CG’s CodeMash Countdown: C# and VB.NET

Continuing the countdown, let’s look at the two common .NET languages – C# and VB.NET. Yes, I am combining both of these languages into one post. This may make some C# programmers cringe, as some may find VB.NET inferior. VB.NET seems to be the Rodney Dangerfield language – it gets no respect.

Seriously, though, I’m a C# developer in my day job, but my first foray into the .NET languages was with VB.NET. Before working with C#, I was a VB6 developer, but I knew that the app I was commissioned to make had to be web-based, so no VB6 for that. I figured I’d stick with a language that couldn’t be that much different than what I was used to – how hard could it be to work in VB.NET? Boy was I foolish for thinking that!

These languages have been debated for eons, with Dan Appleman writing an eBook on it, Coding Horror blogging on it, and a little more recently, the DotNet Mafia mentioning it. Microsoft did release a white paper on the difference between the two languages. Though I have to wonder – why argue which one is “better”? Every language has its strong points and weak points – learn both and consider them as more tools in your toolbox when it comes to application building.

Both of these languages have the ability to show up in any Microsoft-related developer presentation, as these are the languages that get the most focus when showing off anything code-wise in the .NET realm.

Language: Visual C#
Website: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa287558(VS.71).aspx

Language: Visual Basic .NET
Website: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa903378(VS.71).aspx

Where will these be seen at CodeMash?

I’m going to guess that if a Microsoft-technology developer talk shows any code, it’ll most likely be C#, as that appears to be the language of choice for most of the .NET blogs that I read. Maybe some of the speakers will see this blog post and throw me off by showing mostly VB.NET examples. (Ok… so maybe that’s stretching it.)

Looking at the session list, I’d have to guess that you’ll see C# or VB.NET in some of these sessions:

  • Modern Web Applications with .NET, presented by Drew Robbins
  • Dev Guide: Skinning Silverlight Controls, presented by Jesse Liberty
  • Managed Extensibility Framework, presented by Drew Robbins
  • A Lap Around the Live Framework and Mesh Services, presented by Jeff Blankenburg
  • Scaling Habits of ASP.NET Applications, presented by Richard Campbell
  • Deep LINQ: C# Query Expression Pattern, presented by Bill Wagner
  • Re-thinking UI – WPF DataTemplates, presented by Carey Payette
  • Reverse Engineering Applications, presented by Joe Kuemerle
  • Modeling types with extension methods, presented by Bill Wagner
  • Developing for Microsoft Surface, presented by Jennifer Marsman
  • Cloud Computing with .Net, presented by Wesley Faler

Where can I learn more about C#?

The MSDN C# tutorials cover a variety of features available, each rated either “Simple”, “Intermediate”, or “Advanced”.

The Visual C# Developer Center on MSDN has articles, tutorials, starter kits, and videos just to name a few types of resources. Check out that site for all things C#.

C# Station has a series of tutorials as well, breaking the language into building blocks, similar to my data structures classes in college.

Where can I learn more about VB.NET?

Dan Mabbutt has put together a series of VB.NET tutorials on About.com.

Code samples can be found at VBnet™ Visual Basic Developers Resource Centre.

I’ve also found some VB.NET ASP.NET examples over at 4 Guys From Rolla.

Finally, to find all things VB.NET – including starter kits, tutorials, and videos – check out the MSDN Visual Basic Developer Center.

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