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How to keep up with technology

    Question

  • Hi,

    I have been working in Microsoft .NET since its 2.0 version. Currently I am working on 3.5 but its very difficult to keep myself updated on things happening. There are many things in 2.0 that I still don't know. I would like to know how other developers keep themselves updated with the latest news, technology.

    Thanks,
    H
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 3:36 PM

Answers

  • I would like to know how other developers keep themselves updated with the latest news, technology.
    I find it interesting that the two most prolific MSDN forums responders (Deborah/Dave) didn't let you in on their secret. But I will tell you.

    Start answering posts here in the MSDN forums.

    I got into doing this because I was writing a VSTO Excel addin and needed help. I got that help from the VSTO forum and thought I would give back to the community which helped me. What I found was that the forums challenged me (still do) to give thoughtful examples and look into technology and classes/methods I woudn't have.

    I post to the forums because it keeps me sharp and I am continously learning, if you take that tact, and not try to be the top answerer, these forums are your key to a better understanding of MS technologies but frankly programming itself.

    That's just my opinion...I could be wrong. ;-)

    William Wegerson (www.OmegaCoder.Com)
    • Marked as answer by Zhi-Xin Ye Monday, June 29, 2009 11:33 AM
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 4:03 PM

All replies

  • I like to watch Channel 9 webcasts.  Also, I find that strategically following particular people on Twitter keeps me up to date as well. Oh, and I read alot.  A whole lot.
    David Morton - http://blog.davemorton.net/ - @davidmmorton - ForumsBrowser, a WPF MSDN Forums Client
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 3:37 PM
  • Most important thing for me is actually not to stay on the bleeding edge of everything.  Time and again you'll find that MS will release something and tout it as the next big thing...the next standard...everyone needs it.  But then it either never gains in popularity, or MS finds a better solution, or they just lose interest in it...and then it dissappears.  The only people harmed are those that spent all the time reading it and learning it and are now trying to support something that's gone to the wayside.

    So, I never hop on any bandwagon until it's been out for 1-2 years and has proven itself to be reliable, popular, and most likely permanent (for the time being).  That will weed out a lot of stuff for you.

    As far as language features...they're rarely required.  I learn the new ones as I need them to solve a problem but rarely before that.  Once you get on top of them, you'll find that the langague feature changes between each iteration of the framework are fairly small.  You can read a quick article on the changes and just use each one as you need them in the future.
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 3:43 PM
  • I find it very beneficial to join a local user group and attend local code camps. These are normally free and provide a really good way to keep up with what is going on.

    If you are in the US, you can find a .NET user group here:

    http://www.ineta.org/

    INETA is a world-wide organization, so they also have a list of user groups throughout the world, but I am not sure what the URL is for that.

    And like David I read. I read books, magazine articles, blogs, etc.

    Hope this helps.
    www.insteptech.com
    We are volunteers and ask only that if we are able to help you, that you mark our reply as your answer. THANKS!
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 3:54 PM
  • I would like to know how other developers keep themselves updated with the latest news, technology.
    I find it interesting that the two most prolific MSDN forums responders (Deborah/Dave) didn't let you in on their secret. But I will tell you.

    Start answering posts here in the MSDN forums.

    I got into doing this because I was writing a VSTO Excel addin and needed help. I got that help from the VSTO forum and thought I would give back to the community which helped me. What I found was that the forums challenged me (still do) to give thoughtful examples and look into technology and classes/methods I woudn't have.

    I post to the forums because it keeps me sharp and I am continously learning, if you take that tact, and not try to be the top answerer, these forums are your key to a better understanding of MS technologies but frankly programming itself.

    That's just my opinion...I could be wrong. ;-)

    William Wegerson (www.OmegaCoder.Com)
    • Marked as answer by Zhi-Xin Ye Monday, June 29, 2009 11:33 AM
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 4:03 PM
  • Start answering posts here in the MSDN forums.

    Absolutely.  I've learned more from answering questions here than I've learned anywhere else.  Especially when it comes to debugging.  There's nothing like someone else's puzzle to teach you something.
    David Morton - http://blog.davemorton.net/ - @davidmmorton - ForumsBrowser, a WPF MSDN Forums Client
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 4:07 PM
  • I would like to know how other developers keep themselves updated with the latest news, technology.
    I find it interesting that the two most prolific MSDN forums responders (Deborah/Dave) didn't let you in on their secret. But I will tell you.

    Start answering posts here in the MSDN forums.

    I got into doing this because I was writing a VSTO Excel addin and needed help. I got that help from the VSTO forum and thought I would give back to the community which helped me. What I found was that the forums challenged me (still do) to give thoughtful examples and look into technology and classes/methods I woudn't have.

    I post to the forums because it keeps me sharp and I am continously learning, if you take that tact, and not try to be the top answerer, these forums are your key to a better understanding of MS technologies but frankly programming itself.

    That's just my opinion...I could be wrong. ;-)
    The MSDN Forums are a great way to keep on top of things.  I would strongly agree with OmegaMan.  I am new to the Forums and I do not post many things, but just reading through the posts of the Forums that you have signed up for and trying to answer other people's questions are a great way to stay on top of things.  Most importantly, the questions that these people are asking are real-world scenarios.
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 4:24 PM
  • Yes, William, you are right.

    When I was very first leaning VB 2 way back when, I spent quite a bit of time on CompuServe reading how other people solved problems until I felt proficient enough to help others. It was a great way to learn... and still is.
    www.insteptech.com
    We are volunteers and ask only that if we are able to help you, that you mark our reply as your answer. THANKS!
    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 4:27 PM
  • Hi All,

    Thanks for your reply. I will surely try to participant in MSDN forums and answer questions posted by others so that I will learn. Also, I will try to read whenever time permits.
    H
    Wednesday, July 01, 2009 12:29 PM
  • I'd agree with everything here, and also add: read blogs. MS employee blogs are great, and there's a number of non-MS blogs as well.

    Most blogs focus on one or two technologies, so choose the ones you're interested in. It's not hard to find one or two blogs that are good to start off with (read a few entries to make sure they're helpful ones). Then, anytime they reference another blog, read some of its entries too and possibly add it.

    Of course, you should have a blog reader / rss aggregator. I use Google Reader just because it's always online and I don't have to think about it.

    I've been doing this for a while, and have 115 subscriptions in areas of my interest, ranging from device driver installation to WPF. That sounds like a lot, but I only get an average of 10-12 new blog posts a day, some of which are just a couple paragraphs. Blogs are great for reading about "up and coming" technologies, e.g., I got *another* post on .NET 4.0 Tasks this morning (which I'm very interested in). I don't have time to download the beta myself and try it out, but these guys do, and they post what they find (or wrote).

    I also highly recommend books, videos, MSDN magazine (free online), user groups (currently trying to start one where I am), and the forums.

           -Steve
    Programming blog: http://nitoprograms.blogspot.com/
      Including my TCP/IP .NET Sockets FAQ
    MSBuild user? Try out the DynamicExecute task in the MSBuild Extension Pack source; it's currently in Beta so get your comments in!
    Wednesday, July 01, 2009 1:36 PM