[FoRK] The collapse of the .net ecosystem

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Sat Jun 20 14:10:33 PDT 2015

For a friend, a little while ago I went looking for a WordPress developer.  It was hard to find, even at HTML5DevConf and various 
forums.  I ended up with 3 leads, individuals or very small firms, and eventually another one in Indiana.  It's just not on 
forward-looking developers radar, so none of the in-crowd is interested, even if many of them were deep into it a few years ago.  My 
friend needed it because he'd started by working with a little company that had built part of a web system using WordPress.  But 
when they tried to finish it, they eventually couldn't make progress.  Semi-developers or some other issue.  I questioned the 
ability and headache scaling what they had built, etc. as I would have used more modern methods.

I think, at least in many areas, the C# market is like that: Companies have a lot of systems already constructed with C# that need 
maintained and extended.  Even for new things, it is a technology that they are already invested in, have a staff for, even if it is 

I started and lived in Ohio for a long time, and at various companies of all types, including Fortune 500, 100, and 10 levels.  I 
know what a technological backwater is and why Cobol hung on so long.  When I installed Bank of America's first Internet firewall 
and web server in 1994 in Concord, CA, the rest of the network was running 4Mb Token Ring, which I'd never actually seen or used.  
The network throughput between buildings was as low as 75KB/sec, making the Internet unimpressive compared to what I had in my 
little server closet.  They paid $1000 to get a Token Ring card for a Mac they had.

What Unicorn, hot startup, or really any startup that you respect, is using C# (outside of Unity)?  Windows?  Visual Basic?  There 
are several generations of Java libraries and frameworks that are in various states of obsolescence, and even Java itself is 
somewhat challenged, if not threatened.

Unity has, for now, provided an island of relevance for C#, but Unreal (which went back to C++) and others are working against 
that.  Javascript, and the Javascript+ typed front-ends, and even C++->Javascript, are becoming ever more widely applicable, even 
for some gaming.  Android has strengthened Java, which still also has wide use/support in cloud and enterprise computing.  It's 
being challenged by Go, Javascript, Python, etc., although apparently server-side C++ just can't get respect.  I'd be interested in 
Qt+C++11 myself for server side dev, but for a few reasons, splitting web apps between Node & Go, with specific subsystems in Java / 
Python / C++, seems promising right now.

Python, it has pockets where it seems strong (math/HPC/ML), and other areas where it seems failed (client apps or web apps client or 
server).  There are various other niches.  But for the best architectural and technological ideas and tools, where is the momentum 
and acceleration going?

In 1998 or so, I had a Linux vs. BSD discussion with a friend who was a BSD contributor.  He was certain that BSD was better for 
various reasons, better security, TCP stack, etc.  Sure, probably is, I allowed, but it didn't matter: Linux had momentum and 
acceleration of that momentum that nothing was going to match. Various network effects of the people that count, openness of 
gathering and refining the best ideas, Linus driving, and companies left out of other avenues were converging around the right 
ideals, principles, and culture of common cause.  That's happening now, in a way better than before, in web tech.  Several things, 
even from unexpected directions such as LLVM, have come together for an interesting confluence that has plenty of opportunity.  What 
else is getting that kind of attention right now?


On 6/20/15 5:25 AM, Hokkun Pang wrote:
> Indeed doesn't uniquely track jobs. The same 'hot job' could be
> advertised by a dozen recruiters. I am sure C# ain't considered hot anymore
> but my recent experience is that it's pretty easy to *get* a C# job.
> On Friday, June 19, 2015, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
>> On 6/19/15 7:50 AM, Joseph S. Barrera III wrote:
>>> On Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 7:44 AM, Damien Morton <dmorton at bitfurnace.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>   Viewing the charts in "absolute" mode is far more interesting.
>>> ​Especially the C++ vs Visual Basic one :-)​
>> Is this like the Cobol Y2K death knell, saving and maintaining a mess of
>> code?
>> I hope so.  What a waste.
>> sdw

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