The future is bright for .NET developers. With Microsoft opening up the platform and reinventing the current structure that supports the .NET platform, there are a lot of reasons to get excited.
Earlier this year at Build, Microsoft shared a very clear roadmap for the future of .NET and C#. As a platform, .NET is always changing and evolving to meet the requirements of today’s coding landscape. Microsoft has embraced this, looking to reposition .NET as a platform that can be written anywhere and run anywhere moving forward.
As it currently exists, .NET is scattered. Creating code that spans across Microsoft platforms has meant working with portable class libraries (PCL). While PCL has shared functionality, it is very limited when compared to the .NET framework. Additionally, PCL support on these various platforms isn’t as straightforward as it could be. This leaves developers out in the cold, struggling to identify which APIs are available for any given scenario.
Moving forward, Microsoft is looking to replace PCL with a contract for a common API support, called the .NET Standard Library. With .NET Standard Library, developers will be better able to reuse code, which can save some development time. The learning curve is also smaller, resulting in fewer development hurdles. With .NET Standard Library, developers have a clear foundation to build upon.
C#, as the most popular language for .NET development, also has an exciting future ahead. Microsoft is promising a faster release cycle, which will further enhance C# and give developers new ways to write code with the language.
With Microsoft turning .NET and C# into open source projects, tracking development and the future of these platforms and languages has never been easier. While all of the changes may initially present some challenges for developers, the sheer breadth of new features and enhancements to .NET and C# should excite developers with all the possibilities on the horizon.
If you’d like to read my more detailed thoughts on the future of .NET and C#, check out my blog on App Developer Magazine.