Wednesday, April 09, 2008

You're OK with .NET?

So sue me, I think Visual Studio is a damn fine product. I'd like to elaborate on why, despite Visual Studio's cool factor, I think the majority of .NET products end up being crap.

From talking with a few .NET developers and working with .NET a little lately, I have come to realize that Microsoft forces developers into design patterns and makes it easy for developers to get comfortable with Microsoft dictating their programming style (amongst other things of course). Granted it's not impossible to break out of the canned design pattern(s) but Microsoft would much prefer if you just used what they give you. Microsoft is like the parents in the movie The Christmas Story when they make their son, Ralph (aka you the .NET developer), put on the pink bunny suit. Ralph didn't want to do it but it was easier than starting a fight on Christmas morning.

Why you wouldn't free the developer to make their own decisions is beyond me but I guess developers who pay an arm and a leg for a IDE don't want the extra burden of a white board session or two. All in all Visual Studio is perfect for the lazy don't have to go through that strenuous activity of thinking about architecture and feel perfectly comfortable doing things such as mixing up business logic with the presentation stuff. It's a good thing you sold all those crazy books on logic and theory for beer money after all because you won't be needing them here.

Before you think I'm being to negative - don't get me wrong, it's entirely possible to build a .NET application that goes above and beyond. is the biggest website out there and that's powered by ASP.NET (come on, who said good products have to be visually pleasing?). Microsoft has a large influence in the enterprise and attract a lot of brilliant developers who hammer away at mission critical applications day in and day out with nary a hiccup. The real issue I still have with .NET is that it makes lazy developers even lazier and those developers end up thinking they are smarter than they really are. There I said it, .NET developers can be successful but they really need to think before they code and they need to keep in mind that it is OK to break free from Microsoft once in a while.

Yea it's rant, yea I haven't posted in a while, but this topic is something that reinforces my frustration with developers who focus entirely on the monetary aspect of software development instead of appreciating the art that it really is. Let me leave you with this last comment, how many happy, inspired .NET developers do you see out there?

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