VS 6 or VS.NET?

For a developer new to Visual Studio would it be better to begin in VS6 before moving to VS.NET or should I just jump right into VS.NET? I have access to both VS6 and VS.NET and a wide array of books and training materials.
This is a question we get often. There is no single correct answer. The truth is that VB 6 will be with us for some time, but that .NET is the future. The question you must ask is, "How soon will I need .NET skills in my local employment environment?" Given no constraints such as this, .NET is the place to be. I believe you will need familiarity with COM+ applications for some time to come. Inherently, VS 6 and VS.NET are really quite different. While there are of course parallels, most of the way we do things in .NET are very different from the way we do them in COM+. In short, it isn't a simple decision (but you know that already!).
This was first published in June 2002

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