The silent majority…

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.)…

65 thoughts on “The silent majority…

  1. Pro Developer

    Professional Developers use C#. Kiddies use VB becasue their old professors usually come from VB background and they are too old to learn new language. So kids download VB Express mostly in colleges. That justifies high number of VB Express downloads. Professional Developers cant live with Express version, they download professional or Team Edition so C# Express downloads are low.

  2. Toby

    For all purposes the languages are exactly the same with the exception of very minor syntax differences. I develop in both C# and VB but have a preference for VB when developing business applications because it is easier to maintain. One this that I can absolutely say, however, is that VB is much better with intellisense….C# sucks in this area…at least as of VS2005.

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  6. Kevin Gallagher

    I come from the land of Borland Delphi which to me is the mother of .NET languages and was more aligned with C# than VB. My agency selected VB.NET over C# simply because they had a solid base of developers in VB6. Why try and take 14 VB6 developers many close to retirement and say we want you to learn a very foreign language? If the crop of developers were fresh out of college I would had force the issue for C# at that moment in time if for no other reason that my experience with VB6 developers in my world was producing sub standard applications. VB6 was a great language when driven properly. VB6 was great in its day which has passed so those out there get over it. My thoughts today are, we made a good choice with VB.NET in many ways from getting VB6 developers up and coding in several months, all solutions running are at break neck speed except for one which is more a network traffic issue were C# would act no differently. To steel “DaveWhite.Net” quote “ is cooler than you think” is so true in many ways.

    Oh, COBOL is more than alive and kicking on our agency servers.

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  8. missusfinz

    I can’t stand this snobby C# or VB shit. I see all languages as pencils in my tool kit. I will use whatever works best and easiest. I would rather spend my time being creative and make money.

  9. Joel

    I think that VB was condemned by MS for direction of people that think "as programmers" and not by people that really knew what they were doing. I think that VB was the most successful programming language in history, they would have to think better about it and not let that kind of decisions in hands of people that don’t think weighing all the circumstances involved.

    They don’t like VB and they hate VB programmers, that’s all. Stupid decisions made by stupid and zealot people.

    Who loose? The people that trusted and chose a MS language.

    I don’t find another way to understand this scorn for a big community that was programming for your platform (Windows) and buying your products.

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  11. FreeMinder

    > Who loose? The people that trusted and chose a MS language.

    Nice saying. We shouldn’t trust MS anymore. They created & c# to fight each others.

    Select JAVA now & you won’t become the victim of this kind of language war in future.

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