Seasonal Learning Opportunities 2017

The 2017 seasonal update for our continuing quest to Always Be Learning.  You can compare and contrast with those for 20142015, and 2016.

The following are simply in alphabetical order. Right now the list is shorter than the past two years as several sites haven’t yet disclosed their Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals; I’ll update this post as I see others go public. Please share any others you hear about in the comments.

Note: 5 updates added 20171124; 2 updates added 20171129 – see below!

Books and Videos


Until 11:59PM Pacific November 26th, Amazon are offering an extra $5 off any one print book using the code GIFTBOOK17.  While hardly a huge discount, it’s a little extra incentive to pick up a tech/learning book that you’ve been putting off – and for better or worse Amazon often already have the lowest price on physical books.

Note: the Amazon link is to rather than  This is deliberate as Amazon have a not-very-well-known program where customers can define  a charity of their choice to receive a small percentage of some purchases when made via smile rather than http://www.  Yes, it’s only a tiny percentage; no, it’s not for all purchases; and yes, it seems a bit deliberately obtuse for Amazon to require the separate site/URL – but it’s still free money to a good cause, and if you’re shopping on Amazon already, why not go set it up?


Apress are offering a Cyber Monday sale of $9.99 each for any of their ebooks or only $12.50 for any of their printed books (plus free shipping!). The site normally offers an ebook Deal of the Day on the home page.

Barnes and Noble

Last year for Black Friday B&N offered a 30% discount on any single item. This year’s Black Friday deal (there are several but the one I think is most relevant here) is for 20% off your entire online order through the 26th using code GIVETHANKS. While not a great discount in and of itself, it can be very helpful when combined with other existing discounts (like the free express shipping for B&N rewards members – sadly the additional 10% discount for members does not apply to online sales) and/or for items that can’t normally be found discounted on other sites (like Amazon).


Cisco Press are having their annual Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale with 55% off two or more eligible items using code BF2017. This includes books, ebooks, video training, practice exams, and more. They also consistently offer eBook and Video Deals of the Week on the home page.


Like last year’s recommendations, this is not strictly speaking a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal, but HumbleBundle do have a deal for tech learning: the O’Reilly Java Books bundle offers up to 15 ebooks for $15 for the next 10+ days. For those who don’t know, HumbleBundle offer different  selections (bundles) of books, games, etc. that are sold “pay what you like” – though there are minimums, and increasing your offer unlocks additional items in the bundle. In this example, $15 will get you all of the ebooks – in multiple ebook formats. Highly recommended.

LeanPub [Added 20171124]

LeanPub and a few of their authors are giving readers Black Friday/Cyber Monday price reductions at various levels of discounts. While this is not a site-wide sale, there are some interesting ebooks included in the sale. For those who haven’t shopped LeanPub before: customers picks their own price to pay, with each book having a minimum price and a suggested price; for these deals that minimum price has been reduced.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a single URL to find them or describing these discounts at the time I’m writing this, so I’ll post them here:

Lulu [Added 20171129]

I didn’t catch this one until late on Cyber Monday, but luckily Lulu have extended their sale until 11:59pm Eastern November 30th:  40% off any print book using the code CYBER40. Two recommendations for taking advantage of this discount would be for the first two books in the IT Architect series by a cadre of well-known VCDX: IT Architect Series: Foundation in the Art of Infrastructure Design: A Practical Guide for IT Architects and IT Architect Series: The Journey: A Guidebook for Anyone Interested in IT Architecture

Manning Publications [Added 20171124]

This year they’re again having a “Green Tuesday” sale until November 27th where all eBook purchases under $50 are 40% off (with code gt112117alt) and purchases over $50 are 50% off (with code gt112117blt).

And of course they always have a Deal of the Day selected from across their entire catalog (eBooks, physical/printed books, or “MEAPs” – Manning Early Access Program books similar to O’Reilly’s Rough Cuts where books are made available as chapters are completed).

PacktPub [Added 20171124]

Packt Publishing are once again having their Black Friday sale where all of their books and videos are only $10 each.  Of course, Packt’s books are fairly low-priced to begin with, they have frequent sales throughout the year, and they have their regular Deal of the Day as well.

Pearson IT Certification

Pearson are having the same annual Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale as Cisco Press with 55% off any two digital items and using the same BF2017 code. On their site you’ll find not only tech books from Cisco Press but also VMware Press,  and others, and of course video training, practice exams, and more.  If you miss this sale, they also consistently offer eBook and Video Deals of the Week (which are different from the ones on the Cisco Press site) on the home page.


Cisco Learning Network

The Cisco Learning Network Store will be having a Cyber Monday sale with a bunch of different deals on learning bundles, labs, VIRL (Virtual Internet Routing Lab) licenses, etc. Unfortunately, until the 27th we don’t know exactly what those deals are.

GNS3 Academy [Added 20171124]

You may know GNS3 as the best vendor-neutral networking simulator around (predating Cisco VIRL, which obviously isn’t vendor-neutral), but did you realize they also offer training? This year they’re offering a Black Friday sale where all of their courses (normally priced between $19 – $49) are only $10 using coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2017. They also have some courses at a normal price of less than $10, as well as several free courses to check out at any time.


If you’re ready to take the leap for your CCIE, check out INE.  They’re offering three deals until midnight Eastern time Sunday (November 26th): 30% off All Access Passes, 50% rack rental tokens, and 40% off CCIE Ultimate study bundles – which include lab workbooks, advanced training courses, and, yes, rack rental tokens. This drops the one-year cost for their All Access Pass, for example, from $999 (already a great deal for the amount & quality of material) to just $699.

The Linux Foundation [Added 20171124]

This is a new one on the list: 60% discounts off the organization’s bundles for prep courses and an exam – plus a free t-shirt and coffee mug!  And don’t let the name fool you – besides two Linux certifications, there’s also the official Kubernetes cert and a Cloud Foundry cert. At $179 for each bundle these are a steal – for perspective, a Red Hat certification will cost you $400 for the exam alone.

New Horizons [Added 1120171129]

One of the leaders in the technical training field are offering two related deals until December 1st: 50% off all Microsoft application courses with code CYBER50 and 30% off select technical courses from Cisco, Citrix, CompTIA, and Microsoft with code CYBER30.


Pluralsight have rapidly become the leader in IT video training with one of the widest selections of material, broadest topic coverage, very frequent additions to their catalog, and some of the best instructors (and most certified) in the industry. Their Black Friday sale discounts their annual subscription by 33%, dropping it from $299/year to just $199/year.


Udemy are clearinghouse for video training – much of it technical but also offering courses on design, marketing, health, productivity, and more.  Some of these courses are also available on other sites – for example, they offer quite a few of the courses from A Cloud Guru on AWS, Azure, etc. While they frequently offer short-term deals on some/most/all of their products, for Black Friday/Cyber Monday all 55k of their courses can be had for only $10 for the next five days.

VMware Education

Just like last year, VMware are discounting select courses from their online store by 25%.  Course coverage includes VMware NSX, Horizon, AirWatch, and (unsurprisingly) VMware vSphere. In addition to the normal courses, you can get 25% off exam preps, certification exam vouchers, and VMware Learning Zone subscriptions.

Take advantage of everything that’s out there, and get prepared for another year of learning and growth!



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