Although .NET has been around for more than 15 years, it continues to be one of the most relevant and commonly used frameworks in software development. It has evolved tremendously since it was first released by Microsoft in 2002 and is becoming increasingly popular. In this article, we talk about what .NET really is, why its popularity has been increasing in recent years, and which are the essential skills a good .NET developer must possess.
What is .NET?
An open source framework developed by Microsoft, .NET provides programming guidelines that can be used to create a wide variety of applications. The .NET framework has many different libraries, APIs, and languages that help in building applications. The different kinds of applications that can be built using .NET include web applications, iOS, Windows, and Android mobile applications, 3D games, Azure microservices, enterprise applications, and much more.
Why has .NET become so popular in recent years?
.NET is one of the most popular frameworks and is poised to stay that way in the foreseeable future. Here are some of the major developments that have contributed to .NET’s growing popularity in the last few years.
Websites and applications built using .NET tend to be faster. This is because .NET applications are compiled and not interpreted. Compiled code means the code is translated into object code and then executed. This tends to be faster than interpreted code (used in PHP) because translated code needs to be read first before it is executed.
More control over the code
.NET uses Object Oriented languages like VB.NET, C++, and C#. The primary advantage of -oriented languages is that the code tends to be more granular. It also lends itself more easily to testing and reuse.
Variety of applications
Microsoft has always tried to provide developers with the right tools for developing state-of-the-art applications; both in terms of application type and technology stack. Today .NET supports a wide variety of applications. From cross-platform responsive web applications and 3D games to enterprise applications and cloud-enabled apps.
What skills should a .NET developer have?
Of course, there are certain skills like logical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity that all good developers should have. Having said that, a .NET developer must have certain specific skills related to the framework itself.
A .NET developer is someone who essentially creates the applications that are text-based and are run on a number of .NET based applications. She also prepares the policy and procedure documents that are needed to run the applications. Here are some of the essential skills that every good .NET developer must have:
Proficiency with C#
C# is currently one of the most used and supported languages when it comes to building .NET applications. It’s especially important to have a solid understanding of LINQ, async features, Object Oriented programming concepts. Important Object Oriented programming concepts include inheritance overload, override, abstraction, and encapsulation. In-Depth knowledge of Microsoft’s Visual Studio, which is the coding environment for C#, is also a must.
Knowledge of the .NET framework
One of the most critical skills needed in a good .NET developer is their familiarity with the .NET framework. It’s important to have in-depth knowledge of what the framework is capable of so that they know where to look when they’re building a solution. Knowledge of things like the .NET Framework Runtime and the .NET Framework Class Library is crucial. It’s also important for a .NET developer to keep themselves updated on the latest features of the .NET framework.
Knowledge of MVC, .NET Core
ASP.NET MVC has become one of the most popular open source frameworks in web development. MVC allows developers to create aesthetic web applications with relative ease. MVC also lends itself well to unit testing and allows the developer to leverage cutting-edge client-side web development technologies.
.NET Core is a modular, open-source framework that has become extremely popular in the last few years. .NET Core can be run on multiple platforms and architectures which makes it possible to build an app that can run on Linux, iOS, and Windows as well as on different architectures like ARM and x86. This also makes it a great option for building desktop applications. Given the growing popularity and future potential of .NET Core, it’s definitely a skill a good .NET developer needs to have.
Staying updated constantly
.NET’s strength lies in its ability to evolve with time. That’s why it continues to be a relevant framework even today. A critical quality you need in a .NET developer is their ability to stay updated with the latest developments in .NET. You need to make sure they are curious and willing to learn continuously.
While it’s not mandatory, an advanced Microsoft Certification signals that the .NET developer really does know the framework inside out. All other things being equal, a candidate with a certification such as Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer(MCSD) or Microsoft Most Valuable Professional will always have the advantage. Moreover, the certification is developed and maintained by Microsoft and you need to renew it every two years. This makes sure the developer is up-to-date on the latest changes in the .NET framework.
When hiring a .NET developer, you need to check whether they have the skills discussed in the article. They should have a strong foundation C# and the .NET Framework as well as insights into newer developments like MVC and .NET Core. You can also choose to outsource your software development to a reliable company that has skilled .NET developers. If you choose to outsource the development, you can download our e-book “Santex’s Ultimate Guide to Software Development Outsourcing” for tips and strategies.