I'm having some trouble keeping up with the ALT.NET discussion group. The volume is one thing but the main impediment I have is that the level of discussion is ever-so-slightly out of my reach a good part of the time. At least when the topic turns technical. And with this group, it very often does.

This in and of itself isn't a bad thing. I kind of like the challenge, especially when the topics are interesting and relevant. I think I'm about 90% of the way there in understanding the thread on validation spheres but it's taken more than one read-through (and I'll leave the actual number to your imagination).

The problem I'm trying to come to grips with is a psychological one. This is a very open-minded and welcoming group of people. And yet I can't shake this feeling that I have to tread very lightly whenever I post a response. Like I need to walk this thin line 'twixt asking an intelligent question and sounding like I'm fresh off the boat (which, in some ways, I am and always will be).

No one has given me any reason to feel this way. At least not explicitly. I have no doubt that if I posted the question, "What exactly is TDD?", the rudest response I would get would be several people glossing over the post without giving it a second glance. I guess it's more in the way they throw out terms as if they are common knowledge. Or in the assumptions that are made about my base knowledge.

I have a feeling there are plenty of people on the list that feel the same way. The silent "unworthy" masses that are happy to follow along grasping what knowledge they can from discussions on lookup tables vs. enums, the same way I do. It's because of this feeling that I try to be somewhat self-deprecating in conversation and on this here blog thingy. I find people who don't take themselves too seriously more approachable and hillbillies do so like to be approached. In fact, this post is probably an extension of that.

And this is not to suggest that anyone should dumb down their conversation. That's kind of the point of ALT.NET. It's *my* responsibility to get up to speed to a point where I'm confident enough to argue coherently with the more prolific contributors.

But at this point, I'm still trying to sweat out the two posts I made last week. And in direct response to Scott Bellware, no less.

Kyle the Phobic