Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Transitioning from VBscript to VB.NET, guidance?

I feel pretty comfortable with VBscript ASP development.  If I'm given a problem to solve, I feel like I can solve it (within the bounds of what ASP is appropriate for).  However, I am interested in doing bigger things than just classic ASP, plus, every decent job on sites like is asking for either Java or .NET.

I plan on looking at Java as well, but I'm a little more interested in .NET for the immediate future.  While I prefer C-style syntax, there is a job I would like to get that will be using VB.NET.  So I want to do kind of a crash course in VB.NET coming from a VBscript background.  I am looking to start attacking it this weekend and next week, so I can't wait for a book (can't afford to buy one on my own right now either).  Does anyone have any ideas on which fundamental concepts and principles of .NET would be best to research to help me in the transition?  I have learned ASP and PHP web development fairly quickly, but I realize that .NET is more like software development than scripting languages.  I usually learn pretty fast through immersion, so I just need help choosing which concepts are more important to get immersed in first.

I also plan to actually build a small app, but I need to talk to a guy to get some specs to use as a target.  (Its easier to practice marksmanship when you have an actual target to shoot at.)  For now, I just want to dive into the principles so I can have some kind of foundation.


Clay Whipkey
Friday, August 13, 2004

This is a big subject, and I am afraid you are going to have to bite the bullet and cough up some bucks for a book. It is more of a change than you think.

Probably the best one is

The trade offs are: time vs money. You can shrink the time with money, but it will still take some time. Maybe your local library has a copy.

Friday, August 13, 2004

I know you've been studying OO theory, and that will help a ton -- that is the biggest change in learning .NET from a classic ASP background.

This is hard, and won't seem to make a difference at first, but try to read the API documentation on the Base Class Libraries as often as you can.  For me, it seems that as I gained a better understanding of what was in the base classes and how they related to each other, I started thinking more in terms of inheriting, building and using objects.  Moreover, the more you increase your familiarity with the base classes, the faster you can find the ones that relate to the problem domain when you come to a problem you haven't solved before.

A good dirty book will help a lot too, as the second poster suggested.  While using it, of course try to practice as much as possible.  Then when you start writing code for a specific intent, practice thinking, "how can I make this more generic, abstract, simple and self-explanitory?" at every turn.  Those characteristics are what is missing from VBScript, and their absence encourages those principles to just get glossed over or plowed under all together.

Lastly, and I'm just getting into this myself, the MSDN Patterns and Practices site seems to have a wealth of valuable information, particularly in the "application blocks," which show repeatable examples of how common problems have already been solved.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Well, what the hell do ya know...

We have that exact book on our shelf here.  Good to know it gets a vote of confidence.  I'll check it out.

Clay Whipkey
Friday, August 13, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home