica ATR2100 was my first professional microphone before I started my Pluralsight course production.

It is also a dynamic microphone, cheap and is best if you get started with video production. Unlike RE320, It is a USB mic, so you can directly plugin to your computer/laptop

Some of my followers have asked for a cheaper dynamic microphone that works best for noisy environment. And the answer is ATR 2100. You will not go wrong. Ever.

TECHSMITH CAMTASIA

If you use Windows, hands down, there is no alternative, (or probably there is), to screen recording software Camtasia to edit your audio/video files.

It is feature-rich and comes with a 30-day trial. So you can test this out before you buy. There is a Mac version as well, but it is not as popular as the Windows version.

Note that, you need to have significant system resources, in case you decide to try Camtasia, as it can significantly slow down your system

I recommend having a Laptop/PC with minimum 8 GB RAM

TECHSMITH SNAGIT

Of all the screen capturing tools that I have ever used, Snagit offers a ton of features.

It is compatible with both Windows and Mac, allows you to capture a video screenshot which is very helpful to communicate with your team.

It allows rich annotations and you can test it out with a free trial. No credit card required.

Along with Camtasia, it is the perfect bundle for all my video production needs

GRAMMARLY

I proofread all my scripts with Grammarly.

I am not a native-english speaker, hence this awesome app allows me to not sound stupid while I design my slides and write scripts

In fact, its browser extension integrates so well that Grammarly is everywhere when I’m online

It is a must-have tool

What do you think? Did I leave out any of the important tools regarding YouTube/Udemy/Pluralsight/SkillShare Course Production? Let me know in the comments section below

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