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To Adopt or Not To Adopt .Net

By Underground_In_TN ·
If a company is doing fine with ASP and VB 6, and its IT development staff is very busy developing new apps and modifying old apps, are there any sound reasons for it to lose tremendous amounts of productive time having its staff learn .NET, or should it stay with what works?

If your company has moved to .NET, did it experience a loss of productivity due to the steep learning curve? If so, was it worth it? Why or why not?

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Moving to C#.Net

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to To Adopt or Not To Adopt ...

But from Delphi, simply because Delphi developers are getting rarer.
Course that switch is nowhere near as steep a learning curve.

You can phase it in, but it's got to be done I'm afraid. May take a while to have an impact but not moving forward means you are losing ground to any competitor who bites the bullet now.

Course you could rely on MS keeping the backwards compatibility going. After all they did it for VB6 !
There's a lot of VB6 work about but it's a dying market, you don't want to expire with it. If I was working for you and you told me I was going to be using VB6 for the foreseeable future, That would be about my notice period, because you'd be killing my career along with your business.

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Competition via tools or core business?

by Underground_In_TN In reply to Moving to C#.Net

Thanks for your response, Tony.

Can you give me an idea of how my company (by the way, I'm a programmer, not the IT manager or company owner) loses ground to competitors by staying with VB6 and ASP? We use those tools to build our own web site and internal applications; we do not sell these apps or services to others, so I don't see how which tools we use to support our core business affect how we compete in our actual business.

Second, how have you determined that VB6 is a dying market? Sure, all the programming magazines (paper and online) and support sites don't talk about ASP or VB6 anymore, but, like MS, they have monetary incentives, like partnerships with MS for pushing .NET. But what to most programmers actually use? Is the trend really moving to .NET, and if so, how fast is it moving?

I'm just not convinced that adopting every new fad in programming that comes along is always a good idea. To me, a programming tool is just that: a tool, like a hammer. If I built houses, I can build them just as well as anyone using the same hammer I've used for the last 30 years, and I don't have to lose valuable time learning how to use a completely redesigned hammer. The analogy isn't perfect, but it should be good enough to make my point.

To use real-world examples (although I really don't what their IT departments use), how does Lowes Home Improvement company lose ground to Home Depot if it uses ASP to build its web site when Lowes builds it with ASP.NET (or PHP or JSP)?? How is its core business affected if its internal applications are built with VB6 rather than .NET?

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Internally, hmmm

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Competition via tools or ...

So no competition.

Well, in theory with ,net, it should work better with the newer OS's provide more facilities, be more extensible da di da.

Seeing as your browser is the front end you 'customers' doen't have to deal with a serious dated looking UI.

The company isn't moving away from Delphi because .NET is better, it's moving because that's where the devlopers have gone.

Good Delphi developers are in work, so you've got to open up the wallet to attract them, or wait for one to come on the market. That's how they got me , took them 8 months.

I'd just done two years of VB6 and I've been in the job nearly 20 years, you couldn't have paid me enough when facing the prospect of a future with VB6.

You know your people, are they happy to have their careers killed ?

That would be my biggest concern

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Yes, and a unique situation

by Underground_In_TN In reply to Internally, hmmm

Thanks again for your reply, Tony.

I'm not arguing your points, because they are valid for most companies. And valid for mine, where hiring new programmers is concerned.

But just for the fun of playing devil's advocate, and because my company really is in the unique position of having only two competitors (and they are both non-profits, while we're for-profit, which affects how we compete), I'd like to present your points in light of my company's position.

Our legacy system is an IBM AS/400, so believe me, I don't have a problem with my users seeing an antiquated UI for anything I write in VB6 or ASP. :^) Oh, and about half of our external web site users, the ones who do business with us rather than just people who just happened to surf in, use IE 5.2 on Macs and can't upgrade for their own business-related reasons, so again, I'm not too concerned with UI problems that .NET can solve.

Besides, I haven't really noticed anything special in .NET that would help improve the UI of applications I write. Can you expand on that?

Regarding OS support, last I heard, Vista will run 99.9+ % apps that run on XP, so I don't have to worry about OS support for a while.

