Is it just me, or does every developer sometimes feel like life is passing by and you aren’t doing a damn thing about it? All these recent posts about Tech-Ed, .Net bloggers getting together, the parties and basically, the whole .Net "scene" in the U.S make me feel like I'm trapped in a medieval dungeon, where your only option lately is to code VB 6.0 and the user group meeting you attend each month is comprised of mostly shallow talk about non-interesting stuff. I guess you could say that the "coolness factor" is not as dominant as I'd like it to be.
Even though much effort is being taken by me to make my life more interesting (Writing whatever I can in C#, learn like there's no tomorrow) I still can’t help but feel that:
- Companies in Israel spend less time helping their employees "grow"
- Lot's of developers in Israel simply don't want or don't like learning new stuff.
- The ones that do enjoy learning are a relative few
- .Net User Groups in Israel make little to no effort to attract new developers.
As for point number 4:
The User groups in Israel rely on the developers pushing the whole thing forward. The reality is that in order "heard cats" into a user group you need to do some real work. It's not that developers don't want to go; it's just that they have so much to do. They need to be reminded constantly. They need to be wooed and looked after.
I don’t know of a single User group site in Israel that would even come close to giving the amount of information that Juila Lerman's User Group Site does. That's a damn shame! You'd expect that at some point the group leader would decide "hey, we need to do something with ASP.NET. Let's eat our own dog food! Let's build a community site!!". Given the latest MSFT Community Starter Kit, this should be a breeze. But all you get now is a very small, very minimalist site, almost like the old internet days. That site usually only contains the group name, location and next meeting. If you're lucky, you'll get a list of past presentations, but that's it. Medieval, right?
I actually contacted our user group's manager and asked him if I could contribute in any way, even suggested a community site using the starter kit. God knows that would be great practice. His first reaction was "we don't need that, but thanks". I offered to help in any way I can with anything he could think of – "OK, I'll keep you in mind" was the reply. It was like staring at a big white wall.
I don’t mean to rant; I just care about the whole issue. If you've been reading my blog, you should already know that I like taking things personal. I like doing development, I like getting involved, I like helping others, and when I don’t do any of the mentioned above, I feel trapped. I bet some of you (if not most) know what I mean. People who subscribe to .NetWeblogs(I'll still call this site with this name, as this is the best name for it..) are probably a lot like me in that way. The desire to learn and expand is not a hobby, it's a life commitment.
I guess this blog is my way out of this. I've been feeling a lot more relaxed since I started it, and the feeling that somebody reads it (hopefully) makes me feel in-touch with the outside world.
Here's a great example of a developer I got to know through the blog. He's actually in a worst state than I am, since he's got no internet connection at home. So what he does, is each day , he goes to an internet café, goes online, reads blogs, downloads articles and saves it all to a USB-drive. Then he goes home and studies what he got.
That's pretty darn cool if you ask me. If I were at a position to hire this guy, I'd probably do it; even if he possessed only half of what I needed. I'll know he'd be one of my best developers.