Thursday, June 04, 2009

ASP.NET for Java Developers

If it's been a while since you've taken a look at what's going on the asp universe, you may be quite surprised, in a good way. Whether your coming out of a corporate position or long term java assignment and looking to expand your marketability, or are currently fielding offers, you should seriously consider adding ASP.NET to your toolkit.

Now I understand there will be many Java web devs out there that that will never consider any tools that come out if the evil empire for various reasons. I know, because I was one of them. I'm also NOT trying to convert anyone out there and I don't work for Microsoft so I have nothing to gain here.

My philosophy has always centered around the best tool for the job, and by extension the best language. Successful developers with a few good size projects in production will tell you that language matters less than sound, software engineering practices do. This brings me to the ALT.NET movement.

Microsoft's early asp offerings have been criticized, and rightly so, for making it extremely difficult to implement the design patters we as Java devs have employed for years in our projects. But that has definitely changed over the past year or so thanks in part to this movement. The website describes it best. "We are a self-organizing, ad-hoc community of developers bound by a desire to improve ourselves, challenge assumptions, and help each other pursue excellence in the practice of software development."

Microsoft has listened, and I believe they do now "get it". Look no further than the ASP.NET MVC framework. This is huge. I'm in the middle of a good size project with it and it's working very well. Take it for a test drive. You may be surprised too! 

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