Live from ACCU Conference - the high horse

WPF Team Blog
22 April 2009

ACCU Conference just got started, and I'm sitting here listening to the keynote - Uncle Bob Martin about The Birth of Craftsmanship. Interesting. Yes, as the picture hints (and I apologize for its quality), he started out talking about electron guns and slits.

In spite of Robert Martin, the most interesting thing about this conference, from my point of view, is the group of people that comes there. Well, of course the people who attend conferences are always the most interesting thing, if you go to conferences as a speaker or exhibitor. But this case is special, because it proves something I've suspected for a while: there's life outside of .NET!

Of course I'm exaggerating. Everybody knows that there's life outside .NET. Right? Well, I do think that when we work on any particular platform for a good while, we tend to forget that there are others in the world who do something entirely different. Or, if we do realize that, we forget that these other people aren't all stupid, wasting their time, hacking around on unimportant stuff.

I suspect we're all guilty of that. At the same time, I've found that these people I'm talking to here, many of whom specialize in native code C++ development (just to name one example of a horrible outdated time wasting mechanism, from the perspective of many .NET developers), seem to be a lot more open towards, and better informed about, things that go on outside their own world.

Maybe they have to. Maybe they just realize that the thing they do themselves isn't the most important and relevant one in the world, and they just feel the need to keep up to date about other things. But... do you think they might also benefit from looking outside their box? I do.

.NET has been evolving quickly over several years, and there are lots of voices criticizing that pace - for everyone of us, it's hard to keep up with the news that constantly come out of MS. At the same time, it's important to realize that the largest part of news put out by Microsoft aren't really news. I'm not accusing Microsoft of anything -- I believe they are doing a good job bringing certain technology into the mainstream, whether it's been invented by them or not. My point is that there's no reason to be surprised all the time.

My point is that if most of us had a less exaggerated opinion about the thing we do in the context of everything else, we would go learn about the rest of the world much more. We would spend less time being surprised and more time making well-informed decisions and being efficient. I suspect most of you would make the same statement about themselves as I would: I've always been thinking out of the box, and all this isn't news to me. Well, I don't think any of us is really where we should be in this regard. If you think you are, let me know and I will look up to you from now on :-)

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