I have been asked many times why I use this provocative subtitle.
Pretentious? Far from that.
Time to answer :-)
I often compare .NET to a big encyclopedia of thousands of volumes, among which we know only 1, 5, 10 or 20 volumes depending of people. The biggest problem is that this encyclopedia grows by several brand new volumes each year. Thus - if we have stopped learning, as many developpers tends to do after university - our knowledge ratio tends to decrease with the time.
And in a way, this knowledge ratio is our value on the work market. What is the commercial value of a developper with 2 years experience in .NET 2.0 and not being able to explain the very basis of generics ?
I believe that currently - or in the (I hope near) future - we are able to do what we want to do in .NET. Some parts are very easy, some completely crazy, to make you feel becoming insane, but still feasible for some experts, having a specific domain expertise.
And when we can't do something, what we miss to achieve this work - easy or difficult - is knowledge, Simply knowledge. Of course frameworks or tools may help us to achieve more easily the work, but with extra knowledge, we could do it, by ourselves.
And that's exacty the point. What is feasible for a few experts, is not for other developpers.
Our domain is huge and no-one on earth will know all of it. And so in a way, because all of us is missing knowledge in the "technically feasible area" we are all incompetent. Some more than others, but we are all incompetent.
But the truth is, some experts are working, and working hard, to become less and less incompetents. By less incompetent, I mean to reduce the field of their unkown knowledge.
And these same experts also work, and work hard, to help other developpers following them.
Difficult race of learning quicker (and deep enough) than the new functionnalities arrival.
This sentence I use is far from being pretentious. All the contrary.
I want to let remember people, and more specifically to let remember me, that I still miss lots of knowledge.
I want to have this idea firmly rooted in my mind "Work and Work hard. Learn and Learn deep! There are so many things you could still learn!"