Application development for .NET manages to move both at Mach 3 and at a snail's pace simultaneously. On one hand, third-party and open-source tools emerge constantly, promising less code, better productivity and snazzier user experience. On one hand, updates to Visual Studio, Visual Basic, C# and Windows take a couple years to complete and a few more to digest.
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Nowadays, with sample downloads and blogs, gaining perspective on new products is simple -- save it to your machine, tinker with it and see what the blogoshpere has to say about it.
As an individual developer, it can be difficult to capture larger trends. The folks in your IT department use VB 6, but what about the developers in the office park across town, or across the country? Do other developers also have to architect, test, deploy and maintain there applications, or is it just you?
Every year SearchVB.com conducts a reader survey that attempts to answer questions like those. It helps us determine who our readers are, and it helps our readers see what their peers are up to.
Our latest survey, which we conducted in June and early July, includes data from 183 professional developers. We kept most of the questions the same from 2005 to 2006, to see if anything had changed in the last 12 months. Here is a sampling of what we found.
As is the case with most surveys, this data answers a few questions but prompts many others. Why does VB 6 remain the preferred language of Microsoft developers? Will VBers eventually move to VB.NET, to C# or onto a language like Ruby? Why the uptick in Web development? Why are developers wearing so many different hats?
As the summer progresses, SearchVB.com will try to answer those questions by talking to the very people who participated in our survey. If you would like to share your own thoughts on the state of VB and .NET development, send me an e-mail and I will gladly chat with you.