[EDIT] I confused Mike Gunderloy with Jon Golloway. My apologies to both. I would have spent a lot more time on this if I’d realized people were actually going to read it;)
Maybe things aren’t really all that bad: John Lam on Microsoft and IronRuby.
Yes, I’m starting to feel more and more like a “Left Behind” for sticking with .Net instead of moving on to Ruby, but there is some potentially cool stuff on the horizon in the MS world. I was going to finish a response to Martin Fowler’s RubyMicrosoft post, but I think I’ll pass.
Last year when I first realized that I was going to need to change jobs, I tried first to switch to a Ruby/RoR shop with no success. I watch Mike Gunderloy’s accounts of leaving the .Net fold very carefully. In the meantime, it’s just too economically restrictive to leave the MS camp.
But you know what, here’s some reasons to feel optimistic about remaining a .Net developer:
- I’ve been a little bit dubious, but I think that a potentially strong community is starting to coalesce around the ALT.NET moniker, and I definitely want to be a part. I’m sure the backlash has already started somewhere, but I think ALT.NET can be something good (even though it’s mostly old stuff that just hasn’t gone mainstream).
- The OSS community for Microsoft development actually exists and gets more attention than ever. Yeah, it lags Java in a bad way, but it’s getting better.
- The blogosphere for .Net development is better than ever. There are more voices in .Net development now than the tired old “Super Mort” leadership left over from the VB6 days.
- This has a long, long way to go, but I’ll add a definite and growing awareness in the .Net development in regards to better practices and design techniques. We’re becoming more as a community than just a bunch of drag n’dropping Mort’s. Every time I meet up with .Net developers there’s always some griping about Mort’s and how our shops don’t use good engineering practices — but we’re talking about doing and thinking about doing things better and that’s what’s important. The awareness alone is a positive thing.
- .Net development is simply growing up into bigger and bigger development. It’s not like the VB6 days where you were so limited in power to take on enterprise development.
- C# 3 rocks. I’d still rather have a performant Ruby with kickass IDE support, but C# 3 is going to be a big improvement. Lambda expressions + the type inference alone are almost enough for me.
- DotNetRocks & Hanselminutes. I wasn’t that big of a fan at first, but the two shows are starting to have more and more interesting content rather than just more “memorize this new API from Microsoft” content.