ADF Academy launched- interactive, entertaining and educational

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Last week I was prompted to take a look at the new Oracle ADF Academy that has just published its first lesson: Developing Applications with ADF Mobile. As you probably already know, there are tons of resources on ADF. Blogs, books, tutorials, Oracle by Example instructions, YouTube movies, extensive documentations, how-tos, the forums, podcasts and more still. What could this ADF Academy add to the mix, I was wondering?

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Here is what Oracle says about it:

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I had not read this description prior to watching (or experiencing) the first lesson; but it proved true. I was very pleasantly surprised. The ADF Academy is a multi media experience that uses every trick in the book – or every option for interaction, illustration, explanation and demonstration I could think of.

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Different voices, music, code samples, cartoons, demonstrations, bits of video.

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I frequently attend webinars – and they typically very quickly get boring and I have a hard time focusing and staying engaged. The voice drones on, the graphics are power point slides, the story is too high level (or far too detailed). There are many pitfalls for such on-line trainings. I still like my books very much – as they allow me my own pace and to some extent imagination as well. But of course when reading a book, I need to work through samples to bring things to life.

It seems that ADF Academy has adopted something close to the style of perhaps my favorite range of text books: the Head First [Java|Design Patterns|..] series. The Head First books also use every option in terms of rephrasing and visualizing the concepts under scrutiny. Cartoons are frequently used to clarify and underline the important messages. Here is one of the pages in the lesson on ADF Mobile application Development:

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At first glance, these cartoons may seem a little childish perhaps. But it is my personal experience that they make learning fun. It helps to refocus – also to break through what otherwise might have been a monotonous experience.

Note that it is not just cartoons. There is live demo:

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and source code:

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overviews of what the next section will teach us:

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architecture overviews:

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step by step code clarification (both through audio and visuals):

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and self test quizzes:

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An additional bonus in the lesson is the appearance of several key people whose names you may know from forums or blogs – now suddenly doing bits and pieces of live action explanation. Here is Chris Muir making a contribution from Perth, Australia:

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All in all I think that this way of presenting information and teaching me about using special aspects of ADF is a great addition to all existing resources. It is fun to watch, entertaining, has a good structure, explains both the high level overview as well as the fine grained technical details. In any review I like to find fault with whatever I am reviewing, just like a tester is out to uncover bugs. However, I am really happy with the ADF Academy. I am looking forward to additional lessons. Well done ADF-team!

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About Author

Lucas Jellema, active in IT (and with Oracle) since 1994. Oracle ACE Director for Fusion Middleware. Consultant, trainer and instructor on diverse areas including Oracle Database (SQL & PLSQL), Service Oriented Architecture, BPM, ADF, Java in various shapes and forms and many other things. Author of the Oracle Press book: Oracle SOA Suite 11g Handbook. Frequent presenter on conferences such as JavaOne, Oracle OpenWorld, ODTUG Kaleidoscope, Devoxx and OBUG. Presenter for Oracle University Celebrity specials.

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