One piece of conventional wisdom that I hear now and again is that “nobody uses Visual Basic.” When someone’s giving a talk and asks people to raise their hands if they use VB, they say VB’ers are in the minority. In the buzz-o-sphere, Visual Basic seems to be only discussed when debating whether some other language is the “new” Visual Basic. Even Microsoft has been accused on occasion of seeming to favor C# over VB in things like samples or documentation.
We were having a discussion internally about this piece of conventional wisdom and whether the numbers really backed this idea up. And they don’t. If you look at some of the numbers:
- Visual Basic is the #1 .NET language (as reported by Forrester Research)
- Visual Basic is the #1 downloaded and #1 registered Express Edition (topping the #2 position by 20%)
- Visual Basic is the #1 MSDN language dev center and blog in terms of traffic
- The Visual Basic Team blog is in the top 1% in readership of all MS bloggers (I don’t know where I fall in that since I host independently.)
All this points to a large “silent majority” of VB users out there who simply go about their work day after day yet don’t make a splash in the places that some people seem to think are the ones that matter (i.e. conferences, blogs, etc.)…