The web is more than just one company

A couple of weeks ago, we had a party at the company I work for. Outside of the bathrooms (where else?), I ran into a guy at work who I know is really interested in what the future might bring when it comes to the web. Naturally, then, I decided to ask him a question. This is how the conversation went:

-So, what do you think of Web 2.0?
-Web 2.0? Oh, you mean .NET 2.0!
Jesus…

What really got to me is the smug way he said it, like he corrected me and I didn’t really know the correct term. However, he seems like a nice guy, so I don’t think (read: hope) it was meant that way. I don’t take for granted that everyone should know what Web 2.0 is, but I do think that if you’re working with Internet and billing your customers a lot of money, I think you should at least be aware of the biggest buzzwords that are currently in the loop.

However, from my experience, this seems to be a common problem amongst web developers specialized on Microsoft products; they seem to lack the necessary knowledge about what’s going on in the web world that isn’t originating from Microsoft. Of course this doesn’t apply to all of those, but at least a fair number of them match this description.

So please, open your eyes. Know your competitors, know your options. And you know why? Because anything else would be ignorant and not doing your job 100% correctly.

16 Comments

  • Ã&Acirc says:

    Now you just hold your horses my Swedish friend ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I think you are generalizing a bit here, or maby I am the exception to the rule. I am a passionate .NET developer and am very excited about .NET 2.0 and the comings of the web (2.0).

    And i know that Microsoft is very working hard to comply with the new way of the web and web applications. All controls in ASP.NET spit out XHTML valid code. The Atlas platform (now in beta) brings AJAX functionality to the .NET platform and makes it easier to develop rich user interfaces with Visual Studio 2005.

    Where I work (a totally Java / Perl / Linux saturated environment) there is no notion of the new web, web 2.0 or Ajax. I am the one here that is trying to promote these things.

    But your last sentence is very, very true. We should all be aware about what is happening and work hard to make better products for our customers and the end user. But I resent the implication that all .NET developers are ignorant and not doing their job correctly. I think you just found the black sheep in the family.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Arní,

    I'm glad to hear that that's not the case with you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    When it comes to people working in other environments than .NET, maybe they aren't as open as the ones that I've met.

    But I resent the implication that all .NET developers are ignorant and not doing their job correctly. I think you just found the black sheep in the family.

    I'm really happy that you have that experience! I've been working mainly with web developers in Microsoft environments since 1999, in both big and small companies, and I'm not exaggerating when I'm saying that I can count the number of those persons that have cared about web standards on one hand. A big flock of sheep, in that case… ๐Ÿ™‚

    To these people, if Microsoft haven't said it, it's not relevant. Like with WaSP and Microsoft working together to improve web standards support in IE and .NET: not interesting, since there wasn't any press release issued from Microsoft about it.

    Therefore, I'm really interested in how they will react to version 2.0 of .NET and all its improvements, but that's a story for another day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ã&Acirc says:

    Man you're quick to reply … so I will be just as quick ๐Ÿ™‚

    In my view there are too many people that only look at the world through a small tunnel and not open up to new things and experiences, and I think this is the case with both flanks of the Internet world (MS and not MS).

    Thankfully … I am not one of those people. I moved my whole family to a new country to experience something new … ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Arní,

    Very true. It's just that I've met so many ignorant people in the MS camp, so I might be a bit biased when I go on a rant.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think it's great that you dared to take the step with your family! Especially considering what country you moved too… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Paul Watson says:

    I work in a research company which is 90% Java (my team is the 10% .NET) and most I have brought up Web 2.0/AJAZ/RSS/etc. with haven't got a clue.

    I think there is some truth that developers who use predominantly Microsoft are not as tuned into the blog/meme culture of the web but it is also very much a corporate situation problem too. If you are working on enterprise J2EE systems you may not be reading web 2.0 blogs everyday.

  • Thanks to this post your site now scores 1 out of 10 in the Web 2.0 validator ๐Ÿ˜‰ Keep up the good work!

