Today I stumbled upon John Papa’s article on the June 2004 issue of the MSDN Magazine. He discusses a question that every developer asks when dealing with ADO.NET. What do I use, the dataset or datareader object? This question should never be asnwered based on familiarity, rather based on design. Why design? Because as John discusses there are scenarios where one is better than the other.
Read this article that so clearly provides the information necessary to make those tough design decisions (notice the enphasis on the word desgin) [:)].
Have you ever found yourself looking at the title of an article you find interesting but have no time to read it? Or maybe even if you have time to read it you don’t need the information at the time? Have you ever found a tutorial that you knew you were going to need in the future and wanted to have it available for later use?
Let me provide an example: About a year ago I stumbled upon an article written for the MSDN Magazine October 2005 issue that discussed Asynchronous Pages in ASP.NET 2.0. At the time I didn’t have the time nor the need to read the article so I saved it as an mht file in my KB under KB\ASP.NET for future read. I also filed it under KB\ArticlesToBlogAbout (post coming shortly).
How you organize your information makes a big difference in how well you are able to access it and eventually put it to use. There are several ways to do this: you could save the pages as mht or pdf that way you can read them off-line (my approach), you could orgainze all the information by bookmarking the pages, etc. Your approach has to work and give you quick access to the information when you need it. I choose file system as opposed to bookmarking the page (which in the case of mht files is essentially the same but instead the link resides where you want to put it as opposed where the browser is designed to put it) because my KB is in my memory stick which makes it very portable. If I bookmark the page in my laptop but I happen to be using my work PC I have to make sure I have access to the laptop should I want to read it at work.
As a developer you should be always learning. Technology changes happen so quickly that sometimes it feels like it hard to keep up (specially when you have tons of projects at home waiting to be done, a family and church). Keeping information organized can make the difference between actually getting to the things one needs to know to develop state of the art software or falling into the “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” trap.
So give it some thought, design your own KB and come back to tell me all about it.