Why you should learn ASP.NET
Developers get caught up in the which language is best to learn or the my language is better than yours mentality. The truth is there in no particular language that trumps them all. Odds are that over your career as a software developer you will have to learn many different programing languages and frameworks. For that reason I am going to explain why ASP.NET is the worlds best framework; not really but I do want to explain why you may want to learn ASP.NET.
Have you ever spent weeks learning a new framework only to find out later that support has been dropped for that framework? Maybe the framework your working with hasn’t lost support, but have noticed releases are slowing down. Developers in ASP.NET don’t have that worry. ASP.NET is not a new framework in fact it was first released in 2002 by Microsoft. ASP.NET was released as an upgrade from the Active Server Pages (ASP). Since ASP.NET has been around since 2002 means it is a mature framework with many features and community support.
It’s developed by Microsoft
Did I mention that ASP.NET is a Microsoft product? Because Microsoft backs the ASP.NET framework developers can choose any .NET language that want to work with C# or VB.NET. If you have a development team working a Webform application and half the team wants to code in VB.NET while the other half want to use C# that’s okay because ASP.NET was built on a Common Language Runtime (CLR). Microsoft also bring with it a large set of tools that integrate well with ASP.NET, for example:
- SQL Server – Database
- Azure – Cloud Services Platform
- Visual Studio – Integrated Development Environment
In 2012 I switched from developing in VB.NET to PHP, from a syntax perspective I didn’t really have any problems. PHP was a language I had experience with and found it easy to pick up, but the real issue from me was the IDE. I was so used to Visual Studio that is was hard to use a plain text editor like Sublime Text or Text Wrangler, but I did settle on using Netbeans. Netbeans is a great product, however I had spent over 2 years using Visual Studio and had a hard time adjusting. The same situation arose when I switched from SQL Server to MySQL, Microsoft just has these other tools beat.
I know Microsoft is seen as some evil corporation in developer circles but Microsoft knows how to write software. For that reason the ASP.NET framework is a top chose in government and financial institutions. These institutions want to their application running in a secure environment which happens to be a Windows environment. Careers in Government, Finance, Energy, and Medical industries make up a large part of the US economy. The good news is these industries are hiring and one of skills they are searching for is experience in ASP.NET. In simple terms, there are a lot more .NET openings then there are candidates to fill those positions. Take a look at the job sites:
- .NET Developer search on Monster
- .NET Developer search on Dice
- ASP.NET search on Indeed
- Craiglist Nashville – In Nashville I have some contacts who have told me there is a market shortage of .NET developers. Nashville has a heavy presence in both the Medical and Financial Industry.
ASP.NET Pays the Bills
Okay here is what you really wanted to know. How much do ASP.NET developers make? In the 2013 salary survey conducted by Visual Studio the Magazine, the average ASP.NET Developer’s salary is $94,784. The average developer in this study typically had a 4 year degree and 12.5 years experience. Salaries for ASP.NET developers have steady risen over the past few years and have fared well during the recession. The average household brings in around $50K, which means the average ASP.NET almost makes twice as much as the average household. So no worries about making ends meat in ASP.NET.
ASP.NET is a mature framework with a very large community and a ton of support from Microsoft. Developers have a wide range of tools to leverage that are backed by the Microsoft brand. Career wise ASP.NET developer are in high demand with an average salary around $94,784. My career has mostly centered around ASP.NET so I might be biased but overall I would recommend it as a option for a wide range of products. What are your thoughts on the ASP.NET framework?