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There are currently millions of developers worldwide that are using Microsoft.NET technologies. If you are one of them or want to become one, then each of the websites I am about to list should be in your list of favorites, your list of bookmarks, or just written down on a piece of paper (yeah right, as if a .NET developer would use a pen and paper).
For those of you not familiar with Microsoft.NET technologies, they represent a platform and set of tools that computer programmers can use to build very rich, interactive applications for the Windows desktop, the Internet, or even hand-held mobile devices. Chances are strong that one of your favorite websites was built using Microsoft ASP.NET.
I cannot count the number of times I have downloaded code from this site over the years. The quick and helpful articles always include a code download and are written by real world developers who give you straight to the point help for a particular coding problem.
Developers who submit articles to the website are not paid, but instead submit the article and code to get approval of the site’s community. The site covers more than just .NET and the Windows platform, so it is a good resource for developers that need to go outside of their normal skill sets.
DotNetNuke is an open source framework that developers can download and use to build their own web applications using Microsoft ASP.NET. If you are a .NET developer and you have not at least downloaded the code to look at it, then you really need to immediately.
The software has been through several iterations over the years and demonstrates some of the most efficient coding practices around. Even though the site includes a professional edition for purchase, there is a community edition which is free to download and very much worth registering free with the site to access.
If you are a web developer, which let’s face it, most .NET developers are, then this is a must visit site. It includes articles that cover everything you need to know about ASP.NET and even includes a lot of information for ASP developers (because, believe it or not, there are still developers out there using ASP).
Over the years, I have had numerous problems resolved by looking at posts on their forum or learned how to incorporate some slick new feature using one of the frequently posted articles.
As you can see from the image, this online development magazine is sponsored by Microsoft, but don’t hold that against them. I strongly suggest subscribing to their free weekly newsletter, since it will keep you up to date on all the latest rumblings coming out of Microsoft.
You also should check out thecolumn, which includes regular posts by the experienced and very down to earth, Julia Lerman.
Another online development magazine, this one is not solely focused on Microsoft technologies and tends to profile some really interesting and niche technologies.
I have personally written several articles for them since they are one of the only web sites that wants articles about robotics and speech technologies. Their near daily stream of articles cover everything from traditional .NET development to VB classic (yeah, because there are still some people doing that still).
MSDN Magazine is for the development world what the Nature Journal is for scientists. It includes standards that every developer should be following. They are VERY strict on what content gets into this journal. An article in MSDN magazine is typically much longer and more in depth than articles in any of the online resources I have previously mentioned. But you can feel assured that the articles were scoured and well picked though before making it to print.
This Microsoft resource is a must see for anyone that loves to watch videos about really cool technologies. The Channel 9 team goes around the Microsoft campus interviewing various teams and often offers a sneak peek of up and coming software and technology.
In addition to interviewing the folks at Microsoft, Channel 9 also talks to industry gurus outside of Microsoft.
Scott Guthrie is the Corporate Vice President for the Developer Division at Microsoft and his regularly updated blog often features announcements not seen any where else.
Scott covers everything from .NET base class libraries to Silverlight. If you want to impress your developer friends with your seemingly inside track to Microsoft, this is the site to visit.
If you are a .NET developer and you know of some really helpful sites, drop us a note and let us know about them. There are tons of resources out there for .NET developers. These are just a few of my all time favorites, so we would love to hear of others that you like.