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Skip .NET and wait for Avalon?

I have been working with VB and ASP for a long time now.  The company I work for has no plans to port to .NET, ever.  But I'm dying.  I'm going stale.  I'm losing my technical edge.  I haven't learned anything about .NET because I haven't needed to, from a professional standpoint.  I have my happy little job and I enjoy it.

But I'm starting to feel the itch to try something new, even if it means leaving this enjoyable little slice of employment to do it.  So here is what I find myself struggling with - should I go ahead and jump into .NET?  Or should I stay the course and keep working with these 8-year old technologies until Avalon hits, and just pick up the thread at that point?

Plizzle
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Avalon is the presentation subsystem in Longhorn. It does things like handle UI rendering, user input, etc.

It's not a replacement for the .NET framework (Avalon builds on top of .NET), so I think your question is a little misguided.

Mike Treit
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I guess it is a little misguided.  Looks like I don't even know enough about .NET to ask a .NET question intelligently.  My depression is deepening.  I will now shut up and hit the whitepapers.

Plizzle
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Plizzle - Question for ya:

Are you doing any code on the server currently in COM components or ASP pages that acts like web services (that return XML or RSS type feeds)?

Those may be 2 areas that you can convince your company to start developing in .net now.

If the coding happens on the server only, then there is no framework to deploy.

I was in a similar situation - we were using ASP & VB6 talking web sites via MSXML HTTP classes (kinna like a poor man's web service. But the .Net web services are 100X better than VB6 MSXML.

And .net xcopy components are much better than dll hell com objects.

Gen'xer
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Perhaps you meant the Longhorn wave of technologies, and there is a lot of infrastructure changes - Indigo instead of .NET remoting, .NET transactions instead of EnterpriseServices (AKA COM+. This is actually a part of .NET 2.0), among a flurry of other changes.

Nonetheless those technologies build upon what you already know in .NET (just as .NET builds upon existing Windows development knowledge), so understanding the current framework and language artifacts most certainly is valuable going forward.

Dennis Forbes
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Waiting for Avalon is a bad move.  Considering Longhorn won't be out until 2006 (and that is assuming it isn't pushed back again) it will be 2-3 years from 2006 before the 'Avalon' platform has enough critical mass to be really useful for developing applications to.  Are you just going to wait around until 2009?

Learn what is available with .NET now.  Most of it is still applicable with Avalon anyway.

Mr Fancypants
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

actually, the company that i work for seems to be waiting. years ago, they choose Access over VB. WRONG! They don't want MS to change the rules again.

Patrick
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

> But I'm starting to feel the itch to try something new,
> even if it means leaving this enjoyable little slice of
> employment to do it. 

One thing you always have to be aware of is: what would I do if my job disappeared tomorrow? 

You may love your job and your company, but the sad truth is that nothing lasts forever.  Management changes, focuses shift, business go under or get bought out.

So it comes down to: Do you think you could get another job with your current skillset?  Would it pay as much, and be at the kind of company you want to work for?

Joe
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

>actually, the company that i work for seems to be waiting.
>years ago, they choose Access over VB. WRONG! They
>don't want MS to change the rules again. "

Access is a good tool for certain things, but you're not building shrinkwrap products with it, are you?



>So it comes down to: Do you think you could get another
>job with your current skillset?  Would it pay as much, and
>be at the kind of company you want to work for?

Based on what I see on the job sites I could still find work with this skillset, but you raise a great point about how much it might pay and how enjoyable it might not be.

Plizzle
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Hop over to microsoft.com and download (free!) one of the Visual Studio Express tools.  I'd suggest Visual C# Express or Visual Basic.NET Express, as well as the web development one.  Play with those, and see if .Net isn't something you can use.

Kevin
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Warning: VS Express tools are still Beta 1 :)  Definately a good suggestion, but be aware of that before you go potentially mucking up the machine you depend on from day to day.

But you could also pick Java, C++, more advanced RDBMS design/admin, or a number of other technologies to learn too.  The important thing is just to be expanding your skills and not allow yourself to get stagnant. 

Afterall, just cause there are still jobs out there today for [VB6/ASP 3.0/<insert your favorite technology here>], doesn't mean there will be down the road...

Joe
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

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