The more I learn, the more I don’t know…

Or to put it another way - my head is about to explode...

Ok - In real terms I  am on day 9 of my new role and my return to being a developer. I have learnt the following:

  • I am very much enjoying looking at code again
  • I am currently terrible at writing code (C# or Visual Basic)
  • We shipped a lot of new apis and improvements to the languages since .NET Framework 1.1 (somehow the delta never looked quite as big when I was mainly thinking architecture rather than code)
  • The world of development has massively moved on.
  • There is more quality information to help developers out there than ever before - blogs, videos, screencasts etc. I am grateful to all those content producers in the community.
  • Official documentation from MS is still very good - but it has gaps and far less samples than I would like.
  • I am falling for Visual Basic 2008 (and I speak as someone with a ; heritage - although I also did a lot with 4GLs)
  • Microsoft product groups are releasing APIs faster than I can discover they have released them 🙂

How are you all doing?

Comments (6)

  1. Jeff says:

    It’s overwhelming. It’s necessary, but it’s overwhelming. I read the blogs, I try stuff once it is out of beta (I REALLY can’t keep up if I have to stay on the beta train), and I am forever falling behind.

    every four years it seems like it’s worth rewriting my app to take advantage of the new stuff…

    the biggest gap is in keeping track of what the best practices are. it takes a month of using a new framework or technology to get some idea of how it fits in with the real world…

  2. Dave A says:

    You picked the wrong language, you should have gone for C++/CLI as that’s much easier 🙂

  3. Tim says:

    I agree with Jeff, keeping up with all the lastest releases of Frameworks and Tools is very overwhelming.

    Eric – I’d be interested to know why you’ve returned to Development after spending time working as an Architect. I’ve spent a while breaking into the Architect role, but I sometimes wonder whether it was the right move.

  4. Matt Phillips says:

    ‘Official documentation from MS is still very go’

    On Ado.Net data services and entity framework the documentation is not good. It is very, very, bad indeed.

    So bad we’ve geven up trying to use it. (Yeah, you get help to write a ‘hello world’ app., but more than that and you are on your own.

    I am not prepared to subscribe to even more blogs to try and understand the stuff. I subscribe to 100+ already, and it stinks.

    I should not have to. I should be able to go to MSDN

  5. Hi Matt – the first time i wrote that line I put

    "official documentation is not nearly as good – it has gaps and less samples than I would like"

    BUT…. I paused and thought about it a little more.

    The very latest stuff (which is where I am spending my time – e.g. Entity Framework) has LOTS of gaps. It is very frustrating. It makes our lives very hard as early adopters.

    However I realised the shipping stuff is actually still of pretty high quality – not always – but in the main it is.

    I realised what I actually meant was something like

    "we are much better at getting new apis into developers hands early than when I last developed – but blimey – the documentation is lagging behind significantly"

  6. Tim – interesting question.

    Architect to Developers isn’t the full picture of what went on here 🙂

    My ISV Architect role has subtly changed over the years. It had become an odd hybrid of Architect + Programs Manager + Relationship Manager + Admin. Work/Life balance is hugely important to me – and what I found was I increasingly just didn’t fire up VS. I recognised I was about to become a bad architect – an architect with no real experience of the tools and languages I was proposing to build solutions with. I needed to do something – and this new role was a great opportunity to address the above AND do something very different around events, blogging etc.

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