The other day I was chatting online with a good friend of mine. Dave was a teacher but has gone back to industry. He's a SharePoint consultant these days. Its been a real learning experience for him and he seems to be enjoying it. But one of the things he told me is that he thinks schools need to teach XML. On a day to day basis he's using that quite a bit. It is the language that applications use to share information. It is used for customization in SharePoint and other important applications and tools. It is also used within programs to comment code to automatically generate all sorts of things from Intellisense to documentation. In short, XML is showing up in a lot of places.
Now I have to confess that I have probably not been paying enough attention to XML. Oh sure I know its out there and I see it around. I know that it is the way LINQ queries return data for example and that is something high on my list of things to know more about. But I haven't really moved it to the top of my "things to learn" queue. After chatting with Dave I'm rethinking that.
There are a couple of questions that you my readers can help me with. For those of you in industry, just how important is XML these days? And if it is very important what do you think students should be learning? Just the basics because implementations are all over the place or are there specific tools or applications that are so critical that everyone knows them? What do you wish you had learned about XML before you entered the workforce?
And for those of you in education (especially at the university level), are you teaching XML and if so how, when and where in the curriculum? I'd really like to know where the logical place in curriculum is for XML.
Opinions of all sorts are welcome. Let's have a conversation.