Monday, March 23, 2009

The Inevitable Move to .Net

I don't want to. I've been resisting for years. I'm very fortunate; although my job as a Software Engineering Manager (government sector) requires me to be familiar with the concepts and capabilities of .Net, I've never had to actually write code. Because I am old and lazy and set in my ways, I've continued to use Classic ASP for all my personal projects. When I do dig in to help on a programming, it's usually on the SQL/T-SQL end.

From a development philosophy perspective, I still hold this resolute belief: The User Doesn't Care. All the user wants is to see certain information presented in a certain way after they take a certain action. They couldn't care less about the extension on the end of the filename - .asp, .aspx, .php, .cfm, .html - it just doesn't matter. Show the page, let the user take some sort of action, and show the results as quickly as possible, all using a visually pleasing and easy-to-use interface.

And what are web applications really? Nothing more than a framework for:

putting data in
getting data out

The only people who care about what language is used are developers (because they have a skill and they want a job), and management (because they read in some magazine that language XXX is the thing to use and all the industry is going to it or already on it).

But the time has come to jump int the cesspool of .Net. Why? you ask. Marketability. There are a lot more programming positions out there than there are programming management positions. When the inevitable happens (and sooner or later it will) and I need to find a new job, I need to be able to actually FIND A JOB. And I want to find one without have to relocate.


I'm starting a new project and I'm going to use it as my impetus to learn .Net using C#. Hey, I taught myself Classic ASP and SQL/T-SQL. How hard could it be? Yeah, right....

I'll post here as progress and learn things, things I already know how to do very well, but now have to relearn because someone, somewhere, decided to dump Classic ASP and create .Net. I hope he chokes on a chicken bone.

If I had it to do all over again (and this is my advice to anyone interested in getting into web application development) I recommend the LAMP route:


Many big corporations and large sections of the government are still wedded to the Microsoft platform, but even there you can see PHP and other languages making some inroads. Wordpress blogs are all over the place (check out CNNs blogs)., the new governemnt website about the ongoing financial recovery efforts, is built with the Drupal CMS, which is open source and developed in PHP.

For an out-the-gate, web development programming language, you can't go wrong with PHP. If you decide to expand your skills later, well, you can expand your skills later. But if you don, it will probably be by choice rather than necessity.

1 comment:

Aran said...

Im with ya on that one buddy. I've been doing Classic asp for nearly 8 years and I love it. But I too have felt the pull of the dark side (.net) and it is appealling.

I've held out a year longer than you by the looks of it...

Hows about some articles on switching to .net from classic??

Keep up the good work.