Must read post by Sam Gentile – Distributed computing is your friend

In this essay which questions why it seems people are not leveraging .NET to do real scalable enterprise apps, Sam reinforces a point that he has made often and states again in his comments on this post . Too many developers pick up Visual Studio.NET and kind of start where they left off, without looking to see what’s new in there. They get stuck on the IDE improvements or the server controls and don’t look deeper to the stuff that lets you build really awesome applications. Even if you are like me and not in a situation where you are building huge apps, you can still use your smaller apps as a playground for learning how to use these things and STILL realize a great benefit, not only to your skills and understanding of .net, but the applications will benefit. Sam seems to be mourning the fact that people are once again writing client/server apps because this is what the IDE wizards create and also that there are too many samples out there that demonstrate code without middle tiers. Joel Semeniuk talked about this exact same problem this morningin Trivial Samples? How about Patterns? 

I am not writing gigantic enterprise apps, yet everything I write for my clients, I write with some type of scalabilty in mind. I have one client that has gone from 15 to 100+ employees in the last 6 years and I think in another 5 they will have operations around the country. Everything that I write for them now, I try to build with that in mind. Even though I fear it will all be legacy code by then… Sometimes I know that what I am doing is overkill. Often I even don’t charge them for some of the extra work I do on their apps that is possibly more for the sake of my education. Reading what Sam says definitely reinforces my justification for this.

Sam and I think very differently and work differently (if he’s reading this, he probably just spit out his coffee). He writes big, I write small. I often get something different out of what he is writing than what his main point is (which tends to make him nutty – especially when I then go write about it in public…). But even I have slowly evolved my own methods as I have gotten deeper into .NET. In the past, yes, I too started out by seeing what’s new in the IDE. I have, in the last 2 years though, learned a LOT about .NET and am working with a lot of pieces of this that always seem terribly daunting at first. BUt I know that by learning them and using them I am taking advantage of what .NET is all about.

Sam knows .NET from the bottom up, not the top down (in my mind) – take heed of his message. It was Sam that inspired me to really want to more than a developer using .NET but to be a .NET developer.

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