I believe that as you age in the software development business, you start realizing that there is very little new in the world. This means that for someone like me who doesn't read very fast and has kids who need shoes, the desire to go out and purchase a new 60 dollar book about the latest technology wanes somewhat. The problem is that half the book is philosophy and half the other half is basic stuff I already knew anyway. Culling through a myriad magazine and internet articles presents the same problem though admittedly without the expense. The authors are often not interesting enough to really keep my attention and the subject matter is frequently a rehash. I long for a diagram that shows me the lay of the land and allows me to just pick out what I want to learn, learn it and move on at my own pace and in my own direction.
This from the guy who wants to write professionally...
The MOSS technologies are really a jump forward in my opinion for MS. They offer integration points that "the smart people" are still trying to get their minds around and the products are useful right out of the box. Its like having your own Transformer! What I'm hearing from a lot of people on my team and others, though, is that the ability to actually dig in and code against this beast is limited by documentation. I have to admit, before this morning I got more information from blogs and forums than from any technical articles or books.
HINT: MOSS and Sharepoint are lumped under Office in MSDN!!
So I dug around the Office area of MSDN for about 11 seconds and found the Microsoft Office Interactive Developer Map. This is a really cool, easy to follow WPF application! It's available via ClickOnce and gives me both the overview I need to constantly review where I am and the details to let me dig into a piece within context.
I reallly hope that similar applications are put forth from MS for Visual Studio Team Systems, Exchange, SQL Server and some of the other platforms that have a very high knowledge entry bar.
Many thanks to Joe for allowing me a venue here at ASP.net! My previous blog is at http://frameworkpatterns.blogspot.com and, as you may notice, it got a LOT of traffic and allowed me to really open the eyes of the uneducated masses. In reality, it allowed me to vent now and then but I never put much into it because I knew it wasn't getting many hits.
Jump forward to today. I have a new post at a fantastic MS Partner (http://www.appliedis.com) and am working hard to spin up on Sharepoint 2007 while staying current with more traditional development patterns. I hope to post bits and pieces from all the mind boggling ventures into the land of Sharepoint and also describe my experiences with GAT/GAX and the P&P community at MS. As time goes by, I expect that some of the stumps I pull up will be similar to what others have found and we'll work it together. Just one big-ol-happy-family, right? Um. Yeah.
One final note to those that read my most recent China Adoption travel blog: There were no extremist beavers and there were no rioting howler monkeys in Beijing, Kunming or Guangzhou. Please just get over it. It was a joke...