Does the .NET community need an attitude change?

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe my perceptions are skewed for some reason or another. It’d be nice. And no, this is not an “Evil Rob” post.

It seems to me that the .NET community is becoming more and more of a popularity contest. A person’s ability to “play around” with new technology, and blog/twitter/whatever a lot about it seems to be more important than providing actual working solutions. I really hope that’s not the case. Developers should be able to get job based on their ability to provide business value to the client, in whatever form that may be – which is unlikely to be by making small demos or “widgets” of functionality.

It seems that unless you’re working with the latest and greatest technology, that any work you’re doing is useless, and you’re a subpar developer. It seems that cliques and an elitist mentality are emerging, which is unavoidable, but there’s a chance it’s becoming the prominent (or at least prominent enough) mentality in our community. Instead of being a community focused on sharing knowledge, it’s more of a one-ups-manship contest.

The reason all this is coming to a head, is because I’d like to blog about the work I’m doing. I found myself thinking “Man, no one cares about this.”, and “Eh it’s webforms, I don’t want to catch flack for it”. Then it occurred to me that there’s no way I’m the only developer out there still dealing with a legacy webforms app, that will be facing the same challenges I have. Maintenance is a large part of what we do, and something we should always plan for. So it’s always good to know about how to make those old apps easier to work with, or to fix that random bug that pops up in software no one has looked at in a year.

By the same point, we definitely need people blogging and trying out new things with the new tech. I know that for myself, and surely many others, a lot of the enjoyment comes from facing challenges, and finding new, efficient, and interesting ways to overcome them. Without checking out the new stuff, we’d be stuck in a rut.

So it all matters. New stuff matters. Old stuff matters. And it’s important that we keep a good balance with everything, so we can accept and all grow together as a community, and not become a circle-jerk of assholes.

I should also take this time to say that this is NOT an attack on any one (or group) of people. I’m not saying that “popular” people in the community are not (or can not) be competent developers producing fully functional software. This has just been my perception of how things have trended over the past couple of years. I really, really, REALLY hope I’m wrong.

With all this said, I plan on blogging about what I’m actually doing more. I’m also very lazy, so if it doesn’t happen, it’s not because I became shy again.

So please leave me some comments! Am I way off of my rocker here? Am I insecure because my mommy didn’t hold me when I was a child and my vagina is full of sand? Or did I hit on a few nuggets of truth?


Anonymous said...

Lawdy. I had that thought bouncing around in my head, and you put words to it. Cheers.

Alex C said...

I agree with you quite a bit, here. I think there's a big drive for developers to use new technologies as soon as they can in production, before they've really "settled" down. Look at MVC, for instance: I have gotten to the point that I like MVC, but my development group settled on MVC2 with standard ASP.NET markup. Now, when I try to search the web for anything, I have to figure out if this code example is really MVC2 with ASP.NET markup, or if it's MVC3 with Razor, or worse, something earlier.

The "business world" at large can't really work around the whims of what the blogosphere's technology du jour happens to be. We have to settle on something, work with it, make it stable, and learn its strengths and weaknesses. Then, once we do that, we have to make decisions on where to go from there. Decisions made from that position are more rational than "it's new and shiny"

Alex said...

Agree. Perhaps the people you're writing about seem to "define" culture of .NET b/c they're more visible and loud; if they weren't, they'd be quiet and there wouldn't be this blog post. And I am glad to know that I'm a real hero in your world not just b/c I bring you cookies at work, but also b/c I don't have a "look I'm cool" blog, don't try to show off my "omg look I figured this one thing out!" stuff, and in general don't give a crap about GITHub or points on StackOverflow, open-source contributions, or being "visible" in any other way. Maybe I'm old-school, but the only thing that matters to me is how much my contributions help pad the bottom line of my employer (without, of course, sacrificing my own career). Staying mostly current is definitely important b/c it's in general profitable, but at the same time, last time I checked, I was paid for the bottom line, not for putting the latest fads into my code, being "active" in "the community", or refactoring existing code until I feel it's cool enough (i.e., all mine).

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