help.net list the following 10 .NET Framework Technologies to Learn in 2007. What do you think? I think that you can not known all of these as well if you picked only a handful. I marked the ones that I think are absolutely needed in red and the maybe ones in blue. As you can see I marked only 4 (that was initially, I added threading since it shouldn't take you that long to master that and I added some other ones that are essential for a developer[/edit]) and yes SQL Server is one of them. Even to master SQL Server 2005 is very difficult if not impossible. Do you know all of the following good enough that you can work with it without a problem?
You don't and you really can't unless you don't have a life and sit in front of a PC 24/7 but even then it is doubtful
What I have noticed is that a lot of .NET developers didn't do Ajax until MS released ASP.NET Ajax, it is like they are oblivious to the fact that there are other frameworks out there like prototype for example. It is kind of sad that the technology that was first developed by Microsoft and made its way into Outlook Web Access took sooooooo long to get into Visual Studio. Same thing with Nant, Subversion etc etc. I mean how many of you are still using SourceSafe? I am not using it because Subversion is so much better and it's also free (not that that matters because we get it with our MSDN subscriptions anyway).
So open your eyes check CodePlex regularly for new things. Do you know there is a NHibernate.Spatial project? No, did you know that MbUnit 2.4 has been released?
Download it here: http://mb-unit.googlecode.com/files/MbUnit-2.4.197.exe
Here is the list (from help.net)
1) WCF (Windows Communication Foundation): While WCF is certainly less "sexy" than say WPF / Silverlight, it is going to represent the backbone of solving business problems with .NET going forward from here. Big organizations are starting to embrace it, and it provides a cohesive framework for solving business problems in a distributed, integrated way. WCF integrates Remoting, WebServices, EnterpriseServices and Transactions, WSE, MSMQ, and much more into a cohesive programming framework. If you intend to make it your business to study just one new .NET technology this year, make it WCF.
2) ADO.NET (and LINQ): ADO.NET is how you talk to a data store, and databases are such a ubiquitous part of what you will do as a developer that you have NO CHOICE but to become extremely competent in this area. The next big thing in how to talk to data is LINQ with language extensions and entity objects that "represent" mappings of data and its relationships. If you don't become at least familiar with all this stuff, somebody else is going to eat your lunch.
3) WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation): Everything you learned about Windows Forms, pages in a browser, and UI elements is going to go out the window, because Microsoft has already declared that WPF is the new way we're gonna do this stuff. Its already built in to Windows Vista, and the XPS (XML Paper Specification) is already built into the printer subsystem. Don't hang on to the old- get with the new just as fast as you can get your little tushy in gear! And besides that, WPF is just so friggin' cool, it will knock your socks off in hi-def streaming video!
4) SQL Server 2005 (and on): I understand this isn't really .NET, but then again it really is. SQL Server 2005 hosts CLR integration of managed code. That's not only revolutionary, it provides a power to the programmer that you cannot get on other platforms. You have to learn everything you can about SQL Server 2005 including Service Broker, because it will help you to be a better programmer and problem - solver.
5) ASP.NET 2.0: Even non "web programmers" need to understand how this works. The feature set has grown and matured, and you are looking at dynamic languages, LINQ, AJAX, and much more being integrated into the ASP.NET Framework (not to forget Silverlight - the sexiest technology of all of them!).
6) Security. Developers are notoriously weak on security ("Who cares about permission sets - I'm just a Code Monkey"). Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world and there are evil people out there who jump with glee when they can mess up your day. The more you become an expert about security, the higher your pay will be: expert security consultants make upwards of $300 / hr.
7) TDD (Test Driven Development): Unit, regression and integration testing aren't a luxury - if you want to develop robust systems then you must have a test protocol. And to do testing right, you need to study how to write tests and what tests to write. There are several excellent books on TDD and at least one that specifically focuses on .NET.
8) Networking (System.Net and related): Networking -- TCP, UDP, HTTP, FTP, and on -- are an integral part of what you need to know how to do in order to glue programs together and make them be able to talk with each other and your data. The more you know about this area, the better equipped you'll be to make the right kind of choices when you are tasked with creating business logic through code.
9) Threading: When asked to develop a multi-threaded object or to use a ThreadPool, 95 out of 100 programmers who claim to be professional .NET developers fall flat on their faces! You need to study all the threading primitives, know how they are used, be able to use the .NET or a custom ThreadPool, and manage threads in your applications.
10) Learning. That's right, I classify learning as a technology. People need to become smarter about how to learn, and especially, WHAT to learn. Just as you become a better programmer when you learn to use the Google or other search engines more effectively, you become a better programmer when you can detail for yourself what you need to learn to be better at your craft, and write down a plan for implementing that learning process.
I would like to have all of them in red but it is time to start specializing just like doctors do, you have to become a specialist. I rather have a lung doctor, an eye doctor and an orthopedic surgeon on my team than 3 physicians who know a little about everything but not a lot about one thing.