I see a lot of .NET job postings that list XML as a required skill.

What should one be able to do in/with XML to have confidence that this requirement is satisfied?

Modeling? Work with XPATH? Familiarity with serialization?

What is specific to .NET?

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As well as non-.NET-specific things like XSDs and XPATH queries:

You'd want to be familiar with the different ways of handling XML that the .NET framework has provided - the old System.Xml namespace (XmlDocument et al) from .NET 1.1, and the new System.Xml.Linq namespace (XDocument et al) from .NET 3.5.

You'd want to be familiar with serializing and deserializing objects to and from XML, the various attributes in the System.Xml.Serialization namespace that affect that, like [XmlElement], [XmlAttribute], [XmlIgnore].

You should know how to fight your way through dealing with XML documents with namespaces, since that crap never works cleanly in .NET.

You might need to be familiar with the <asp:XMLDataSource> control, but let's hope not.

Having said all that, it's perfectly possible that "I know that XML has pointy brackets in it, and I can google the rest as I go" might be more than enough knowledge for many .NET jobs that list "XML" as a requirement. It probably would have been for several I've done.

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    +1 Completely agree with this. XML is extremely powerful, yet a broad topic. .NET has quite the code library for dealing with it, so the knowledge of these specific members is paramount. – user29981 Jul 12 '11 at 1:39

Well these days I would say having a good understanding of how to create a well structured XSD is enough to mark you as competant in XML in the context of .Net considering there are so many XSD -> .Net Object data binding packages avaialable, which handle stuff like serialization and XPATH.

But I would recommend some light reading for the underlying principles so you can debug easier.

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  • So yes Modelling is probably the most important. – Alex Hope O'Connor Jul 12 '11 at 0:24

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