Work your Core… your .NET Core
I used to be embarrassed to tell my developer friends from the west coast that I was a C# developer. They all seemed to be working for trendy startups using cool hipster languages like Scala, Python and Go. Here I was, a lowly midwest developer doing enterprise consulting and writing stale C# code in a VM running on my macbook pro. Not exactly cool. So what changed? Microsoft did. Microsoft changed. People say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but these days it seems like this old Microsoft dog has nothing but new tricks.
In 2015 I left my enterprise consulting company and started working at a startup. We were making a mobile app, and we were still using C#. How could we do this? Because Microsoft had just bought Xamarin and made it free. Xamarin is a platform that allows developers to write C# code that compiles down to native code for IOS and Android. One code base, two platforms. Awesome.
Now, Microsoft is even cooler. They recently (June, 2016) released .Net Core. A free, open source, cross-platform framework. It’s not the entire .Net framework, but rather just the core (get it?), and the basic building blocks of this very robust and amazing framework are now available to be run on Windows, Mac and Linux. AND it’s open source! I recently read an article that said that Microsoft claims that over 60% of the code base for .Net Core was NOT written by Microsoft, but rather the larger community. Over 10K developers! Who’s trendy now?
Recently, I joined TeamVirtuoso, a software consulting company specializing in Microsoft Development. And what do we use for just about everything…? You guessed it: .Net Core.
Interested in jumping on the bandwagon? Here are some resources to get started. Here is an intro article (ok, it’s a blog from Microsoft, but it’s a nice short explanation of what is new). Then hop over to Dot.net and download the SDK. It’s important to know that there are two ways to deploy a .NET Core application. Framework-dependent and Self-contained. This is a cool article by Scott Hanselman (he’s my favorite) about how to set up a self-contained project. Have some more time? Watch this video by Scott Hanselman (did I mention I love him) about getting started.