Reading posts like this one from Jeremy Miller really make me wish I could make it to the ALT.NET conference in Austin. There are almost too many good points in his post for me to comment on, but I’ll go ahead and try.
I completely and wholeheartedly agree with his comments on the general lack of knowledge that developers have regarding real OOP and software design concepts. Many of the developers I work with are terrified of the upcoming releases of the .NET framework. The thing is, they’re just new releases in tools and libraries. Sure, they provide value - I don’t know how many times I realize that some UI I’m trying to work with in WinForms would be ridiculously easy to build in WPF. And WCF does a great job at abstracting the goo that connects all of my objects. However, if I don’t have a good background in solid OOP design and separation of concerns, WCF won’t help me at all anyway. These new tools aren’t going to do anything to make me a better developer. I’ll still be able to write awful code.
I commend these guys for trying to get to the heart of the issues in the .NET community and I hope that the solution isn’t to just move to Ruby and Ruby on Rails. My opinion is that we have to fix the problems in our community - if we just migrate to another community, the problems and lack of knowledge will eventually follow us. I can still write bad code in Ruby, too.
Being one of the guys who won’t be able to make it, I have a few requests. I would really like to see the content from the conference posted online or made accessible to those of us who won’t be able to make it, particularly considering the fact that the conference sold out. Microsoft did a good job in posting content from both MiX and TechEd this year and I think that would be a welcome addition from this conference as well.
Keep pushing this knowledge out - I’m optimistic that things will improve.