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The latest technology January 30, 2008

Posted by gcorbin in Commentary.
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Technology changes so often that sometimes it can be overwhelming to try and keep up. This is most noticeable when dealing with software. Since software is made from nothing but thoughts, it is a technology that can have a lot of new concepts and techniques within a very short time frame. This is most obvious for people that work within the Microsoft technologies. Microsoft has been releasing new software platforms, frameworks, and APIs at a crazy rate over the last 10 years. Within that time, we’ve seen complete paradigm shifts from desktop client/server apps to distributed smart clients that live in the web. The technology to do this has also change drastically. We saw everything from the introduction of Xml to 5 released versions of the .NET platform. This leaves many software engineers struggling to keep up with the latest craze from Redmond. I find the best solution for this problem is to stay informed at a high level. If a new technology turns out to become a big hit, then it’s worth the time to really understand it in depth. The best way to stay informed it through technical web sites and magazines. The list of content that I regularly read is listed below:

                       Web Sites

                        http://www.asp.net

                        http://msdn.microsoft.com/asp.net/

                        http://msdn.microsoft.com/

                        http://www.codeproject.com/

                        http://sourceforge.net/

                        http://slashdot.org/

                        http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/default.aspx

                        http://www.dotnetrocks.com/

                        http://www.dnrTV.com/

                       

                        Magazine subscription

                        ASP.NET Pro             

                        Visual Studio.Net

                        MSDN Magazine

                        User Groups

                        http://beantowndotnet.org/

As you can probably tell from this list, I’m mostly interested in web development. The web sites I try to read at least 3 times a week and the magazine subscriptions are once a month. The user group is a meeting that occurs once a month. It’s a great place to interact with other .NET developers. This is something new to me, but highly recommended. Of all the sites listed above, my favorite is dotnetrocks. This site release a pod cast on every Tuesday and Thursday that discusses so .NET technology. Each pod cast is 60 minutes in length. I like to download them and listen to them whenever I’m offline. They are a great way to keep informed with the constant changes in .NET.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make here is that you should have some strategy for staying up to date with the latest stuff. Without one, you’ll go crazy with the constant flood of new things.

 

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