.NET Developments

May 26 2009   3:44PM GMT

Our readership survey is in!

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

The vast majority of SearchWinDevelopment.com readers are using modern tools, but a significant number of them are also interested in maintaining legacy applications, according to a readership survey conducted by the site.

A preliminary look at the survey reveals that 87% are using Visual Studio 2008 or 2005. About 65% of respondents use one of those versions as their primary IDE.

.NET languages are very popular; legacy code also important

Three quarters of all respondents reported using one of the two main .NET languages, C# and VB.NET; for half of respondents, one of those languages is what they do most of their coding in. C# is the more popular language by a significant (but not overwhelming) margin of 48% to 38%. Legacy code is still important, though. One fifth of readers use C++ and almost a third use VB6 or earlier, although only 15% of all respondents use those older languages as their main programming language.

Interestingly, the “use at all” to “use as primary” stats aren’t symmetric within .NET. As I noted above, 48% of readers use C# and 38% use VB.NET. But while 36% of readers use C# as their primary coding language, only 17% use VB.NET as their primary. That means that 75% of respondents who use C# do so for most of their programming (36 / 48 = .75), but only 45% of VB.NET coders use that language as their primary.

Web development is huge, but not quite cutting edge

Unsurprisingly, Web development is very popular. Just over half of all SearchWinDevelopment.com readers work with ASP.NET. For most of those, Web development is their main responsibility. But despite the Web 2.0 craze, Silverlight isn’t nearly as popular.

Ajax development is strong, but relatively diverse. That is probably due in part to Microsoft changing strategies: although it has its own Ajax framework, the company recently decided to officially back the popular library jQuery and incorporate it into IntelliSense. About 30% of ASP.NET developers use ASP.NET AJAX, 23% use jQuery and 15% use another framework.

What you’re doing, and how you’re doing it

In case you’re wondering how other Windows developers get things done, the top four most popular programming methodologies are waterfall, extreme programming (XP), Agile and Scrum. But about a quarter of you aren’t employing any methodology at all! That could be because almost a third of respondents work in an environment with fewer than five programmers, but it’s still a bit surprising.

And as for what you’re doing, the majority of our survey respondents said that improving performance one of their architectural challenges. That’s to be expected, but what stands out is that that’s the only architectural challenge that a majority of our readers are facing. Almost 60% of our readers listed performance as a challenge their company is facing; the next popular choice, implementing a workflow, weighed in at about 42%.

Those are topics we haven’t covered extremely closely, so that feedback is great to have.

Lastly, it’s clear that many of you are interested in learning new tools and technologies. We asked readers to rank their interest in nine topics, including software-as-a-service and open source software, which Microsoft is warming up to. Most of the topics trended toward “highly interested,” with only scripting languages and grid computing technology trending toward disinterest. That might not bode well for Microsoft’s latest push to promote PHP on Azure.

Look for a more in-depth analysis of the survey in the coming weeks. In the meanwhile, to all of our readers who took the survey, our deep thanks!

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