The .NET framework was first developed by Microsoft in the late 90's to help developers build applications more easily. It features a massive Framework Class Library. This library helps reduce the amount of code you have to write. It also features interoperability, language independence, and a built-in virtual machine to make developers’ lives easier. While newer platforms and frameworks jockey for the spotlight, .NET has garnered its fair share of detractors. But it’s time for a 90's comeback. The .NET framework is cool again, and here’s why.
1. Microsoft invests heavily in .NET
The .NET Framework has come a long way since it was first launched. New features like language integrated query capabilities and better support for asynchronous programming have been added, and perhaps, most importantly, Microsoft has released .NET Core and ASP .NET 5. .NET Core is a cross-platform development platform that can be used for “device, cloud, and embedded/Internet of Things scenarios”, and ASP .NET 5 is an open source web framework for building cross-platform web apps. So if you’re worried that .NET doesn’t have the aforementioned “cool” factor, that’s changing.
It also helps that Microsoft is doing its best to support new developers in this area. The Microsoft Developer Network provides great resources and documentation for several different languages and the ASP .NET site is also very helpful.
2. C# is everywhere.
C# is one of the most popular languages in the .NET Framework. It's actually the backbone of many systems you use every day, too, particularly in the financial sector. While nimble startups might be able to change their production code and development environments quickly, that’s simply not the case for enterprise companies. They’ve settled into C# and the wider .NET Framework, and they won’t be moving on anytime soon. That means there's high demand for .NET developers - even if you’re not seeing it splashed all over the latest startup job sites.
3. Learning the .NET Framework helps you pick up other skills.
As .NET moves toward greater cross-platform capability and open source models, the concepts and understanding necessary to develop .NET applications will apply to other frameworks, too. For instance, C# is conceptually and syntactically similar to both Java and Swift, so much of what you learn in developing .NET may apply to Android and iOS development too.
Additionally, here at Epicodus, each of our tracks doesn't just teach students language-specific skills. In addition to learning the specific frameworks, tools, and languages of your chosen track, you also learn the general problem solving and programming fundamentals necessary to tackle web development in any language.
.NET’s reputation as an old-school framework simply isn’t accurate anymore. It modernized software development, and it continues to modernize itself. hat’s an attribute we love at Epicodus. We want our students to learn to adapt to changing job markets, which is why we offer courses in both C# and .NET. Even if you don’t go on to specifically use .NET in your career, the process of learning it is bound to be an educational and invaluable experience.