Learning C# over VB.NET

I just finished writing a long 'ol email to a friend who wants to do a project in VB.NET since his background is in legacy ASP. Although my points have been illustrated by many over and over, I thought I would post what I wrote in the hopes others can add to my list.

  1. I realize you feel it will be easier for you, but that is only marginally true. What takes time is learning the .NET Framework classes (which were all written in C#, BTW), not the language syntax. For example if you want to get a substring in a string, how would you do it? I doubt you already know that it is:
    //C#
    string blah = "chad is raicheck";

    blah = blah.Substring(0, 15);

    'VB
    Dim blah as String = "chad is raicheck"

    blah = blah.Substring(0,15)

    Either way, you won't know how to do it off the bat. Like I said, this is not a VB vs. C# thing. The code is almost identical.

  2. Since you don't know either, it is the same learning curve either way. Believe me, I have had to learn both, and there is MUCH more support from websites, magazines, samples, books, etc with the C# community. Plus I have done pretty much everything in C# and can help you greatly.
  3. The code isn't THAT different once you know the basics.
    Private m_user As User 	'VB
    private User m_user; //C#

    'VB
    Public ReadOnly Property TotalPosted() As Integer
    Get
    Return m_totalPosted
    End Get
    End Property

    //C#
    public integer TotalPosted
    {
    get
    {
    return m_totalPosted;
    }
    }

    VB is also much more verbose…look how many more words in VB :(. And you can make C# even more compact:

    //C#
    public integer TotalPosted
    {
    get { return m_totalPosted; }
    }

  4. For the last 4 years I have been adding to my code library and it is ALL C#. That means that even though we are writing our stuff in VB, I will have to spend 3x my time re-writing my website stuff that have already been working and tested.
  5. I am not going to rewrite my code library of thousands of line of C# code. .NET allows us to reference C# dlls from VB, so you will still be accessing C# and most likely having to read C# from my code. In fact, our website solution will have about 3 – 5 projects in it. Our website would be in VB, but then there are common functions classes which is already done in C#, the Data Access Classes that is already in C#, other Microsoft's Data Access Library that everyone uses which Microsoft wrote in C#, Microsoft Enterprise Library's and Exception Handling all in C# (also written by Microsoft). So no matter what, if you are debugging, you WILL be tracing through C# code.
  6. Like I mentioned above, it will take me probably 3x longer to do my job, since I will have to write so much from scratch. That is the equivalent of paying me 3x my regular hourly wage to do C# :(.
  7. It actually will be pretty easy to learn either language since you get to read and see all my code working with my comments of what is happening. I hired a brand new intern who didn’t know C# and I HEAVILY commented things and he caught on really fast.
  8. All my templates that I spent several days writing spits out C# code. I would have to re-write that for VB. In the long run it will still save us time, but it is an added expense.
  9. I said this on the phone, but there are things you just can't yet do in VB that you can in C#. Examples are this:
    //C# this return an object Scott.  This way I can call it by Test.Scott and it returns a "Scott" object
    Class Test
    {
    public Scott Scott
    {
    get
    {
    return m_scott;
    }
    }
    }

    'VB - cant do it, must rename the object so they arent the same name. Now Test.Scott returns an object "ScottObject"
    Class Test

    Public ReadOnly Property Scott as ScottObject
    Get
    Return m_scott
    End Get
    End Function

    End Class

  10. THE BIGGEST REASON: I use many tools to help with coding such as: GhostDoc to help with documentation, Jetbrains ReSharper for code support which add HUGE productivity gains. Many of these only work with C#. To not work with ReSharper is like me telling you to not write code with Intellisense. It is that crappy.
  11. There is no XML comments in VB. This is pretty crappy. There are ways to go around it, but none are super perfect.
  12. There are cool things like incrementing shorthand you cant do in VB:
    //C#
    int i = 0

    i++; //adds 1 to i

    'VB
    Dim i as Integer = 0

    i = i + 1

One thought on “Learning C# over VB.NET”

  1. You got it right, C# rules. I know them both, and perfer C# over VB.NET, much cleaner, and had a clean slate to start with. And you are right 95% of .NET resources are in C#, and I can’t live without XML Comments. Documenting your code right, is one of the best programming practices one can learn, and C# makes this alot less painfull.

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