John Robbins recently blogged about an "amazingly cool" bit of .NET TraceListener magic sent to him in an email:
Josh Einstein sent me a mail about his amazing TerminalTraceListener. If you add TerminalTraceListener to your application, you can telnet into your application and monitor tracing live no matter where it is. How amazingly cool is that!? Josh also added a second TraceListener, SyslogTraceListener, that pumps the traces to Kiwi Syslog Daemon.John, I deeply apologize for not bringing it to your attention earlier, but $g(log4j) has been doing this for years. In fact, so has $g(log4net), if I'm not mistaken.
What this really underscores, however, is how John's debugging capabilities have been limited (however slightly) by his unawareness of the Java space. John is not a stupid person by any stretch of the imagination--his books on debugging leave me in stunned jaw-dropping silence every time I read them--but it sounds like he thinks could have used these two long before now, and he could have had them (without even having to write them, in fact) had he known about log4j or log4net before now.
Which leads me back to my point: you don't have to be a hard-core Java developer to learn something from the Java community, and vice versa. Take a day or two, learn the platform you don't routinely write code on, and take a day or so every month to look around at the tools and technologies that are out there. I think you'll be amazed at how rich and powerful the "other guys" are, and your own skills will grow immeasurably as a result.