Skip to main content

Know your frameworks, never stop learning!

Last year, as part of a series of posts, I asked "Are you investing in your own career?". This, in part, came about from a great quote that heard:

Do you have 10 years experience, or 1 year's experience repeated 10 times?

I think the majority of developers starting out are fired up and excited every day. Everything is new, everything is a challenge. Just getting something to work, no matter how, is a success.

It can also be amazingly frustrating and tiring to be constantly learning and actively building your knowledge / skill-set. It's probably not a surprise therefore that it is so easy / appealing to back off a little bit for a break once you have learnt enough to satisfy the day job. Similar to over training in sport, it's probably even a good idea - no one can do anything flat out indefinitely.

But what happens when you just continue backing off? The hard truth is, rather than continuing to build your experience, you do slowly start to fall into the trap of just repeating the same year over again. Yes, in the second year, you feel more productive in that your starting point is higher, but for the most part that's it - you don't really become any more productive or learn anything new over the course of that year.

So what's the solution? I personally think the answer boils down to these two points:

  • Know the frameworks that you are using inside out, and
  • Continue learning new stuff like you're a junior developer again.

If your company / team uses Entity Framework, Angular, 'insert any framework here' then read up about it, try new things to see what else it can do. Maybe even schedule a team hackathon to learn together. But don't stop there, look at the every day stuff you use all the time. Are you just scraping the surface of C#, ObjectiveC/Swift, Java or what ever language you use in your day job? Look at the "What's new" for each release, find blogs, podcasts, etc to help widen your net of information.

Pick something new to learn, maybe native mobile development (if you're a web developer) or a completely new language (F# if you're an accomplished C# dev). Maybe even look at a common time sink in your day to day coding and look to see if there's a new or different framework / methodology that would improve your and your team's productivity.

No matter how many races a runner may have won in the past (and records they've set), if they've stopped putting in the training miles then they should expect to be beaten in a race by someone who is committing the effort and is, therefore, better prepared. Being a developer is no different - but it is our brain, not our legs, that we must be constantly training to stay 'match fit'.


Popular posts from this blog

Problem installing AWS CLI

It never feels like a good start when you're trying to start out with something and the install fails with an obscure error! I was just trying to install the Amazon CLI following the instructions at and ran into the following error when running 'pip install awscli': Collecting awscli Could not find a version that satisfies the requirement awscli (from versions: ) No matching distribution found for awscli I appeared to have a correct version of Python installed (v2.7) and checking "PIP -v" indicated that 9.0.1 was installed. That all seemed to tick the required boxes but digging around a little more I did see that some people had had issues with various versions of PIP so I found / ran the following to upgrade to the latest vesion: curl -o python This installed v9.0.3 of PIP which burst into life when I re-ran 'pip install awscli' and everything seems to be ok. Like…

Mocking HttpCookieCollection in HttpRequestBase

When unit testing ASP.NET MVC2 projects the issue of injecting HttpContext is quickly encountered.  There seem to be many different ways / recommendations for mocking HttpContextBase to improve the testability of controllers and their actions.  My investigations into that will probably be a separate blog post in the near future but for now I want to cover something that had me stuck for longer than it probably should have.  That is how to mock non abstract/interfaced classes within HttpRequestBase and HttpResponseBase – namely the HttpCookieCollection class.   The code sample below illustrates how it can be used within a mocked instance of HttpRequestBase.  Cookies can be added / modified within the unit test code prior to being passed into the code being tested.   After it’s been called, using a combination of MOQ’s Verify and NUnit’s Assert it is possible to check how many times the collection is accessed (but you have to include the set up calls) and that the relevant cookies have …

Injecting HttpContextBase into an MVC Controller

It is a shame that when the ASP.NET MVC framework was released they did not think to build IoC support into the infrastructure. All the major components of the MVC engine appear to magically inherit instances of HttpContext and it’s related objects – which can cause no end of problems if you are trying to utilise Unit Testing and IoC. Reading around various articles on the subject just to get around this one problem requires the implementation of several different concepts and you are still left with a work around. The code below, along with the other links referenced in this article is my stab at resolving the issue. There’s probably nothing new here, but it does attempt to relate all the information needed to do this for Castle Windsor. The overview is that all controllers will need to inherit from a base controller, which takes an instance of HttpContext into it’s constructor. It then overrides the property HttpContext in the main controller class, supplying it’s own version…