What is a .NET developer? | Wired Sussex

28 Jan 2021

28 Jan 2021

What Is A .NET Developer & Are They In Demand?

NET Development For Newbies

Whether you’re a complete and utter novice as far as web developer jobs go, or you’re a dev-in-training and deciding which area to specialise in, we’ve got your back here at Wired Sussex. We‘re more than happy to lend our expertise, offer words of wisdom or even give you that much-needed nudge in the right direction in terms of your career. As such, today we’re shedding light on the role of .NET developer (pronounced dot net, FYI). Join us as we unpick precisely what they do, learn what skills are needed to succeed and, last but not least, answer that all important question - is there a demand for .NET developers? Are you ready to find out? Let’s get started!

What Is Dot NET Web Development?

In plain terms, .NET is a software development framework from Microsoft. It allows developers to create apps, online software and interfaces. One of many Microsoft frameworks, .NET was created in 2002 as a direct response to the rapid growth of the Java platform and is often the preferred solution for Windows servers. By definition, a .NET developer is one who can utilise this framework to a professional standard. Indeed, on a day to day basis, a .NET developer will develop and execute apps as well as specified products, programming languages, technologies and tools all of which fall under the collective term ‘.NET’.

Quick-Fire, Myth-Busting Facts About The .NET Framework

As a dot NET development newbie, the technical information and industry-specific lingo that rolls so easily off the tongue of professionals can make it seem inaccessible, daunting and just downright confusing. We’ve aimed to simplify some common sources of misunderstanding about the .NET framework below.

Isn’t .NET For Windows Or PC Users Only?

Initially, .NET was only meant for Windows users. Currently, though, the framework works with other operating systems including Mac OS or Linux. What makes this possible is a set of tools called .NET Core.

Wait A Minute, Is NET Core The Same As Dot NET?

Here’s where it can all get a little bewildering for beginners. You might hear dot NET and NET Core used in the same breath but are they the same thing? In short, no. The latter was released in 2016 and is a rebuild of the dot NET framework so that, as explained above, the product can be used on operating systems that aren’t necessarily tied to the Windows family.

Ah, Ok! So, What Are The Benefits Of Dot NET?

A major benefit of the .NET platform is how easy it is to integrate with other Microsoft solutions. It’s also a very mature framework which means, when it comes to learning the ropes, there’s plenty of support and expertise available from both Microsoft and the developer’s community.

How To Become A Good .NET Developer

What Every Newbie Needs To Know

Now we’ve cleared up a few facts and need-to-know specifics about dot net development, it’s time to turn our attention to how to be a good .NET developer. To succeed in this field, and gain employment, you’ll need to make sure your web dev armoury is equipped with the following essential skills, languages, and qualifications.

Step 1. Learn ASP.NET

No, we haven’t made a spelling error and yes you did read that right – another .NET term to throw into the mix! ASP.NET is the main tool integrated within the .NET framework. It serves to simplify the creation of dynamic web pages, making sure the creation, debugging and deploying of apps is streamlined. Any .NET developer worth their salt is well versed in this skill.

Step 2. Master More Than One .NET Programming Language

When you first begin applying for a .NET developer job, sometimes called a .NET software engineer, the job description will detail which .NET languages you are required to know. Typically, experience with at least one of the following is necessary: VB.NET (Visual Basic), C# (C sharp), or F# (F sharp). Even if you’re a complete newbie as far as web development is concerned, C# has many features that make it straightforward to learn – it’s easy to read, many of the complex tasks are abstracted away and it is statically typed. What does this mean? Basically, the code is checked before it is turned into an application which makes it easier to spot errors. Visual Basic and F# are also praised by beginner programmers for being relatively easy to pick up, although it’s generally advised you have C# under your belt first.

Step 3. Understand Front-End Development Languages & Technologies

In web development, work is often separated between back-end and front-end. Put simply, the back end focuses on behind the scenes activities and determines how a website or app functions. Front-end, meanwhile, is more concerned with how an app or website looks to users. The main front-end languages are HTML, CSS and JavaScript. At the very least, a good dot NET developer should have a basic understanding of these front-end languages and technologies.

Step 4. Possess SQL & Database Skills

When you think of data, big tech companies like Facebook and Google probably spring to mind first. Are we right? However, the reality is, all companies (no matter the industry) rely on data in some way. What’s more, they need to organise or manage that data in a relevant way. That’s where SQL, aka Structured Query Language, comes in. In essence, it’s a query language (not a programming one like C#) which is designed to facilitate retrieving information from databases. A dot NET developer must be adept at using Microsoft’s own SQL databases. 

Step 5. Undertake Microsoft Dot NET Developer Training Courses & Gain Relevant Qualifications

While some companies prefer applicants to .NET developer jobs to have a technical degree, such as software engineering, it’s not always entirely necessary. Rather, hands-on experience as a dot NET developer, plus an industry recognised Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer Certification, is much more valuable. This qualification acts as a major trust signal to potential employers that you know your stuff. In particular, .NET developers that attain an MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) status are renowned for their unbeatable technical skills. A heads up though, it’s not an easy feat for someone just starting out! This title relies on showing visible commitment to the Microsoft community and mentoring other developers in order to get nominated. Once you do progress to this point, you’ll bolster your .NET developer resume, make yourself highly in demand and be in a strong position to negotiate your salary. Let’s rewind ever so slightly though. As a very basic action, and to get to grips with steps 1-4, we recommend you learn .NET development fundamentals with Microsoft’s online courses. This dedicated hub contains free .NET developer resources, tutorials, and videos, from beginner through to advanced level.

Is There A High Demand For .NET Developers?

Of course! Why wouldn’t they be? They’re a long-time favourite and will continue to remain popular. After all, be it a new banking or dating app, Uber or even Pokémon Go, new apps and software are forever emerging. Dot .NET developers are no different from any other type of developers in that they have a highly valuable skill set which includes coding, programming languages and developments. Plus, more and more high profile companies, such as Dell and Trustpilot, are using the .NET framework as their choice for developing new software and apps. That being said, it’s no secret within recruitment that .NET developers are seriously scarce and companies struggle to find them. Why? Well, quite simply, it’s a case of demand exceeding supply. In turn, this leads to an upward trend in salary growth (the average .NET developer salary in the UK is currently £52k). As a result, many .NET developers tend to get snapped up by large corporations that can afford to hire them as opposed to smaller companies and start-ups.

Next steps....
Are you currently seeking a .NET developer job? At Wired Sussex, we have a history of connecting prospective employees with fantastic companies. Why not check out our jobs board today? If working from home is more your style, there’s plenty of remote NET developer jobs too.