Thursday, September 04, 2008

Infectious snobbery

My new job involves VB.Net code and some ASP.Net. It's going to involve a lot more ASP.Net in the future so it behooves me to learn it.

Uh huh, that's right, I was hired for the position without having the exact skills required. It's an exercise in optimism from my new employer, who is working on the idea that if I already have the necessary breadth of software development experience in Windows and c++ it shouldn't be too difficult to learn a new environment.

I have to say that's a very refreshing change from the usual attitude and one that I certainly appreciate.

Indeed, at the interview I wasn't even asked all that many technical questions. I can understand that; I always hate having to try and gauge a candidates real knowledge and experience in a mere hour.

My resume had included a link to my articles over on Codeproject[^] and my new boss remembered reading an article I'd written about using lex and yacc[^] (actually he mainly remembered it because I mention being a Kentucky Colonel[^] in my bio at the bottom of the page) so they had some real code I'd written available to read. I always knew those articles would pay off someday and they have; so far this job is great.

But back to VB.Net and ASP.Net. As hinted above, I don't have a lot of experience with either. Indeed, I wrote my first ever ASP.Net/VB.Net app last week, in half a day. Not much of an app but it fills a need and it's deployed for the one person in the world who needs it (not me). As for the VB.Net stuff, well, it's pretty easy to pick up. Some wierdness in the way one connects events and event handlers but for the most part it's a programming language. *shrug*

Last weekend I brought home a thick volume from the office library, something about business objects in VB.Net. I can't remember the full title but if it's about business objects you already know it's pretty dry stuff.

Sonya took one look at the VB.Net part of the title and said, in a tone of incredulity, 'VB????'

All those years of being a c++ snob have come back to haunt me. And it's not even entirely true; when one wants a quick proof of concept or, even better example, a COM testing host, it's hard to go past VB.

As for the future? We're going to be making a start on rev 2 of the app once I get back from Australia. I'm going to have to try very hard not to let years of c++ get in the way. After all, the ad I answered when applying for the job did express a preference for people who knew that languages other than those with .Net in the name existed.

I think the bottom line is that performance matters but so too do development cycles and maintainability/extensibility. Now there's a motherhood and apple pie statement for you!

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