In which I become assimilated
As some of you know, I have been a Java programmer for over 5 years and I have enjoyed programming in that language. There have been times when people have tried to entice me to switch to a Microsoft language and I have always said no. Well today I am writing code in C#. Although it is hard for me, I am going to try and keep my complaining to a minimum. I will probably be doing most of my future development in C# (.NET 2.0). Here are my reasons for switching:
- I am going to need to extend ArcGIS desktop as a good chunk of my daily work, which is not currently supported with Java
- My new employer is strictly an MS house. I know I can write Java on MS OS’s but it is not quite as tight as MS integration.
- I will probably not be doing much web dev anymore, mostly desktop applications. Maybe some web services, though I doubt it. In addition to working with ArcGIS I will also be working with Excel, Access, and SQL Server and it is all just easier if I use MS products.
I chose C# because it’s syntax is close enough to Java that I should be in good shape for understanding the core language.
Before I ask my questions first some quick comments.
- I am sad about cutting back on the amount of Java I use. I may still do some Java work since the Libraries for individual based simulations and spatial functions (gratuitous link to the Ramsey .NET discussion) are more robust and mature in Java. I will be doing some of that work so I will turn to Java for that.
- Man! MS development is expensive. Java developers are truly spoiled by great low-cost (best IDE ever!) or free IDEs with a ton of great libraries and free and open source libraries/application servers/cool stuff. I know some of this is coming to .NET land but they have a long way to go. Seems like most things in this universe cost, and some cost quite a bit.
- It makes me feel a bit dirty – there I said it. Its not a big deal and I am almost over it already but still. This must be what it feels like someone who is a Red Sox fan becoming a Yankees fan (though that is probably a bigger deal).
So now on to my questions
- I knew a bunch of the places to hang out in Java land but I don’t know them yet in .NET land. I hear that MSDN, The Code Project, and GotDotNet are some good places to hang out. Are there others? Is there an IRC channel for people interested in .NET on freenode. I assume #mono might be one place but are there others?
- Is there a good place to go to understand Visual Studio 2005? There are a lot of books and tips on C# but not much giving a tour on how to work with VS2005. Since so much seems to depend on how MS wants you to work I would like to understand VS better – solution files, projects, GACs, registry settings, adding Assemblies… Can someone help a brutha out.
- What is the embedded db for .NET 2005 (what do I use on my WinCE device)?
And a final word to my Java developer compatriots who may ask “how could you do it?” Well this morning I went out into the field and picked up 3 life list birds: Ash Throated Flycatcher, the White-Tailed Kite, and Yellow-billed magpie. Last week I ran animal habitat models for habitat conservation planning. This week I am designing and working on a geodatabase for a nature preserve. So while I like Java, I love my new work.
C’mon now add to the GIS blogosphere and answer some of my questions or leave some other pithy comment that I shall ponder for hours…