5 Resources for Microsoft .NET Developers

The Microsoft .NET stack has become one of the most popular systems for software development. Its capabilities include Web applications, desktop applications, games and mobile development.

Developers can access a wide range of resources on the Web to stay apprised of Microsoft .NET trends and keep their skills sharp. Here are just five examples:

1. MSDN The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) is likely to be one of the most valuable resources on the Internet for the Microsoft .NET developer. Not only does the documentation on the site make it the authoritative resource for .NET, but the downloads section has Microsoft’s own .NET tools and a wealth of other free downloads. MSDN Magazine is another resource to help keep you informed about advanced programming techniques and upcoming technologies. There are also a number of specialized Dev Centers with information on specific topics like Microsoft Azure or Windows Phone development.

2. Stack Overflow Stack Overflow is the premier question-and-answer site for software development of all kinds, including Microsoft .NET. If there’s something you’re trying to accomplish, but don’t know how, there’s a really good chance it has been explained on Stack Overflow. Thanks to strong content moderation and mechanisms that allow the community to select the best questions and answers, quality information bubbles to the top quickly. Answering questions on Stack Overflow is also a way to raise your profile in the .NET community, which can help you build valuable contacts and enhance your career track.

3. Codeplex Codeplex is an open-source repository and version control system (similar to GitHub or Sourceforge) that many of the most important .NET open-source projects live on. All three sites host a wide range of projects. However, because Microsoft started it and continues to sponsor it, Codeplex gets some of the best Microsoft .NET projects . Microsoft has made tremendous strides towards releasing more open-source code, which often ends up on Codeplex. If you’re looking for a particular software component or library, Codeplex is a logical place to start.

4. Code Project The Code Project website consistently features reliable sample code and examples of projects. One major shortcoming of MSDN is that while it shows a particular method or class in a context, it does not explain “why you would do this.” Code Project is filled with snippets and examples that help to fill that gap because it uses the approach: “How can you accomplish a particular task?”

5. Microsoft Bloggers A number of Microsoft employees have excellent blogs that show off code, talk about new features and functionality, announce new releases, and discuss the future of .NET. With these blogs, you’re getting information straight from those who are “in the know.” Here are three blogs to check out:

  • Somasegar’s Blog: S. Somasegar is the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Whenever a new release of Visual Studio or another development tool comes out, Somasegar has a great in-depth look at their capabilities and how to use them.
  • ScottGu’s Blog: Scott Guthrie is a Microsoft executive vice president in charge of Azure as well as a number of other development-related projects. He frequently blogs about new features.
  • Scott Hanselman’s blog: Scott Hanselman is the principal program manager and community architect for Web Platform and Tools at Microsoft. His blogs and podcasts are full of Microsoft .NET-related advice, thoughts and ideas.

Do you have some other great Microsoft .NET resources to recommend? Let us know in the comments section. For Microsoft .NET framework best practices, see this post.

Tags: Career RX