Wrapping your head around the latest Microsoft technologies is no easy task – there are a lot of them, and they move fast!  Often Bing is your best friend, but even those results can be overwhelming – how do you separate the wheat from the chaff, the current from the “5-minutes-ago?”   Well, just as a dictionary isn’t always ideal for figuring out how to spell a word, search engines aren’t always the best tool for learning a new technology.

That’s where the Developer Guidance Maps come in.  J.D. Meier, a Principal Program Manager at Microsoft, has put together a series of ‘maps’ to provide some guidance into the vast expanse of developer content available at MSDN, Channel 9, CodePlex, CodeGallery, and elsewhere.  These aren’t just a list of links, but rather an implementation of a “Simple Information Architecture” approach that J.D. has been working on.  It’s a work in progress and admittedly not exhaustive, but these documents have a double benefit of bringing to light where our gaps are in our guidance as well as surfacing resources you may not have known existed.

Guidance Map (Mental Model)

There are currently five guidance maps available for download in PDF format, each following the model shown on the right:

Check them out and be sure to send your feedback and suggestions to J.D.!