Leaving .NET is a clueless thing to do

Every so often, someone writes an extensive blog post about why they left the .NET framework for greener pastures.

Invariably, the blog post contains complaints about other .NET devs’ inability to see beyond Microsoft Wonderland.

I agree with that complaint. Indeed, many people who code C# are wildly uncomfortable using open source projects, text editors, command lines, and so on. This is a problem and it’s bad for the .NET ecosystem.

What people should be doing, instead, is use the Microsoft goodies when it makes sense and something else when it doesn’t. For example, instead of using ASP.NET MVC, it’s perfectly possible to make a web app with a C# backend running on Mono, talking to a Postgres server and a custom Javascript frontend. Nobody says that if you code on .NET, you have to do it exactly like Scott Hanselman does it.

Similarly, when C# or .NET are simply not the best tools for a job, don’t use them. Quick prototypes may be much easier to churn out in Ruby. Self-hacked TCP protocols might be much easier to serve with Node.JS.

What itches me is that all these people who complain about this in their .NET-post mortems are doing exactly the same. What in the world does it mean to “leave” .NET? I didn’t code Python in the last 5 months. Does it mean I left Python? Should I now write an annoyed blog post about all the things that are wrong with Python and its community?

Of course not – despite its shortcomings, a lot of stuff is good about Python, and exactly the same holds for .NET. In fact, as Microsoft itself is opening, the navel-gazing parts of the .NET ecosystem may very well follow, at some point.

C# is great for many purposes. For example, with C# 5’s async/await syntax, it’s one of the best options out there for high-performance asynchronous code. Just like Go has become a go-to language for high concurrency, C# may very well become a go-to language for high asynchronicity. Don’t ditch it just because an earlier career mistake means you never want to write WebForms again.


2 thoughts on “Leaving .NET is a clueless thing to do

  1. Religious flamewars about which Language/Tool/Framework is the best are tiring. If you want me to pound a nail in a piece of wood, let’s skip the discussion about what makes the best tool. Just hand me the thing you consider to be a hammer and I’ll use it. Of course, if you ask me what the best tool is I’ll give you my personal opinion. But please don’t argue to try and change my mind when I tell you something you don’t want to hear.

  2. Hey Jeroen, thanks for reading. I believe that we fully agree, but I’m not sure whether you think so. Did I write my post so badly that you think I’m waging a religious language/framework war?

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