I have been spending most of the time in my career with .Net and VisualStudio to design and develop various windows/web/mobile applications ranging from Windows Forms, Asp.Net Web forms, Windows Services, WPF, WCF, Asp.Net Web API, Apache Cordova apps, Xamarin apps etc., As Visual Studio turns 20 and .Net turns 15, I thought I will capture my journey with these amazing tool and technologies.
While I was in my 3rd year of under graduation at CIT, Coimbatore, I got to know about .Net from one of my friends and we thought of learning about it and joined for a .Net course in a technical training institute in Coimbatore, TamilNadu, India. We were taught on Visual Studio 2003 and about .Net framework 1.0/1.1 (if I remember correctly ;-)). I was so amused that time to see an IDE with drag-drop features and different windows for editing properties of the UI elements, debugging etc., in Visual Studio. Back then we had only C, C++, Java in our CS curriculum, so learning .Net separately was fun and the VS IDE made it even more easier 🙂 I also received a CD of Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition (180 day trial) from one of the MSPs in my college. Unfortunately, I had to waste that installer as I didn’t have a machine to install it! I also took a couple of Microsoft Certifications by the end of 2006, though both of them got retired at a later point in time in 2009.
- 70-315 Developing and Implementing Web Applications with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
- 70-316 Developing and Implementing Windows-Based Applications with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
As Visual Studio 2005 and .Net Framework 2.0 became more prevalent, starting using the “Express Edition” of Visual Studio and participated in a contest run by Microsoft Academic Project Program (MSAPP) and built a “University Placement Portal” application using Asp.Net 2.0 WebForms with a SQL backend. Back then, we worked like a mini hackathon (without actually knowing the term for it ;-)) and built this application in 48 hours. Our application was selected by MS and received completion certificates for the same. It was definitely a proud moment then 🙂 Also, as a part of a short internship in Covansys, I got a chance to explore about .Net Framework 3.0 features like WPF and WCF. For the final year project, again used VS 2005 and created a Win Forms app.
After I joined as a Software engineer at Target, started working on Visual Studio 2008 with .Net framework 3.5 and built SOAP services using WCF and rich client application using WPF.
Upgraded from Visual Studio 2008 to Visual Studio 2010 and .Net framework 3.5 to 4.0 This seemed to be a major upgrade and gave us a lot of learning to understand the Task Parallel library and Asynchronous Programming Patterns. This was the time when I became a great fan of Visual Studio and .Net 🙂
By this time, I started attending various tech events and also got a chance to attend the Visual Studio 2012 launch event in Bangalore. That was a first time experience for me attending such an event and i thoroughly enjoyed it. I had written a blog post about my experiences at the launch event. VS 2012 brought a lot of welcoming changes to the IDE. I had also participated in the Windows Appfest – a Guiness Book of World Records event conducted by Microsoft for encouraging developers to build applications for Windows 8 platform.
I was fortunate at my work place, where I got to work on the latest versions of the .Net framework and Visual Studio. We were upgrading at a quite rapid pace. As VS 2013 was launched, we started using it and I ventured into Mobile application development by then. Got a chance to become an insider for “Tools for Apache Cordova” and was exploring the early bits of the tool. Also, this was the time when Microsoft released a FREE Community edition of Visual Studio. This was a game changer as this helped a lot of developers to start using VS for Free. Developed Windows Services, WCF Services, and started with REST based Web APIs
With Visual Studio 2017 (which will be released in March) it has even got tools to deal with Docker to provide Container support for the Asp.Net core apps.
Visual Studio for Mac
Microsoft hasn’t restricted this IDE to Windows platforms. To bring most of the goodness to the non-windows users as well, Visual Studio for Mac was born! Though this is not a full blown IDE as its Windows counterpart, the primary focus of it is building Cross platforms applications – Asp.Net core for Web workloads and Xamarin for mobile workloads. As its still in preview (at the time of this writing), primarily I am exploring the Xamarin workloads of it.
Visual Studio Code
Another great addition to the Visual Studio family which is worth mentioning is VS Code. This is a super lightweight editor which I have been using since 2015 for all non .Net development.
Well, that’s a quick look back at my Visual Studio & .Net journey!