Dynamic Data Controls and Evangelism
A colleague just sent me a link to the MIX07 presentation of ASP.Net Dynamic Data Controls. I'd actually seen this demo before - but something about taking a quick second look made me want to blog about it. Is it just me, or are there other people out there that kind of wince when they see these sort of presentations? (ignoring the obvious 'prop and holding' behavior of Mahesh Prakriya and his bottle of water). The tools are definitely cool and I can see how these controls would be useful for knocking together a quick admin UI, or proof of concept app. But the thing that kind of depresses me when I watch a video like this (with more powerful controls that let you build apps more quickly!) is the thought that there are 'developers' out there that will use this stuff and call themselves programmers - without knowing a whole lot about software development (principles - like searching, sorting, comparing, or how to build applications that are secure, transactional, and scale). I sometimes wonder if we're headed back the good ol'days of VB6 where whole departments grew up without really knowing much about software development at all. MS has an evangelical team, but frankly I'd like to see less proselytizing of how technology is going to make our software development lives so much better - and more holistic presentations that combine neat tools like this - with careful qualifiers that put the tools into the wider context of software design, quality and production issues.