Blog & Engineering Insights
Technologies nowadays are evolving at an incredibly fast pace and we, as developers, have to do our best to keep up with the newest trends, features, and languages. This is because generally, the technology updates bring additional efficiency, ease of use, and the overall ability to create better products with less effort. Apart from that, programming proves to be a competitive field where efficiency, speed, and knowledge are appreciated and rewarded.
The .NET ecosystem is quite vast and there are a lot of areas of interest, ranging from web and mobile applications to backend advanced logic, all being written in different imperative or markup languages.
In this post, I want to focus on some of the ways of keeping up to speed with .NET technologies. Although I will focus on sharing my best resources and strategies for growing as a .NET professional, I think you can apply these steps also as a generic method to keep yourself updated with any other technology and topic you want to dive deeper into.
1. Attend conferences
The first thing that comes to my mind about keeping up with the latest trends in the .NET world is conferences. The biggest ones have always been streamed online, but since the pandemic, the amount of content delivered through the internet has increased.
One of the most popular Microsoft conferences where .NET is of great interest is called Build. Here, the Microsoft MVPs are presenting the latest inventions and updates. When it comes to the .NET ecosystem, there are plenty of other conferences, among which we can mention: QCon and MAUI. For a full list of both online and on-site conferences, check out this link; here you will find both online and offline .NET-related conference opportunities.
2. Subscribe to content
Another great way of staying up to date with the newest developments about Microsoft in general and .NET, in particular, is to subscribe to specialized channels and pages on social media. For example, this YouTube channel is a great place to follow the latest news about the environment. Live weekly sessions about the latest and greatest updates are also available in the online world. If you are more into reading and not so much into video content, no worries, the DevBlogs are surely going to be something for you!
Once you attend a few conference sessions, some speakers will particularly grow on you. You can then follow their public work and post on different platforms like Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. If you’re looking for some inspiration on who to follow, some of my favorite thought leaders in the field are Scott Hanselman, Scott Guthrie, and Anders Hejlsberg.
3. Prototype preview features
Through one or both of the methods above, you will find out when Microsoft announces new versions of their technology and frameworks. This also happens with .NET – usually bundled with a new Visual Studio update, where a new version of the renowned framework is released and is available to the general public. Along with the version of .NET itself, which normally brings additional interoperability, platform compatibility, and performance improvements, the C# language also evolves, giving the developer further options for making the code more readable and easy to write.
While both the .NET framework and Visual Studio IDE are initially in preview and are not fully ready for production purposes, they give the developer a great chance to get ahead by experimenting with the new features and providing valuable feedback to Microsoft.
4. Pair program with colleagues
It’s impossible to always be up to speed with everything, but from time to time – your colleagues or programming buddies might come in handy when it comes to learning new things. You should always pay close attention during your pair-programming sessions but when observing, apart from thinking about edge cases and naming conventions, try to also see what new features and syntax your peer is using. If something catches your eye, you can always ask. The explanation, while perhaps not full, will work as an incentive for you to search, learn and experiment further, by yourself.
5. Get Certified
In the end, we need to mention the usefulness of certifications when it comes to staying updated. Microsoft offers several certifications, for .NET but also for several other areas like Dynamics 365, Azure, and SQL Server. Apart from that, you can find certain certifications intended for a specific role, based on your knowledge level.
Getting a certification can represent a structured way of learning in order to get up to date with a specific technology. Moreover, once you have passed the necessary exams and completed a certain certification, the received certificate can be considered general proof of your knowledge.
Staying up to date with the latest news about .NET can be cumbersome. However, I hope that equipped with the tips listed above, you’ll be able to stay on top of this technology and expand your range of knowledge in this field.
If you are interested in a career in .NET development, you can check out the open positions at Tremend.