But in my condescension, I worry that I may have scared people into thinking "Well, he’s a big, bad web developer with too much time on his hands. I don’t have the time or the wherewithal to learn both this framework and everything else needed to make it work." Furthermore, I keep getting a sense that people are afraid to ask questions because of some inate fear of being thought an idiot. I think it has to do with the way we throw around goofy terms as if they are common knowledge.
In Twitter one day, I threw out the idea that my bio for all future presentations will be: "Kyle is just a guy." It was after reading the one I submitted for a presentation and thinking, does anyone really care about what I’ve done in the last x years? And if they are, wouldn’t Google give them a better idea of who I am than I could when I’m in marketing mode?
Following that train of thought, I eventually got to thinking that these trumped-up bios are actually detrimental. After having that thought, I started reading between the lines of my bio: "Kyle is a guy with ten-odd years experience in a ton of different technologies so he is able to figure out all these high-falutin’ technologies like HTML and CSS at a glance and he’s willing to impart various pearls of wisdom to you because he doesn’t think you can do it on your own."
Well, here’s the thing: I *am* just a guy. I figure this &*%$ out the same way you do. By reading blogs, watching screencasts, and diving in. The difference may be that I ramble about it more than you might. And in those ramblings, you are reading more about my successes than my failures and roadblocks. So it may sound like I just decided to sit down one day and learn MVC and lo! out shat a blog post. (Sorry for the crassness. I’d edit it out but I’m killing myself laughing re-reading it.)
I learned MVC by reading blogs from the team that built it and by stumbling through Google and by building an app with it. I also have a cadre of people on IM or e-mail that are crazy-friendly about answering questions. Along the way, I was also fumbling through NHibernate, IoC, and architecture in general. It took (and is still taking) quite a while and I was "lucky" enough to be between contracts at the time so yes, I admittedly did have too much time on my hands at the time.
Despite my recent lapse, it doesn’t do any good to add to a person’s fear that they are being left behind with all these new-fangled frameworks. Taking the high road and saying "Learn HTML, you unwashed heathens" is not going to endear you to anyone, let alone the unwashed heathens (I’m kidding, back away from the comment button). A better way of saying it may be: "Yes, server-side controls likely won’t work the way you want them to in MVC. But I’ve had lots of success sticking with basic HTML and managing the view state myself. It’s not nearly as hard as I thought it would be."
Kyle the Ameliorated