Following are the technologies I believe are the future and want to learn but not finding the time for:
- Workflow Foundation: The reviews of this are really really good and people are saying, nothing can beat the designer for this.
- Windows Communication Foundation: Microsoft has unified the way two processes communicate, be they on the same box or on a remote client/server. We don't have to decide between .NET Remoting, Web Services, Message Queues, Distributed Transactions and a few other related technologies anymore. The basics of WCF are that you create a service and add endpoints to it. If you want a remote .NET client to communicate with it, you add a TCP endpoint (which is equal to .NET Remoting). If you want a Java client to communicate with it, you add HTTP endpoint (which is equal to Web Services). Note that the service remains the same, you only need to keep adding endpoints which reduces code duplication / complexity.
- .NET Framework 3.5: This has a lower priority as it is not out yet but the additions that Microsoft is making to the framework are pretty interesting. The biggest proof that it is interesting is the fact that Sun is taking a few pages from .NET 3.5 for the next version of it's framework . (
Note: Microsoft itself is taking a lot of ideas from open source projects like Hibernate)
- Windows Presentation Foundation: This has the lowest priority on my list but I find it the most interesting. Future windows applications are going to be built on top of this technology. GDI+/WinForms are past it's maturity and WPF is taking it's place. However people are not just going to run and make WPF apps. I see over the next two years a lot of small companies coming out with WPF followed by the big boys.
Update: I had Java on my list but scratched it off after a lot of reading over the past few days. The reason being that there are so many different directions you can take within Java that getting my head around it is in itself a big challenge. Hence I have decided to teach myself more of the .NET stuff instead of trying to be on two ships at the same time.