Sunday, April 13, 2008

Seven Habits of highly effective NetBeaner (NetBeans IDE user)

First, let me tell you about the word NetBeaner in title of this post. I have read NetBeans developers, technical writers and bloggers using words like "Happy NetBeaning". I think this is a way people show their affection towards the platform, by tweaking the name NetBeans and making a verb out of it, adjective out of it. I also used it here to describe people who like to experiment with NetBeans, who use Netbeans and often say it through their blogs.

Now coming to Seven Habits of highly effective NetBeaners. I don't have to tell you, the reader, more about the phrase Seven Habits. It comes from a popular book written by Stephen Covey. When I though about some good habits NetBeaners should have I came up with some points which I will like to share with you.

1. Be proactive
If you like NetBeans tell that to the world. Blogging is the easiest and best way to shout about your experiences. Blog about your experiences. Tell others why you liked particular feature of NetBeans. To write about something makes you think about it, which is useful for deep exploration of the tool.

2. Begin with end in mind
We must remember that the IDE is a tool to make us develop projects efficiently. Learning IDE to its depth and width will make us productive for development of our projects. So keep in mind that it is the project, which is the end product of all the learning associated with Netbeans. It happens sometimes that we fell into love with the tool so much that we forget the end and the project. Loving the tool is good as it makes the learning process passionate but we shall also keep the project in mind.

3. First things first
Start with what you know about Netbeans by using it in your project. Just because you are new to Netbeans cannot be the reason of staying away from it. You can start with what you have and while developing your project keep learning new tips and tricks about the Netbeans IDE. Adding NetBeans related blogs in your favorite Feed Reader and reading new posts frequently can be a good source of learning new things in the NetBeans platform.

4. Think win win
When we like some tool it does not mean all other tools in the world are not good. Do not make the users of other IDE feel bad just because they do not use NetBeans. I believe in presenting all the goodness of NetBeans to all the people when ever it is possible to me. Using NetBeans does not mean I hate all the existing IDEs in the world. I prefer even testing other IDEs and checking interesting features they have. I appreciate the new features and add them to the wish list for NetBeans if those features are popular and good enough. There will always be some people who have a different requirement or perspective than me. Some people will use other IDEs and I must respect their choice.

5. Seek first to understand
Part of learning NetBeans is also sharing your knowledge with other knowledge seekers. Join nbusers mailing list. This is the mailing list where other NetBeans users discuss about the usage and their difficulties in NetBeans. I can also ask my own problems here. Even if I do not have a problem with NetBeans, still the discussion going on here, helps me learn more things in Netbeans. Reply to mails where you know the solution. This helps the community and you to learn more. Learn from questions and experiment new things in the NetBeans IDE. Join NetBeans Zone and post NetBeans related links there to share with the world. Take part in Netbeans related discussions on NetBeans Zone and put your opinion honestly.

6. Synergize
Join an open source project related to NetBeans. When you find issues and bugs, report them to the NetBeans IssueZilla so the developers can reproduce them and fix them in the next version of NetBeans. Pour your ideas in the mailing lists. Invent new solutions through discussions in mailing lists.

7. Sharpen the saw
Watch the new and noteworthy about the newest version of NetBeans. Learn all the newly added features and keep yourself acquainted with most of the features of the IDE so they can help you become productive in your projects. Join the nbdev mailing list to know about the new developments happening in NetBeans platform. Write new modules to make the IDE better. This can be done either by joining any open source module project or starting your own module project as an open source project.

with regards
Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

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