Look at all the things I'm NOT doing!

I read a nice lament about Time Management at Matt Casto's blog and wanted to give my own 'Time Management' tip, specific to .net geeks like you and I:

Make a list of what you DON'T have to do.

have you heard the saying:

"you don't know what you do until you know what you don't do!"?

for us .net geeks it's important to regularly say:

"okay, here's are some cool and fascinating technologies that i would learn if i had the time, but i'm NOT going to learn them, because I am but a single humble limited human being, not all things to all people"

My Current list of "WON'T DO" learning items is:

And then a second list:

"here's some great stuff that I'm NOT going to learn in depth just yet, because they're still too new. For now, I only need to know the basics"

  • Silverlight
  • Iron Ruby
  • SQL 2008
  • VS 2008

And then I tell myself:

"When they are more mature they will be easier to learn, and more fun to use"

Remember how frustrating XAML was when the tool support was absent? Remember writing WSDL files in notepad? Did you ever try to use Notepad to write windows forms? It's not a good way to spend your years! There is a benefit, but it's outweighed by the cost. When a technology goes from 'bleeding edge' to usable... well there's a lot less bleeding involved!

If I am suddenly thrust into a project where I'm expected to KNOW these technologies inside-out YESTERDAY!... I'll be okay. We are all masters of "Just In Time" learning. It's cool. We can handle it.

If you still feel overwhelmed by the pressure to keep up... go back and read 'You Are Not Inadequate'.

(End of feel-good-pep-talk-for-my-own-benefit-following-teched-overload)

(p.s. Similarly there is a list of web pages that i stop myself from visiting. XKCD. Icanhascheezburger. YouTube. WorseThanFailure. If someone has a funny XKCD comic to show me -- i ask them to email it to me, rather than let myself get drawn into that vortex...)

(p.p.s. The title 'Look at all the things I'm NOT doing' is taken from something DHH said in a popular webcast where he's building a blog engine from scratch using ror. In my head, i can hear his voice saying it now.)


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