Saturday, October 15, 2011

Continue Learning, even if you are not currently using it

Recently I attended the NoVACC and I got into a conversation with a fellow technologist. During this conversation I express my concern that technology was passing me faster then I learn or use it (I work in an office that is still using Windows XP, Visual Studio 2008, IIS 6). He asked, “ Then why learn this stuff if you can’t use it for at least 3 years”; hence the reason for this post.
I am working on a SharePoint 2007 project in which we have to remote our application to the virtual SharePoint Server. Normal when we create our applications we create our POCO (plain old CLR objects), then our Data Access Layer (using Stored Procedures naturally) then our user interface, and of course this is how we test our applications. But unless you have SharePoint Server running on your machine or you remote into the server you can’t test.
I know many developers would say that we needed to do TDD (Test Driven Development) but we work in an environment that useless they can see something tangible it was not real. But I remembered a session I took at the Richmond Code Camp that was on unit testing. I did a little research, knocking the cob webs off, and put together a testing project. With the DAL already complete, I can run my tests and show the customer something when they ask – “What have you been working on?”. This gives us a way of making sure that the data we are expecting back is actual what we are getting back.
The moral of the story, even if you can’t use what you learn today you never know when it is going to come in handy. Keep learning

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