Wow, what a surprising way to start they day! Other than my four-year old getting up at 5:30am, the big surprise was seeing Scott Hanselman’s blog post on Microsoft taking ASP.NET MVC and Razor open source. They’re even using the Apache license, so no one-off Microsoft secret-sauce license. And to put a cherry on top, they’re using Git for version control.
While I’m glad Microsoft is taking these steps, the reality is they don’t have a choice. I was talking with a couple recruiters in the local area last week. They said .NET was the big language during the Great Recession, but now all the work and openings are for Java. The .NET stuff people are looking for is actually for Sharepoint, so not real .NET.
The .NET ecosystem is losing mindshare and the open sourcing of some key pieces of the stack is a way to try to spark some developer interest. GitHub is the virtual public house for coders today, so Microsoft wants to jump on that bandwagon too. In this case, they’re supporting Git, but keeping the hosting at Codeplex, so they’re still trying maintain their alternate universe.
I applaud Microsoft for taking these steps, but I would have been more impressed if they did this two years ago when they were holding a winning hand rather than today where they’re competing with Adobe in a race to the bottom.
I was at a Christmas party this past weekend and was talking with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. I was telling him about my new job and mentioned that it was Java, but I was hoping to get a chance to do some .NET too. He said his recruiter friend told him she can’t find Java people anymore.
I was slightly surprised at this. The DFW area has a lot of Java talent, so the only reasons I can think of are:
- Pay sucks: you won’t attract A-list Java talent with a VB-coders salary
- WebSphere Application Server: every good Java coder I know would gladly chew off their own arm to escape having to work with this piece of shit.
- .NET: 80% or more of the top Java guys I have known throughout the years have moved to C#
It is this combination of things that will limit the Java talent pool. The last one, .NET, cannot be understated. .NET 3.5 is a lightyear ahead of Java 6 from a programming language standpoint, and .NET 4.0 doubles that lead. The saving grace for Java right now is the Spring Framework, which is simply phenomenal.
So here are the things needed to attract top Java talent in DFW.
- Minimally Java 5, and preferably Java 6
- Spring Framework
- Deploy to Tomcat
- Agile methodology
- Embracing of the open source toolset
- Salary in the 110-120K range
This probably applies nationally, but adjust the salary to market conditions. A true senior Java developer with the kind of experience people want should easily be in that pay range. Hiring managers are deluding themselves if they think they can get top talent for 90K. I don’t know a senior Java guy worth his salt who would get out of bed for 90K.
Yes, I will accept I need to eat some crow. I’ve been playing a lot recently with the .NET framework and C#. My PHP mistress got kinda boring. Same-o, same-ol’. I decided to give .NET another whirl because I wanted to port the ExtJS presentation I did for the local Spring users group to .NET.
Since I hadn’t really gotten in to .NET since v2.0, I got up to date with Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5sp1. I knew I neeeded JSON for my AJAX, so I thought about starting with WCF. But to fully dig in to WCF, I needed to understand the new features in .NET 3.5, so I found some good tutorials on what was new.
I’m still not down with the postback model for ASP.NET, but am playing with ASP.NET MVC, which is getting pretty mature in its fifth preview release. It will definitely be the way I head. I just need to sort out the WCF stuff for the JSON/AJAX calls and I’ll be a happy camper.
So in an epic “I will not eat green eggs and ham” kind of way, I’ve decided I really like those green eggs and ham. But it is a lot more like green eggs and crow in this case.