Seasonal Learning Opportunities 2018

The 2018 seasonal update for our continuing quest to Always Be Learning.  You can compare and contrast with those for 201420152016 and 2017.

The following are simply in alphabetical order. There are a few lacking details as we wait for the site/vendor to disclose their Cyber Monday deals; I’ll update this post as I see others go public. Please share any others you hear about in the comments.

[Six updates and one addition 20181126]

Books and Videos

Apress [Updated 20181126]

Apress are offering a Cyber Monday sale of only $7 each for any of their ebooks. The site normally offers an ebook Deal of the Day on the home page.

Barnes and Noble [Updated 20181126]

One of this year’s Black Friday deals (there are a number of different ones, of course) is for 20% off your entire online order of $40 or more, through the 26th 25th  (today, sorry) using code CYBER20 BLKFRIDAY.


Cisco Press are having their annual Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale with 55% off two or more eligible items using code BF2018, or 35% off just one item. 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.

HumbleBundle [updated 20181126]

Like prior years’ recommendations, these are not strictly speaking a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, but HumbleBundle do have two deals for tech learning: the Do It Yourself by Make bundle starts out with 4 ebooks for just $1 and scales up to 18 ebooks for $18 (though only for the next ~18hrs at time of writing; the Cybersecurity by Packt bundle starts with 3 ebooks & 2 videos  for $1 and scales up to 18 ebooks & 7 videos for and the Big Data & Infographics by Wiley bundle, starting with 4 ebooks for $1 and scaling up to 13 ebooks for $15. 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 or $18 will get you all of the ebooks – in multiple ebook formats. Highly recommended.

Lulu [updated 20181126]

Lulu are offering  25% 35% off orders when using the code CM35 BLACKFRIDAY25. 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

This year they’re again having a “Green Tuesday” sale until midnight of November 26th where all ebook or liveVideo purchases under $50 are 40% off (with code gt112018alt) and purchases over $50 are 50% off (with code gt112018blt).

They’re also having their annual “Countdown” challenge, Countdown to 2019, where every day they present a question and any correct answers submitted are entered into a drawing for a free ebook or liveVideo of the entrants choice.

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).


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 BF2018 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 [Updated 20181126]

The Cisco Learning Network Store will again be having a Cyber Monday sale with a bunch of different deals on learning bundles, labs, VIRL (Virtual Internet Routing Lab) licenses, etc. VIRL is 25% off at $149.25 while learning bundles and labs range from 25-40% off.


edX, one of the best known online learning programs founded by MIT and Harvard in 2012, are having a Cyber Monday sale this year for 15% off certain program bundles or verified certificates, including ones covering blockchain, Linux, AWS, cybersecurity, machine learning, and more.

GNS3 Academy

GNS3 may be best known as the defacto vendor-neutral networking simulator , but they’ve also been offering training for a couple years now.  This year they’re again offering a Black Friday sale where some of their courses are only $9: Cisco CCNA prep, Juniper JNCIA prep, a Wireshark course, a Python Network Programming for Network Engineers course, and others 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 – like this one for NetDevOps.


INE – best known for their Cisco/CCIE training but also offering training on AWS, VMware, Microsoft, and others – have a Black Friday deal of 30% off any of their training, and will have a Cyber Monday deal giving away an iPad, Nintendo Switch, or Facebook Portal to any customer purchasing an All Access Pass

ITX Learning [new 20181126]

ITX is a lesser-known purveyor of online training including videos, test prep, and practice labs. For Cyber Monday, ITX is offering one year subscriptions to the video training for only $99 (95% off), test preps for $199 (80% off), and practice labs for $299 (70% off). Material varies depending on the type, but includes certifications for Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA, and others.

The Linux Foundation

For Cyber Monday the Linux Foundation will again be having some great deals for their training and certifications: 60% or more off of bundles combining their training with the related certification for only $179 total.  These include the Certified Kubernetes Administrator Bundle, Certified Kubernetes Developer Bundle, Linux Foundation Certified Engineer Bundle, and three others. They’re also again throwing in a free t-shirt with orders, and the new design looks snazzier than last year’s.

Note: this is one of the longer-lasting deals – good until Dec 3rd!

O’Reilly’s Safari Books Online

Arguably, this should be listed under Books and Videos, but Safari – now being marketed more as Online Learning by O’Reilly – includes more than just the all-you-can-read-or-watch buffet of ebooks & videos – there are online tutorials, and even live on-line, instructor-led training available!  Upcoming training just this week includes a Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator (RHCSA) Crash Course, a CISSP Crash Course, an Istio on Kubernetes course, and others.  For Cyber Monday, O’Reilly is offering annual subscriptions for just $199/year (50% off).  I’ve been a very happy subscriber for a number of years and the service just keeps getting better – this and Pluralsight are the two best training deals out there, bar none.


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 subscriptions by 33%, dropping the standard subscription from $299/year to just $199/year, and their Premium subscription from $449/year to just $299/year.


Udemy, fairly quickly became the ubiquitous clearinghouse for video training – much of it technical though not all –  including many of the highly regarded A Cloud Guru  courses, amongst others.  For Black Friday/Cyber Monday they are again discounting many/most of their courses starting at only $9.99.

VMware Education [Updated 20181126]

Once again VMware are discounting select on-demand vSphere courses from their online store by 25%.  There are also deals for 20-50% 30-35% off desktop products (VMware Workstation & VMware Fusion), 25% off exam preps, and 15% off certification exam vouchers.

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



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