At the local developer meetup someone was jokingly talking about “developer years” as an analog to “dog years.” It is kind of fun to think about – I didn’t get started until I had already finished school but there are a lot of people who already have years under their belts by the time they finish high school.

I probably toyed with the idea longer than it’s usefulness but came up with the following methodology for determining developer years: “How many data access frameworks from Microsoft have you lived through?” My start was in the waning years of DAO and RDO, just before they were replaced by ADO. I am not sure if anyone has a full list of data access APIs from then until now but my guess is that I am 8:

  1. DAO / RDO
  2. MDAC 1.x
  3. MDAC 2.x
  4. ADO.NET
  5. Linq to Sql
  6. EF*
  7. EF 4*
  8. EF 5*

I am not counting minor releases (there were 9 for MDAC 2.x as an example). I also placed an asterisk by technologies I have never used in a production environment.

I wonder what other ways can you measure your developer years? How many times must we solve the age old problem of CRUD with a database? Or generating HTML for web pages?