Help Each Other Out
By Elden Nelson
As I plan out each issue of asp.netPRO, I consult with the editorial board to see what articles and topics will be most useful to our subscribers. Then, when an issue hits the streets, I always look forward to reading your feedback; invariably I'll run across a number of terrific ideas for improving the magazine, as well as comments on how a particular article helped solve a thorny problem. It's gratifying to see that asp.netPRO is helping developers out, because that's why we're here.
And that's why I'm excited about this issue.
Along with the code-intensive, how-to articles we normally run, we've got a couple of special additions to asp.netPRO this month. First off, you'll notice that one of the features in this issue is a case study, focusing on why and how the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) migrated its legacy system over to ASP.NET. By itself, the story makes a great case for the business and development sense in moving to ASP.NET; you might find it instructive if you're considering migrating systems of your own. I like the fact, though, that AECF is a charitable foundation, with the sole purpose of routing money to those who need it. They're using ASP.NET because it will allow them to help more people, faster.
We've also got a special supplement to this issue on Microsoft's .NET Code Wise Community. Just in case you're not familiar with Code Wise, here's the gist: Microsoft asked a group of trusted and well known developers, trainers, and publishing companies to join this association with the purpose of sharing what they know and learning about .NET with you. Microsoft helps them by giving them early access to information; the Code Wise members then help you by spreading the word and answering questions from their independent, real-world perspective. "Community" isn't just an idle word with this crew - they really are here to help you out. I think you'll enjoy getting to know them in this section and using the tips sprinkled throughout.
Now on to something of a more personal note. I have a neighbor who has been out of work for 18 months. I've never seen someone work so hard for so long to find employment - he's literally sent out hundreds of copies of his resume. He's answered dozens of want ads, some only peripherally related to his area of development expertise. He's interviewed countless times. No luck.
No luck, that is, until last week, when he got a very interesting job at a 3-D modeling development company. I asked him how he found the job; he let me know that another neighbor of mine had pointed him to it - it had just opened up and hadn't been publicly announced yet.
You've probably heard variations of this story a number of times. And it's pretty well known that you're more likely to get a job if you've been referred to it rather than making a cold call along with the untold masses. Which means you have a chance to do a little helping yourself. Be aware of what development jobs your company has available. Talk with developers at other companies about what jobs they have available. And don't just do it idly; make a point of it. Then, help a good developer who needs work get that job. You'll be helping the developer, and you'll be helping the company. It doesn't take much effort, but it can have big results.
Up until fairly recently, developers didn't need to network like this. But times have changed and we've got to look around and start helping each other out. Let me know what you do, and the difference you make, by sending me e-mail at [email protected].
Elden Nelson is editor-in-chief of asp.netPRO and its companion e-newsletter, asp.netNOW.
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