Should I move from VB6 to VB .NET or C#?

TechEd 2004 was crazy busy, so there’s going to be some catch up time before I get back into full swing blogging. However, one thing I did want to relate before I forget it.

Last night, Duncan Mackenzie, Amanda Silver, Steven Lees and I (the middle two are VB Program Managers) were having dinner at TechEd and we started discussing the logic of a statement made by several customers during the conference that boiled down to: “We figured that since VB .NET wasn’t the same as VB6, we might as well move to C# when we moved to .NET“ After thinking about this for a moment, it occured to me that this is somewhat akin to saying:

“We figured that since British English wasn’t the same as American English, we might as well learn German when we moved to Europe.”

I mean, it’s a free country and all, but the logic of this does seem a little, well, illogical. Although the two languages can do many of the same things and have many similarities, taking on the extra burden of doing the cultural retraining necessary to move from VB to C# without some kind of well-researched rationale seems to me to be doing a whole lot of work that you don’t really need to. VB .NET adds a lot of power to VB and tweaks a few familiar things, but it’s still substantially the same language, just in the same way that British, American, Canadian and Australian English are all the same language, even if three out of four insist on using “u“s in funny places. (Although on the plane ride back, I got stumped on a crossword because I wrote in “lustre“ rather than “luster.“ I guess I watched too many British shows on PBS growing up.)

The way of the world, I guess, but it doesn’t make sense to me…

TechEd 2004 sessions

Things are starting to heat up for TechEd 2004! I’m not going to be speaking this year, but I’m going to be doing the following:

  • 5/24, 5pm – 9pm, Working at the VS 2005 booth
  • 5/25, 12:30pm – 5pm, Working at the VB Community Lounge
  • 5/26, 9:30am – 1pm, Working at the VS 2005 booth
  • 5/27, 9:30am – 1pm, Working at one of the VS 2003 booths

I’m also going to be doing a book signing with Addison Wesley on Thursday, 5/27 from 12:30pm to 1:30pm so come by, buy a book and/or get one signed!

We’re also going to be having the following major track sessions:

DEV340  Visual Basic: Tips and Tricks for Optimizing Your Applications
Monday, May 24 10:45 AM- 12:00 PM, Room 31ABC
Speaker(s): Brian Randell
Track(s): Developer Tools and Technologies
What do you need to know to build the most powerful solutions with Visual Basic .NET? This session presents tips and tricks, optimizing techniques and gotchas covering the VB language, data, deployment, security, Windows, Web, devices, .NET Framework, and more.
DEV341  Visual Basic: Migrating and Upgrading Lessons Learned
Monday, May 24 3:15 PM- 4:30 PM, Room 3
Speaker(s): Jay Roxe
Track(s): Developer Tools and Technologies
Do you have VB 6.0 applications that you want to migrate to .NET? Get best practices for planning and executing your migration smoothly, and learn from previous migrations. Topics covered also include the migration wizard, and the VB 6 code assistant.
DEV342  Visual Basic 2005: Rapid Development the VB Developer
Thursday, May 27 8:30 AM- 9:45 AM, Room 20D
Speaker(s): Steven Lees
Track(s): Developer Tools and Technologies
Visual Basic 2005 will reduce the amount of code required to write your application by 50% or more in common scenarios while continuing to provide full access to the .NET Framework. See how drag-and-drop data access, centralized application management and deployment, an improved debugging experience, and rich IDE features will help you accomplish common tasks while dramatically reducing the errors in your code at design time.
DEV343  Visual Basic 2005: IDE and Language Enhancements
Thursday, May 27 5:00 PM- 6:15 PM, Room 6B
Speaker(s): Amanda Silver
Track(s): Developer Tools and Technologies
Visual Basic 2005 will take developer productivity to new heights while leveraging the full power of the .NET platform. See how substantial language enhancements and rich IDE features will dramatically increase your productivity and help you write more compelling applications. Learn how to author strongly typed containers using generics, make your applications more efficient with asynchronous calls, and utilize the power of the platform using My. Learn how these features — as well as XML documentation comments, operator overloading, Code Snippets, and more — make Visual Basic 2005 the most powerful and productive release ever!
DEV390  .NET Framework: So You THINK You Know What an Object Is…
Tuesday, May 25 10:45 AM- 12:00 PM, Room 6A
Speaker(s): Carl Franklin
Track(s): Developer Tools and Technologies
You’re a VB programmer. You might think you know what a .NET object is, but do you really? Things are not really as they seem in this most popular session which explores reference types vs. data types, the effects of casting, shadowing, overriding, and other OOP mechanisms on objects in Visual Basic .NET, and how you can easily be tricked into thinking one plus one does not equal two.
DEVC38  Meet the Visual Basic Team
Thursday, May 27 3:15 PM- 4:30 PM, Cabana 06
Track(s): Developer Tools and Technologies
Come meet the Visual Basic team! Get your questions answered about today’s solutions and tomorrow’s technologies. Give your input on what features we need to continue to make VB successful for the next ten years.