We have 7 programmers here. Two do all the VB6 and ASP work, and neither want to give it up. A third person does VB6, VBA and RPG work, and the rest do RPG. None of us are worried about our careers from the VB6/ASP aspect (although the RPGers are very concerned with theirs... talk about approaching a dead end!).

So anyway, all that to say that this makes my job of deciding this all the much harder. Thanks again for your input, Justin.

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There are a lot of things that

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Yes, and a unique situati ...

.net will do, whether you need them is another question entirely.
Consuming webservices for instance. Threading. Ability to have a common ui for both GUI and web.
Built in documenter from xml tags.
conversion of data to soap.
Cross environment integration (C++ , C# VB and even Delphi)

If you don't and your guys careers aren't going to be damaged by being . net deficient, then all you have to do is trust that ms have not broken your apps and will not break your apps and or they won't give you another enforced obsolescence to leverage their great friends intel a bit more business.

I'm familiar with the mind set by the way, the place I was doing VB6 at to display MIS data had a mysql backend, that was populated by fortran 77 code running on vaxes.

The thought of changing the 20 year inhouse code investment on the latter is enough to make anyone's hair stand on end.

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Heh, that legacy sounds like something I face

by sjohnson175 In reply to There are a lot of things ...

One of the new roles I'm learning is supporting a COBOL app running on UNIX which originally went live in 1984.

Its sole support for quite awhile has been the 62 year old crusty programmer who was on the original team. He has no backup so that's why I was asked if I would be willing to learn (I have some COBOL and UNIX experience but it's over a decade old).

It's a big revenue generator for my company though so it might turn out to be a good gig. Particularly if they ever decide to modernize it.

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Don't neglect more modern stuff

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Heh, that legacy sounds l ...

Otherwise you'll be crusty 62, and wondering what they teach young whippersnappers these days.

Seriously the place I was referring to was waiting for the fortran 77 compiler to be finalised for the Itanium, so they could hopefully 'painlessly' port their entire code base.

Should be able to put of the rewrite by another 10-15 years, I expect to get asked to go back on masses of money per hour at some point when they finally decide to bite the bullet.

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Competition via 'resources'....

by Bob Briggs In reply to Competition via tools or ...

The real problem associated with the adoption of new technology is not always to do with the ability to compete NOW using it. It also has to do with your ability to compete in the FUTURE. 10 years from now, we may be having this debate over .Net technologies. 10 years from now, VB6 and ASP will be dinosaurs. How many people at your company will still be able to maintain and support VB6 and .Net? Will it still be supported on all your operating systems? Will tools and resources needed to implement support for the older technology still be available to license for new workstations?

If you exist in a Microsoft world, and you intend to stay there, you must get used to the idea that change will be constant. Whether or not to adopt new MS technologies in place of their existing counterparts isn't going to be the real question. The real question is WHEN you will decide to embrace the newness.

In the case of .Net 2.0 and ASP.Net, it's a good thing. ASP.Net will actually save you time in development. It is also architected to save you time in maintenance. So, any learning curve you suffer now will pay for itself. VB6 programmers will need to re-learn VB, as it has changed. C++ programmers will love you as C# is a better language. Java programmers will also 'like' you because C# is very close to Java and the transitional learning curve is not steep. Moving to .Net means that you won't have to worry about development and maintenance resources for your company for the next 10 years or more.

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Hammer vs. Pneumatic nailer

by Perry Neal In reply to Competition via tools or ...

I agree with your position that .NET or VB6 is just a tool. But, following your analogy of building houses, you can crank 'em out a lot faster with a pneumatic nailer than your 30 year old hammer <grin>.

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Touch? !

by Underground_In_TN In reply to Hammer vs. Pneumatic nail ...

LOL Okay, so maybe my hammer analogy wasn't the best. But what about C++? It hasn't changed enough to be a pain to learn for experienced C++ programmers (and don't throw C# at me, it's no more an evolution of C++ than VB.NET is an evolution of VB6). And yet I believe C++ is still widely used for new development, its programmers are still in demand.

What makes VB6 so obsolete?

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