Staying On Top of the Industry, The Keeping Up List

Focus Points:

There are two primary focus points for staying up to speed with software development.  Maintaining these key focus points is invaluable to one’s self for career promotion and personal meritocracy, career integrity, and keeping the stress levels low!

  • Language Features and Technology

Some of the key points to be aware of in the software development industry are language features and technology.  In C# the development paradigm follows that of object oriented development, with the standard inheritance, polymorphism, and other such features.  There are other languages, features, and language subsets that are working to extend these basic object oriented notions.  They range from Scala to F#.

Other things that are somewhat uncommon also should be sought and researched when possible to assure the full range of feature sets within a language are used well, including things like the often overlooked “out” and “ref” parameter passing modes, or the .  These are just some of the things that software developers should be aware of, if not intimately familiar with to some degree or another.

  • Frameworks, Libraries, Factories, Patterns, and Theory

Frameworks, Libraries, and “Factories” as Microsoft calls them sometimes converge into what is essentially the features of a language.  Often though they also extend far beyond, with frameworks for image manipulation, financial transactions, capitol markets, math intensive calculations, and other such industries.  These frameworks generally expose a particular API or service availability for development efforts.  The frameworks, libraries, and even somewhat misnamed “factories” that Microsoft release from its Patterns and Practices group could be argued to be even more important than the language feature themselves.  What can be done with frameworks is often extensive and often simplifies tasks in massive ways.  Regularly the effort is effected to such a degree that the level of familiarity with the underlying logic and business of a framework is almost completely removed. 

Some of the other items that are coming up soon are things like LINQ, and F#, which absolutely change the development paradigm that we developers have been working in.  In a mere number of months when Visual Studio 2008 is released with the framework 3.5 the development world will make what should be another massive shift in improved productivity.  Some developers even touting a 2-3x multiplier in work completion.