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Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

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Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby genomon on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:51 pm

Hopefully this is an approprite forum in which to seek advice.
I've been programming since the late 70's starting with BASIC, FORTRAN, and then COBOL. Since, I've moved on to VB (thru VB6), Office apps using VBA, and T-SQL on SQL Server.
Also picked up other flavors of SQL along the way, and done RDBMS design. I want to pick up .NET skills; my thought is to start with VB.NET, since I am comfortable with traditional VB.
From there I want to pick up some web design skills, probably starting with ASP/IIS, and at some point learn C++ or C# which I have zero experience in.
Seeking advice on:
Am I missing the boat by starting out this way and postponing education in something like Java or PHP until later?
Given that no one can "know it all", is sticking with database programming and frontend apps too limiting?

Also to note: I have been at this job for 17 years and am really not looking for anything new, but in this economy, who knows...
I like the work and colleagues here, and am treated and compensated fairly.
I am being groomed for my boss's VP job when he retires in 4 to 5 years.
Our department currently does not develop web apps, but may in the future.
I may be asked to interview/hire web developers in the future, so it would be nice to have some rudimentary experience there.
If I am forced to find another job, I'm not sure there are as many opportunities for DB developers vs. web.

Any thoughts or condemnations are welcome!
A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby chrissie1 on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:58 pm

I would learn C# and cut loose of the basic background and learn the MVC thing. Then you can go back to VB.Net and use it with more convidence without. It is harder learning OO and MVC with a language you already know since you will more easily revert to bad habbits while you don't have those in a new language.
The difference between C# and all the other .net languages is minimal. Learn ASP.Net MVC for instance instead of using the webforms. It's very mature.

I would only learn C++ if you really gonna need it.
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby AlexCuse on Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:22 am

I agree with Chrissie. Coming from a VB / SQL Server background I tried VB.net for a couple weekends but I found it frustrating that it *looked* so much like VB6 (but wasn't). The difference in appearance seemed to be enough to push me just far enough out of my comfort zone to make me a little more open-minded. And afterwards you'll definitely be able to move between C# and VB.net with relative ease.

Not sure what kind of stuff you've been doing in VB but once you've gotten past the "Hello World'' type exercises it might help to write a small throwaway app of that variety (for me it was windows forms) so that you get the "feel" of the language before diving into the web stuff.

Most important is to have fun with it. And of course, when you have questions you know where to ask em :)
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby kaht on Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:24 pm

genomon wrote:From there I want to pick up some web design skills, probably starting with ASP/IIS, and at some point learn C++ or C# which I have zero experience in.


This sentence implies to me that you don't have a very strong background in web programming. I think this will be a benefit to you, as I have had a lot of difficulty learning ASP.Net since I compare everything to what I already know about ASP. I've noticed that I also have a hard time with committing the new stuff I learn in .Net to memory because I'm not working with it every day.

The biggest step you have to take is just accepting that they are completely different. When I am so familiar with doing things the "ASP way" it is hard for me to convert over to the "ASP.Net" way. Since you're not coming from a strong background of web programming, I'm guessing you should be able to pick up .Net relatively easy.
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby genomon on Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:35 pm

This sentence implies to me that you don't have a very strong background in web programming.


That is an understatement, and a big reason I need to add some new tools to the toolbox.
Thanks all for weighing in! Just downloaded SP1 for VS 2008 and am shopping around for books as I write (and checking out posted links & others).

Soon, I shall cover the programming world like moss...
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby Emtucifor on Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:30 pm

As someone with somewhat of a similar background to you, I also recommend going straight into C# instead of VB.Net. For one thing, it isn't that hard, and then you'll have another whole language under your belt, with the advantage that bridging to VB.Net from both ends (VB Syntax combined with .Net concepts) will be easier later for you if you need it, than if you go VB.Net now and then find yourself needing C#.
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby SQLDenis on Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:31 pm

This is a very good book: Pro C# 2008 and the .NET 3.5 Platform, Fourth Edition which covers the basics and also wcf, wpf, LINQ etc etc
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby AlexCuse on Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:36 pm

The biggest step you have to take is just accepting that they are completely different. When I am so familiar with doing things the "ASP way" it is hard for me to convert over to the "ASP.Net" way. Since you're not coming from a strong background of web programming, I'm guessing you should be able to pick up .Net relatively easy.


and then, after the "ASP.net" way, there is the "ASP.net MVC" way (which seems to me much more like the "ASP" way). Did you head explode yet?
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby Emtucifor on Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:43 pm

Alex, I don't know about anybody else, but you already exploded my head when you were crushing the opposition (and setting a world record, besides) in the Kick the Wet Nerf Football Over the Pool Championship.
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby AlexCuse on Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:54 pm

Oh, that was your head? I thought the ball felt a little strange on that attempt.
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby genomon on Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:20 pm

Kick the Wet Nerf Football Over the Pool Championship


Finally I understand the old sig in gchat.
Whatever happened to just spiking a watermelon?
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby Emtucifor on Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:30 pm

AlexCuse wrote:Oh, that was your head? I thought the ball felt a little strange on that attempt.

Well, after I kicked the ball once, I didn't really feel as though I had a compelling reason to keep subjecting myself to the pain. So the head exploding came after you'd kicked the ball a dozen times and kept coming back for more. You are a glutton for pain!
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby AlexCuse on Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:13 pm

No one ever said it was easy being awesome
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby chrissie1 on Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:17 pm

AlexCuse wrote:No one ever said it was easy being awesome


comes natural to me.
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby genomon on Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:05 pm

Finally got around to starting C#. The book I'm using (for now) is "Microsoft Visual C# 2008" by John Sharp & published by Microsoft Press. Only up to Chapter 3 so far - got the book last night. Way less daunting than I feared, and exciting to be learning a new tool.
I chose this book as it caters to beginners as well as programmers coming from other languages. I'm well past "Hello World" already and am getting pretty amped up the further I get into it. Thanks again to all for the advice & support! 'Bout time... :peace:
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby SQLDenis on Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:14 pm

I am converting a webforms web app to MVC 2 with Entity Framework and so far it has been very nice. I am also using the Free Telerik MVC controls

take a look at the grid http://demos.telerik.com/aspnet-mvc/grid it is completely configurable and actually send good SQL code to the server (I ran profiler to see exactly what was being send over for paging)
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Re: Taking the .NET plunge - advice?

Postby ChaosPandion on Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:44 pm

Just stop by and ask questions. Not only will it help you but it helps us gain a better understanding.
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