  • Ã&Acirc says:

    See Robert … we are not all bad people ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Patrick says:

    Why is it so important do define the existence of web 2.0? Isn't it all just a natural development that has been going on the last few years? It's not as if something magically happened a few months ago when web 2.0 first was mentioned…to most people the content and meaning of web 2.0 might be crystal clear – they just haven't caught on to the buzz word web 2.0.

    Web 2.0 implies that there was a Web 1.0 and that there'll be a Web 2.1 with all the bugfixes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Paul,

    Interesting to hear, thanks for sharing.

    I'm not saying that everyone has to be into the blogging community etc, but if you do work with the Internet you should at least be aware of the most common terms on the market, that's all. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Krijn,

    Ha ha! Finally, I got a point! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Arní,

    Oh, I know some of you aren't. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Patrick,

    I agree totally, the point wasn't really about Web 2.0 itself per se, but rather about web developers that sometimes seem narrow-minded and only know about their part but not about the role it plays in a greater scheme.

    The point was also about MS developers (no, not all, Arní :-)), that don't believe/trust things until it comes out of the "holy" mouths of Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates. I find it pretty likely that some people will actually say things like:

    Wow, these web standards that just came out of Microsoft seem really cool!

    about the release of .NET/IE 7…

  • I too am a .NET developer, but would not generally frame myself in that way. I am a developer and I use the tools that the job requires. Some days that is php, others it is .NET, somedays it is xhtml/css and somedays it is a combination of those plus a smidge of javascript.

    I think that MS has done such a great dominant job of marketing their products that it seems like the world turns around it's whim. Who among us doesn't use a MS product on a daily basis? Standards have been around for a while, but now MS is attempting to take a big leap and jump on board with them. The same situation exists with Web 2.0. AJAX is not new technology…but is getting more publicity now.

    I hear similar verbage from some designer friends of mine. You know the type. Good with graphics, knows a little html (but mostly uses WYSIWYG), markets themselves as a web designer. The people that I know that are like this do not study web design…that just go on instinct and let [Dreamweaver/Frontpage/Go Live/insert WYSIWYG editor] do the work for them. I mention Web 2.0 to someone like this and they have no idea what I'm talking about.

    I rambled a bit; sorry. Hopefully my point came across.

  • I know exactly what you mean here, Robert. I've met so many people like this through the years. It's all Microsoft for them. Nothing else matters. It's not that they're fanatic Microsoft followers, it's more like they… well, they aren't even aware of the options. Like the people who think the blue "e" on their desktop is the interwebs.

  • @Roger: That is so true. There was a time when the Netscape "N" was synonymous with the internet for many people. I'm still surprised to find how many people who use the internet on a regular basis don't know the meaning of the word "browser". Of course, many of these people use <acronym title="America On Line">AOL</acronym>; as far as they are concerned A-O-L is how you spell internet!

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Shane,

    No, your point came across fine.
    And yes, I agree that one should use the tool that’s best for the job, not do the job out of the tool’s perpective.

    I guess it’s just a matter of making people more aware. But it’s not just up to us, there has to be an ounce of incentive and ambition in those people too, to actually want to learn and become better at what they do.

    Roger,

    Yep, the blue “e” is synonomous to Internet for a lot of people. A shame, really (and to clarify, I wouldn’t want any other web browser logo to be that either; I want people to know about the options they have).

  • Karl Dawson says:

    Just to digress from the original article, but the Web 2.0 Validator is invalid. It is not a public alpha ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Nemanja says:

    -So, what do you think of Web 2.0?

    -Web 2.0? Oh, you mean .NET 2.0!

    Jesus…

    I can not stop LOLing.

    Great reading. And great comments, and just to add web 2.0 and ajax are future.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Nemanja,

    Yep, absolutely true. Then, if you like the terms themselves or not, is irrelevant; it's about approaches and strategies that will definitely become a bigger and bigger part of web development.

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