A few weeks ago I asked developers to tell me what heir top “learning pain points” were.

I got GREAT input that I intend to use to drive much of the guidance that I will build in 2011.

Below is a list of the top results.

Please feel free to add or comment.


1.) Choosing between Web Forms, MVC, WebMatrix or something else entirely.

2.) Choose Windows Forms, WPF, Silverlight or something else for desktop development. 

3.) Choosing a data access method (ADO.NET, LINQ to Objects, LINQ to SQL, Entity Framework, NHibernate, embedded SQL) and how to use that choice in application architecture. What are the good practices, should I use binding? Etc.?

4.) Choosing between ASMX or WCF (When SHOULD I use WCF)

5.) Determining the right practices and patterns for asp.net development.

6.) Finding examples of non-trivial applications with great documentation and tutorials.

7.) How to build, consume, and manage Reusable Code (Libraries, Frameworks, Controls).

8.) Microsoft guidance focuses on HOW, but not when and why. Proved “Best Practices”.

9.) Moving from WebForms Controls to JavaScript (jQuery) (How, Why, and When to choose which.)

10.) Show me how to do Grids and all other WeForms control functions in jQuery.

11.) Should I choose jQuery or ASP.NET AJAX (and how do I use jQuery to do all the things that I used to do in ASP.NET AJAX and the Ajax Control Toolkit.

12.) Deciding whether to use Silverlight in an ASP.Net app.

13.) Complete guidance on REST with samples of working will all major REST APIs (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

14.) How to do OO Design & Coding with .NET (I never really had to learn)

15.) Changing our development practices to follow more of a TDD model.

16.) Source code management tool options. VSTS and cheaper solutions (CVN)

17.) How do implement a true and Abstract DAL 

18.) How to build a good BLL with validation (required fields, etc…) in front of an Entity Framework DAL.

19.) I need a complete strategy for SEO. Microsoft has some tools, but no complete story!

20.) How do I design and build for high performance and how to I troubleshoot performance problems.

21.) Understanding stateless application development. WebForms handled “state” for me. MVC and WebMatrix don’t.

22.) Building a business case for management to migrate a Classic ASP (VBScript) (90% of app) to ASP.Net MVC instead of ASP.Net WebForms (10% of app).

23.) Building a business case for migrating Classic ASP to ASP.Net (Choosing MVC or WebForms)

24.) How to understand and get started with ASP.NET MVC. (I’ve been an ASP.NET developer for years and have looked at the MVC samples but it’s too complex and requires advanced OO skills.)

25.) Application deployment is a mess. Which versions of .NET, IIS, SQL ? How to automate deployment? What works side-by-side? How to manage SQL schema updates.

26.) Should I use Stored Procedures or not now that we have LINQ and EF? How do I manage versioning of Stored Procs if I use them.

27.) I need to understand and use the ASP.Net security model, providers, etc.

28.) I need to understand How the .net framework versions work (and don’t work) together.

29.) I need detailed guidance about how to make my (web) application multi lingual. Should I use resource files, a SQL Database?

30.) ASP.NET Membership and Profile management is far too weak. Show my how to take both to the next level and highly customize them.

31.) My team has major confusion over dataset binding in controls versus lists / listview, use of business objects and all the choices. Which controls are best to use for what user interface types and what is the best way to use data with those controls.

32.) Help me learn how to deal with service binding and endpoint configuration headaches in my ASP.NET application; especially when developing on localhost (http) and deploying to a secure environment (https)… resulting in "works on my machine" syndrome.

33.) I need to understand the UpdatePanel (AJAX) and how it affects the page life cycle, security, and interaction between multiple UpdatePanels on same Page. Should I even be using the UpdatePanel? Is it going away? What is Microsoft’s plan for their AJAX stuff which seems to be going away and being replaced by jQuery.

34.) Now that we’re doing more client side coding I need to really understand ViewState. It seems like a black box.

35.) How should I keeping up with new releases? How do I decide when to move to new versions.


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