Coffeehouse Thread

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Hi, I'm Chris and I am a VB.NET developer !

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  • User profile image
    Sabot

    Fellow GWB member, Chris Williams has posted a very frank critique of what it is to be a VB.Net developer today.

    http://geekswithblogs.net/cwilliams/archive/2007/10/23/116274.aspx

    Why is it that VB is such a maligned language still? It's 100% .Net language these days. Have the C zealots won? Is VB heading for the sunset?

    When the trend is now to head towards Dynamic languages, like Ruby with very high levels of abstraction why is VB so villanised when surely this language is the grand-father of this trend?

  • User profile image
    harumscarum

    I don't know I read this as a rant because XNA doesn't support vb and then sensationalize a bit to make it popular. 

    But to keep the discussion I am a consultant so I support whatever is the best fit for the customer. In my experience vb.net is nowhere near heading towards a sunset. I guess I haven't chosen a side so if something doesn't support c# or vb, oh well. The great thing about .net is there are different options to choose from. This is why I am always confused with "VB developers" or “C# developers”. To me you should strive to be a .net developer, so maybe if you are a specific "developer" you should be worried.

  • User profile image
    ixdatul

    Sabot wrote:
    Fellow GWB member, Chris Williams has posted a very frank critique of what it is to be a VB.Net developer today.

    http://geekswithblogs.net/cwilliams/archive/2007/10/23/116274.aspx

    Why is it that VB is such a maligned language still? It's 100% .Net language these days. Have the C zealots won? Is VB heading for the sunset?

    When the trend is now to head towards Dynamic languages, like Ruby with very high levels of abstraction why is VB so villanised when surely this language is the grand-father of this trend?



    As a VB.Net Dev myself I can say that I haven't encountered this personally. In fact I get more offers daily than the C# counterparts on my team. Granted I might have a better resume, but if that were the case, I should be getting alot of headhunter calls asking for C# or Java, which I do get, but not as much.

    I can't really say it's heading for the sunset at this time, there must be millions of old VB6 applications that run perfectly, but just need a tune up.

    In my situation my boss is an old VB6 argonaut, he hired me specifically because I didn't want to language switch on him, which apperantly is a trend these days. If he got a language switch he couldn't run an accurate code review, and would have to be dependant on the C#/Java dev(s). Which basically means if they take a walk, he's up the creek. If I decide to take a walk, he's a bit unhappy, but can still complete the release lifecycle.

    That is not to say that the same situation doesn't exist in the C world, I'm sure it does.

    I guess what we are seeing is equatable to the "AJAX/Web 2.0" trend of late. Someone hears a buzzword "C#, AJAX, Flash, Silverlight" and they "know" that is what they want, without doing any real research into the subject matter.

    Just my two cents though.

  • User profile image
    Blogus​Maximus

    harumscarum wrote:
    

    I don't know I read this as a rant because XNA doesn't support vb and then sensationalize a bit to make it popular.



    The issue isn't just XNA.  That's ONE example.  There are more and more cases where VB gets completely disregarded, either by the omission of code samples (minor) or complete lack of support (major) in favor of C#.

  • User profile image
    Sabot

    I've just had this debate with my development team leaders.

    They are anti-VB, don't promote VB and don't hire VB skilled staff.

    As a consequence they have been actively re-writting old VB6 applications in C# on the back of 'VB6 is going out of support soon and we can't have applications unsupported' as the justification for the last two years and now with the management team it's an ingrained policy. My previous company also actively promoted migrating away from VB6 as well.

    I also phoned a good friend who is a manager in a large UK recruitment firm and he confirmed that next to no one is asking for VB.Net skills.

    I'm glad that some of you are having positive experiences with VB, but I can't say my experiences are the same.



  • User profile image
    Blogus​Maximus

    harumscarum wrote:
    

    The great thing about .net is there are different options to choose from. This is why I am always confused with "VB developers" or “C# developers”. To me you should strive to be a .net developer, so maybe if you are a specific "developer" you should be worried.



    Wasn't the entire appeal of .NET the ability to work in the language (and by extension, the style) of your choice? Whichever one makes you most productive...

    To force people to adopt both languages, or to force a choice between them based on the technologies you wish to work with is counter to the entire concept of .NET.

  • User profile image
    Chadk

    This man speaks the truth. Yet a few of his point is a bit overreacting. His point is TOTALLY correct.

    Im a .NET developer too, and i know C#. In fact, i started out with C# because of all the C# zealots who told me "lol, Vb.net sux". But in fact, i like vb.net alot better.

  • User profile image
    Charles

    The VB.NET team is doing some really innovative things with the language.

    C

  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    I used VB when it was a pre-.NET language, and although I knew some C++ I never got that much into programming for it because it was a lot more trouble than it was worth. I liked the idea of high-level languages. I disliked when people sneered at the idea of using VB, because it was Basic and made by Microsoft. Of course, honestly, VB before .NET had a some limitations and if you ever got into complex stuff it would get slow and crash, and you had to give everyone a distributable.

    But at one point VB was the only high level language worth using for Windows (I didn't think it was worth getting into Delphi, just because people would like you better).

    With C# the syntax is cleaner, and if you use its also much more easier to switch into C++ and Java because you aren't "used to thinking in VB". There are enough advantages to using C# over VB this way, that it sometimes looks like developers sticking with VB are a little stubborn. (Some of these VB developers who don't want to go to C# mind you, didn't even want to upgrade to VB.NET, even though the benefits were obvious.)

  • User profile image
    Chadk

    Charles wrote:
    The VB.NET team is doing some really innovative things with the language.

