A bit of thinking

Speaking of aus-dotnetters, I’m continually reminded how great that community is.

User Groups have been important to me as a learning source over the (almost) 2 years I’ve been in this industry. The aus-dotnet list is always a valuable resource, no matter how many OT (Off-Topic) posts get “generated” when one approaches on the fifth day of the working week (er, that be Friday :P).

But damn, even the OT threads are an interesting read at the best of times (when I have time to read them). Some responses do make you go “hmmm… interesting”.

I think one of the more interesting things have been blogs. Blogs started getting popular last year as I was starting my after graduation, working life. And is continually getting more popular. (By blogs, i’m referring to dev blogs). I’ve learnt a lot from blogs. A continue to do so quite often.

I have an idea. I wonder what sort of software would be created if all the great minds of the aus-dotnet list were to be employed at the same company developing software together. Imagine the internal discussion lists!

Another interesting idea would to put Mitch and Bill in cubicles next to each other 😛 — Ok, maybe that’s going a bit far.

Honestly though, all those resources coupled with the ability to use a search engine “efficiently” has helped me along the way. It’s not easy being a one man development team with no one else to turn to, to bounce questions off straight out of uni. I guess you could say I was thrown into the deap end and am swimming on my own at times. And then reading the instruction manual to help keep afloat while i’m semi-floating.

(I think I may have mentioned some of these things before…)

The power of having the community there, some of whom are likely to have some experience in areas you are looking into is very beneficial. Take today for example. I was looking around the web for Australian based SMS Gateways which allow for 2 way SMS and an API of some sort that I could make use of. Basically, it’s to extend the existing alerts/notification system we’ve got at work. (We’re still using pagers. )

The thing with SMS messages is, is that everyone has a mobile these days (well, almost everyone). So it’s quite a viable alternative (well, for the company I work for anyway, rather than going for the everyone has to have a Pocket PC phone etc…).

Anyway, Stuart Kinnear recommended MessageNet which seems to be able to do the job. It’s got a Web Service interface. So it should be fairly easy to integrate into what we’ve already got, and replace the pagers.