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Graeme Reisinger Welcome to my Office. My Other Office.

Ahh, I am experiencing the intimidation of my very first post - visible by the whole world.

Ok, here goes.

This first post is nothing exceptional.  It is simply a recommendation based (fittingly, I suppose) upon the job search you may be gearing up for.  I find myself in this very situation right now.  And, I will take my own recommendation after posting this entry.


To the left you will notice two links under "Recommended Learning".  I have found these links to be invaluable when it comes to re-tooling, re-familiarizing, or otherwise resharping my skills when looking for that next job.

Often, you will find job-postings with the text, usually posted after a laborious list of qualifications indicating the company's desire to hire candidates who know what they are doing: "...Looking for a candidate who can hit the ground running...".  The interesting thing about this post to me is I've encountered many individuals who, after speaking and working with them for some time, I've realized are perfectly capable of hitting the ground running - and FAST.  But what if they speed off in the wrong direction?

The next time you spearhead a major task in your job, ask yourself: Am I headed in the wrong direction?  There are many ways to do this.  In fact, I've found in this new field there are more ways to steer your project in the wrong direction than there are good ones.  You might be carrying forward a pattern from an loder language (C++?) that does not work in the newer language.  Or, perhaps, you are following the advice of an 'expert' who prefers to stay within his comfort zone, rather than explore newer, more innovative or practical solutions. 

In my own personal past experiences, regardless of the reason I may have gotten started heading off into the weeds, the clue I learned to pay attention to more and more is that nagging voice in the back of my mind.  Though annoying, usually I end up giving in to what it suggesting, which is: "There has GOT to be a better way of doing this..."  I would compare this to the "bad smells"described in the SW development community.

I don't want to suggest that every one of my posts will fall into the "right direction" category, however I do think a healthy dose of introspection of the pros and cons will always be beneficial before you set off.

That said, allow me to expound on the previously mentioned links.

These web sites are invaluable.  They demonstrate the capabilities of existing as well as new and upcoming tools available in several IDE's.  I've viewed many tutorials in LearnVisualStudio.NET, and only one or two so far in TrainingSpot, however I've been delighted in their simplicity and straightforward approach to proper usage of the particular tool or concept being discussed.  They have not (so far in my experience) demonstrated ways in which to use the tools that become cumbersome, impractical, or error-prone.

Each website has step-by-step videos that can be paused, replayed, and most importantly, they are done in real time.  As the author is typing, the viewer gets to experience the coding experience from a first-person perspective, including syntax errors, unexpected behaviors, IDE setup idiosyncracies, everything.  A subtle value I've gained from these videos is that a certain degree of confusion and introspection is normal when working with new tools and exploring new paths. 

They (as well as your own experience) are not to be feared, but enjoyed.  I highly recommend them.

Good work, guys!

Posted on Sunday, May 23, 2010 11:45 PM SQL Server , C# and .NET | Back to top

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