There’s been a lot of debate recently about the future of .Net/C#/Silverlight etc. and where it’s headed. It’s got a lot of people worried due to the deafening silence coming out of Microsoft. Whatever the truth, one thing that is true is that there is no other career that I can think of like that of a software developer. What other career has the possibility that all that you learned 5 years ago is likely to be out of date over the next 5 years? Software developers have to invest massive amounts of time and effort to stay current just to keep themselves relevant in the job market. That’s not likely to change, but one thing that is changing for me, is that I am no longer going to be reliant on the MS stack. Whatever the future of C#/.Net (and it will be around for a long while yet) I don’t really see any excitement or innovation around it anymore.
On the other hand, the mobile and tablet market is exploding. Every manufacturer under the sun is scrambling to release a tablet device of some kind since the success of the iPad, and with the kind of growth that Android and iOS have seen it stands to reason that there’s going to be increasing demand from the enterprise for these skills as companies look to gain competitive advantages from what these platforms offer. Yes, MS has Windows Phone 7, and Windows 8 will run on tablets, but I think they’ve already missed the boat. They’re not going to be the dominant force here that they were/are on the desktop.
So whilst .Net and C# is still my day job and probably will be for a good while yet, I will no longer put all my effort into learning whatever MS pushes as the new big thing only for them to change their mind a year or two later. I’m fed up of that game. The pay off for continuing to do so is likely small. At the end of the day, I’d still be just a .Net developer. A much better use of my time is to learn new skills/new platforms and tools so that more opportunities are available to me. In essence, I’m putting my eggs into a bunch of baskets instead of just the one. And right now, iOS and Android are those baskets.