There are obviously exceptions, but as a whole, the entire .Net community would be much better off if we would collectively pay more attention to and interact more with other development communities and traditions. I was somewhat agitated at the obvious feelings of novelty and excitement when features or technologies were demonstrated yesterday at the MVP Summit that have been available in other products and languages for years (IntelliJ, Eclipse, or even ReSharper). I’ve paid attention to the Java world for quite awhile and Agile Java is undoubtedly the primary influence on Agile .Net, but the last couple years have really opened up my eyes to the tools and techniques from other communities (Ruby, etc.). We’ve got a lot to learn, and steal, from the rest of the world. Ignorance, Microsoft blinders, and a bit of an echo chamber effect in .Net are hurting our community.
Software development is still a young profession that’s in a state of constant flux and it’s just not smart to put your head in the sand. I’m seeing plenty of clients that make their development projects more difficult than they have to be because they just don’t know about existing tools or better techniques. “Not Invented Here” isn’t just caused by cleverness and arrogance run amok, it’s mostly attributable to just not knowing what’s out there.
Yeah, I know, we all want work to end at 5 pm. But development is the profession we chose, and if constant learning doesn’t suit you, it’s time to move onto something else. I know the day will come when I don’t want to keep up anymore. If nothing else, go be the kind of project manager that tells his/her developers that they understand their job because they coded in COBOL (VB6/ASP/PL/SQL for me) back in the day.