Practical Experience

I have been spending a lot of time writing about technology lately. After a phone conversation with Tim Ewald, it got me thinking. During the first half of writing the book, I was working full-time writing ATL/C++ apps mostly and trying to get up to speed with ADO.NET at night. While my girlfriend minds, I don't really.

While in this phase of the project, I learned a lot about the technology and the class signatures, but it was very hard to grasp the big picture of the real problems that people will/are facing.

Soon after I got a full-time position developing a large scale .NET application. This really helped me appreciate the nature of the techology. I started to get really excited about how ADO.NET would help people solve these problems. Later on I started doing a tour of .NET User Groups to talk about ADO.NET and this was enlightening as well. People were asking me real-world questions that I did not always have great answers for. In the end, both of these experiences definitely helped me write a better book IMHO.

So the quandry, do I go out and try to find a position helping build large scalep projects to stay sharp with the trench warfare that is coding or simply move to being a full-time writer/editor? I don't want to lose my edge of understanding the code, but trying to do both is exhausting.

In the end, I hope to find somewhere in-between. Work on designing large scale projects while being able to write/edit about feels like the good middle ground.

Shawn Wildermuth
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