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4. Learn the .NET Framework

There is too little development time. You don’t have time to write all your own routines and algorithms. Instead, you’re expected to work more with canned modules located in well-known frameworks. Security needs (discussed later) also drive us to proven and tested code, if only to avoid liability issues.

If you learn the .NET Framework, you will get so much in return. Want to take a subset of your core application and make a mobile application with it? Easy. Want to move your application and logic to a web application? Sure.

To the degree you sell yourself as less of a "commodity coder" and more of a "business logic, integration, and systems designer," the more you can show true value that’s not easily replaced.

There’s a lot to like in .NET. There’s a great namespace that clusters functions into "families," speeding learning. There are native functions to cover everything from neat UI controls to ftp functionality.

There are variable types for great precision. These variable types are more consistent in the languages that your international coding team uses.

Need to manage your project among project teams located around the world? Find that some teams love C#; some love Perl; some swear by others? By using .NET, that kind of language mix is doable.

There are many books on .NET. Begin with the Microsoft website, which reveals the Framework 3.0’s new features. Yes, you can parlay your basic OOP and VB knowledge into sophisticated projects.

Think you can create similar code on your own? And keep it patched and secured on a monthly basis? Think again. Many coders still see coding ending at the first successful deployment.

Instead, true life cycle management has you patching your code base forever. Just testing your code’s security is tough. Go .NET and let other people debug their classes.

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