What Is .NET, and What Do .NET Developers Do?

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In the world of software development, there are hundreds of programming languages used to build software, from C# to Python. Evans Data Corporation reported that there are 26.9 million software developers worldwide, a number that will continue to rise as more businesses require a digital presence to stay competitive globally. This article will look at what .NET is, what .NET developers do, and the skills these developers need to succeed, which will help organizations find the best applications for their unique needs. 

What Is .NET? 

.NET is an open-source and cross-platform development platform released by Microsoft in 2002. This platform is designed to build and run several applications, such as for web, mobile, desktop, and IoT. While C# is considered the primary programming language for .NET, it supports numerous languages, making it a popular choice among developers. Microsoft directly supports the following languages: 

  • C# (C sharp)  – a modern object-oriented programming language with a similar syntax to C, C++, Java, and JavaScript. 
  • F# (F sharp)  – a functional-oriented programming language that supports the object-oriented programming model. 
  • Visual Basic  – an object-oriented programming language for .NET. 

When .NET is downloaded, these programs can: 

  • Convert C# code into instructions for a computer to understand and execute. 
  • Define specific data types that allow developers to store information easily within software programs, such as dates, numbers, and text. 
  • Offer resources to build software, such as tools to find the current date and time or display text on a user’s device. 

.NET versions: 

  • .NET Framework  – the original .NET version that only ran on Windows computers and provided APIs for basic programming needs. 
  • Mono  – a .Net Framework version explicitly made for Linux applications. 
  • .NET Core  – a new, cross-platform version of the .NET Framework that is more flexible as it runs on major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux computers. 
What Do .NET Developers Do? 

A .NET developer is a software engineer who designs, builds, and implements applications using Microsoft’s .NET platform. While these developers can use various supported languages, most prefer using C# to create a wide array of software, from desktop applications to computer games. There are a few main categories that these technical experts focus on: 

  • Cloud applications  – .NET developers create cloud applications to help businesses manage their data efficiently and continue to scale. This process involves building, implementing, and maintaining the application to ensure it is working and maximizing business utility. 
  • Machine learning and AI  – .NET developers can use an extended platform, ML.NET, to implement machine learning and AI technology into .NET applications, which can help applications run more seamlessly, quickly, and efficiently. 
  • Mobile applications  – .NET developers can use an extended version of the .NET platform called Xamarin, containing essential resources to build mobile applications for Android, iOS, Windows, watchOS, and more. 
  • Web development  – developers also create web applications, mainly using C#. While .NET initially only worked with Windows, a web framework known as ASP.NET has made it possible for web applications and APIs to be run on other operating systems, such as macOS and Linux.  
.NET Developer Skills 

Like any developer, .NET experts must have in-depth knowledge and experience with the .NET platform. Here are the top skills that these developers should have. 

1. Agile Project Methodologies 

.NET developers should have experience with Agile methodologies, which involve breaking up projects into smaller phases to plan, execute, and evaluate the software development process. This expert will likely use Behavioral Driven Development (BDD), DevOps tools, and Test Driven Development (TDD) to implement these methodologies. 


2. ASP.net  

ASP.net is a popular web framework for building powerful applications that have improved performance, security, and efficiency. This framework makes it easier for developers to deploy and scale software applications that businesses need. Thus, .NET developers need to have the knowledge and expertise necessary to use this technology. 


3. Cloud Engineering 

Cloud technology is a popular choice for many businesses, so .NET developers should have expertise in building cloud applications. Specifically, these experts should be familiar with major cloud computing platforms like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. 


4. Databases 

For businesses that handle, store, and maintain customers’ sensitive data, .NET developers must have a strong understanding and knowledge of working with database systems and frameworks. These technologies can include Microsoft SQL and Cosmos DB and Oracle, and other NoSQL technologies like CouchDB and MongoDB.  


5. Front-End Development Technologies 

Aside from the backend side of software development, it’s beneficial for .NET developers to have experience working with front-end technologies, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Angular, and React. These front-end technologies help developers gain a better understanding of user needs when building applications, which can lead to more interactive user experiences.  


6. Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) 

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) is a certified developer in Microsoft’s .NET skills course. This certification is helpful because Microsoft maintains this program and shows companies that developers have the latest qualifications and skills necessary to build .NET applications. 


7. Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) 

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) is the highest program established by Microsoft. .NET developers that receive an MVP are considered gurus, making them highly valued and sought out to build applications on the .NET framework. Further, this program also demonstrates excellent leadership skills.  


8. Soft Skills 

Aside from technical skills, .NET developers should have the following soft skills. 

  • Active listening – developers need to have excellent listening skills, which is necessary to fully understand the needs of businesses regarding their application development process.
  • Adaptability – developers need to respond quickly to changes, such as a client requesting an additional feature built into their application.
  • Communication – engineers must effectively communicate with teammates and clients in a way that provides brief yet detailed information that is tailored to the other person’s level of technical experience. 
  • Critical thinking – developers must be able to think critically using a variety of tools and technologies to quickly determine the best solution to both common and complex problems. 
  • Ego management – these experts need to be able to teach and learn from other developers to continue to improve their professional skills.
  • Hard work ethic  –  like any professional, developers should have a solid work ethic consisting of honesty, integrity, and constant communication.
  • Teamwork – the ability to work well with and respect other developers is an essential skill, especially since it’s likely that complex application projects will require collaboration. 
  • Time management  – engineers must be able to manage their time wisely and meet deadlines that can change at any given time. 
Why Should You Use a .NET Developer? 

As discussed in this post, there are several factors to consider when choosing a software developer. After all, you want to ensure that you receive a robust, flexible, and secure application that meets your organization’s needs. Additionally, it’s equally important to protect any sensitive data stored, handled, or processed within your application. While there are various security layers, one key solution to consider is tokenization. Tokenization replaces sensitive data with randomly generated numbers known as tokens. These tokens are irreversible, which means that if a breach occurs, the original data will not be compromised. Contact TokenEx today to speak with one of our experts to discover how we can help you achieve your data security goals.