    C

    Thats exactly why i love VB.net.

    They arent afraid to implement new things, which are really cool.

    With C# being a standard, they cant do as much cool stuff.

    But VB.net keeps getting new cool stuff, and im excited about what is gonna happen in the next long period of time. I hope we will get some cool stuff.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Sabot wrote:
    Why is it that VB is such a maligned language still? It's 100% .Net language these days. Have the C zealots won? Is VB heading for the sunset?


    When you want a really qualified software developer, you grab a CS graduate. They're going to have spent more time with more powerful languages like the C-derivatives or functional languages, they're more comfortable there, and presumably better overall.

    VB isnt used much in academia because it seems dumbed-down (my own opinion is that it is Wink ), as a result the rest of the VB programmers you see are those without CS degrees, probably less CS-think-y, then you get those VB6 monstrosoties which store passwords in plaintext and appear on TheDailyWtf.

  • User profile image
    Yggdrasil

    Chadk wrote:

    Thats exactly why i love VB.net.
    They arent afraid to implement new things, which are really cool.
    With C# being a standard, they cant do as much cool stuff.


    C#'s getting a lot of love in VS2008 as well. Just because it's a standard doesn't mean you can't innovate and release newer versions. I've been trying to learn some basics of lambda expressions, currying and the like and it's making my head ache, but it's fun.

    W3bbo wrote:

    When you want a really qualified software developer, you grab a CS graduate. They're going to have spent more time with more powerful languages like the C-derivatives or functional languages, they're more comfortable there, and presumably better overall.


    Unfortunately, I don't see reality backing that assumption. It's too easy to get a CS degree, even from a reputable university, while managing to avoid learning too much.

  • User profile image
    Richard.Hein

    Although I prefer to use C# for most of the code I write, there are times when VB.NET seems better.  For example VB.NET has a lot of templates for that save time, versus C#, which is more of a tooling issue than anything (i.e. in VB.NET 2005 you have options for automagically generating code to handle single-instance applications and so on).  Late-binding is very helpful when doing a lot of COM Interop, so you can skip adding all the optional Reflection.Missing parameters that are required by C#, but not VB.NET.

    I think that I can write in VB.NET and C# equally well, however, and really having any bias against one or the other is more of a reflection of the ignorance of the person who think VB.NET is somehow "weaker" or "a toy" compared to C#, because it's completely irrelevant in the big scheme of things aside from the forementioned benefits of late-binding and VS templates, and the forthcoming XML literals and dynamic features of VB.NET.

    Making a UI in VB.NET in the future with XML literals and dynamicism is going to make it a lot easier to write than it currently is without those features. 

  • User profile image
    JChung2006

    Sabot wrote:
    When the trend is now to head towards Dynamic languages, like Ruby with very high levels of abstraction why is VB so villanised when surely this language is the grand-father of this trend?

    Umm no, LISP was the grandfather of this trend, not BASIC.

  • User profile image
    Sabot

    Yggdrasil wrote:
    

    W3bbo wrote:

    When you want a really qualified software developer, you grab a CS graduate. They're going to have spent more time with more powerful languages like the C-derivatives or functional languages, they're more comfortable there, and presumably better overall.


    Unfortunately, I don't see reality backing that assumption. It's too easy to get a CS degree, even from a reputable university, while managing to avoid learning too much.



    Not wishing to go to far off topic but sadly this is true. I was in the position until recently to mentor a group of last years of CS grads.

    The could just about string together the basic constructs of sequence, selection and iteration together and do the basics with OO and packet to the gunnels with theory but it was clear they hadn't had enough time in the cockpit to pick up and understand good practice. So no confidence in giving anything other than minor works and bug fixes.

    Now fairplay we all started somewhere and this is the kid of gigs you give a newbie, so no foul, but the reality is that you give the gig to the language best suited for the job. Good example being would you give a bog-standard ecommerce site to anyone other than the Ruby on Rails boys?

    Charles, Microsoft, IMO, support VB.Net technically very very well! But Microsoft does need to work on the image of VB.Net because there is a problem here, otherwise you wouldn't see this thread.

  • User profile image
    Sabot

    JChung2006 wrote:
    
    Sabot wrote:
    When the trend is now to head towards Dynamic languages, like Ruby with very high levels of abstraction why is VB so villanised when surely this language is the grand-father of this trend?

    Umm no, LISP was the grandfather of this trend, not BASIC.


    Yep and nope, so BASIC contributed nothing to this trend? No modern computer language can claim a 'pure' lineage.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Sabot wrote:
    
    JChung2006 wrote:
    
    Sabot wrote:
    When the trend is now to head towards Dynamic languages, like Ruby with very high levels of abstraction why is VB so villanised when surely this language is the grand-father of this trend?

    Umm no, LISP was the grandfather of this trend, not BASIC.


    Yep and nope, so BASIC contributed nothing to this trend? No modern computer language can claim a 'pure' lineage.


    C? Wink

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Sabot wrote:
    Not wishing to go to far off topic but sadly this is true. I was in the position until recently to mentor a group of last years of CS grads.

    The could just about string together the basic constructs of sequence, selection and iteration together and do the basics with OO and packet to the gunnels with theory but it was clear they hadn't had enough time in the cockpit to pick up and understand good practice. So no confidence in giving anything other than minor works and bug fixes.


    On the contrary, I'm friends with a guy from my secondary school (who was a few years older than me), he's in his industry-placement year as part of his MEng in Software Engineering.

    He knows almost zero theory, but enough "real world" .NET and Java to get a nice position at some fairly large company (I forget their name, but they're an ASP.NET shop).

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