Requiem for a Ranch

While elements will still remain, to an extent it appears that Big Nerd Ranch is locking up the corral for good.

A long long time ago, I was their original Android app development trainer. Working on a contract basis, I delivered training in Historic Banning Mills (“come for the training, stay for the zipline!”) on many occasions. That included leading some nature walks during breaks, helping folks figure out how to get cell service (tip: walk up a steep hill to get out of the valley), and wrangling the occasional piece of luggage. Banning Mills was an unexpectedly delightful spot to deliver training, one of the most entertaining locations that I ever used.

Eventually, Big Nerd Ranch concluded that this Android thing might pan out, so they hired dedicated staff and I moved on to deliver training through a series of other firms. Over time, they wrote their own set of books, and you’ll probably recognize a few of the authors for their contributions to the Android development community.

I remain grateful to Aaron Hillegass for taking a chance on me and giving me the opportunity to deliver Big Nerd Ranch training. That played a significant role in my overall success with CommonsWare. I even wound up doing some more contract work for them in 2018-19, albeit not in the form of delivering training.

As their announcement post puts it, “The landscape of tech education has evolved significantly since our inception”. That’s putting it mildly. Discontinuing their public bootcamps and their series of books is not surprising — after all, I did much the same thing. Still, it’s tough to see and makes for a somber end to the day.

That said… maybe I’ll pick up a Stetson and put a propeller on the top, for old times’ sake. 🤠