For those of us in the open source, trendy, node, rails, iOS, Android lands it’s easy to forget that there is a whole developer ecosystem out there centred around C#, .Net, Azure and much more.
We, and I include myself in this group, have forgotten about the MS ecosystem. Maybe we were burnt by VB or by Windows Vista being... Whatever it was, we moved away to other, newer tools and didn’t really look back.
But I think now, 2016, is the time to take a second look. In case you missed it, there’s a new guy in charge, and he appears to have his head screwed on properly. In just a few years he and his team has lead the charge on some super cool stuff. Let’s take a look at these.
C# is like Java, but fixed. It’s got similar syntax but has got so much more. It’s a superset of C, with classes, inheritance, interfaces (protocols) and much more. If you’re thinking that’s a bit dull now, and you’re a functional programmer now, then F# is also just as cool. If you’re somewhere in between, the LINQ framework will do that for you. It’s also not new either, so it’s pretty stable and theres no week long migration to the next version. (👀 Swift)
.Net Core is a cross platform, open source, free, cut down version of .Net for on Linux, Mac, Windows and even IoT embedded devices. It’s got all the fun of C# and a sensible collection of foundation classes for building whatever you’re building. Oh, and it’s super fast. Not like Node or Ruby fast, actual fast. After talking to a local company, they were able to replace a node.js server doing 800 requests per second with a .Net server doing 20,000+requests per second. Nice.
VS Code and VS for Mac
In case you haven’t seen it, Microsoft released VS Code and it’s pretty darn cool. Once again, open source, cross platform and free. You can think of it like Atom or Sublime, and like those two, they have many extensions for things like Git or other languages. And then we got a preview version of Visual Studio for Mac in the last couple of weeks too. The awesome IDE on Windows is starting to make it’s way over to us now which is pretty neat. It’ll only get better, too.
Azure Machine Learning
Azure, which is pretty much Microsoft’s AWS, now has a bunch of cool AI tools. All tied in with other services, it’d be a trivial add on to your application. A lot of AI algorithms and bayesian math is implemented for you and wizards to help you choose the right one for your application.
The same goes for the MS Bot Framework. You can create interfaces to Skype, Facebook, Slack and More. It even can run serverless, where you pay for only the resources you consume.
The hololens is freakin’ amazing. Read my thoughts here. Also, if your app works on Windows 10 Desktop or Phone, it’ll probably just work on Hololens.
Microsoft Surface Studio
This is one for the designers, the Surface Studio is basically a what happens if you turn a drafting table into a computer. It’s something that I think will actually work super well for designers.
These are just some of the cool things Microsoft has to offer. There’s so much more to look at. Universal Windows Apps for write once(ish) run everywhere, Microsoft Surface Hub for meetings, Azure DevTest Labs, Xamarin, Azure IoT Hub, Power BI and much more!
In conclusion, it’s time to take a second look. No solution is perfect, and to suggest tech from “the other side” won’t be the best solution is pure stubbornness and arrogance. Take a second look. Have an open mind. They’ve come a long way, and for your future applications and endeavors, it could be the right way.
Thanks for reading. I’m also @samjarman on Twitter if you wanna chat — I’d love to see you there.