[update - 2] : Dave has decided that he can not handle the guilt of taking people's money to go to the PDC - he'll be there some other way.. He's refunded to those that donated.. Guess Roy Osherove was right (and those that commented there).
Dave Bettin, one of the best developers I've ever worked with really wants to go to the PDC - he's asking for some help. Dave worked on my team when he moved from Java to .net full-time, and I was amazed to see an "anti-M$" guy turned to "Hey, Microsoft has it right!"
No, I won't be stating my preference or starting a holy war, but I do want to share some observations.
Okay, so again with the technical interviews. This time, a question that I always ask i (because client sites always ask it), “What is your preferred language to do .net development with, and what languages are you comfortable with”. The answers can be broken down as such (note that I'll put my opinions on why after):
- “I preferr VB.net, and I have seen / I have done c#. It doesn't matter, since all .net languages do the same things” 6 of the 7 times this answer was given, the developer was a VB6 or ASP convert (recent) that didn't know anything of c# (had never really used it, but had seen examples). The 7th, the candidate did not know c# at all, but was coming from Access (VBA) development
- “I prefer C#, and I can do VB.NET but I don't like to“. 3 of the 5 times this was given, the developer was strong in .net and knew both languages. The 4th candidate was a recent java convert and was tripped up by some VB.net structures, and the 5th didn't know much of .net at all, but came from C++.
- ““ --- er, I haven't ever heard a third choice in my interviews.
Now we come down to it: I always ask “Why?”. Here's the answer they gave first
- “I'm more familiar with it.“ 3 times
- “I hate case sensitivity, and all the other differences are just syntax“ 5 times (is case sensitivity beyond and above syntax?)
- “VB.NET is [ugly/too wordy/for beginners/not a real language]“ 4 (one option each) times
Not one of them gave an answer that would sway anyone else, or that could be backed up with any type of data - but then, I did ask for personal preference, so they gave me opinion. The funny part is they will argue it with anyone that disagrees on preference. That is, if I say I prefer the other, they'll argue with me. Really!
The feeling I always - always - get from them is this: VB.NET developers come across as though they think that the language they use actually is inferior, and they'd rather be real (c#) programmers, but they need to prove that it isn't (inferior), and that they are (real programmers). C# developers always come across as though they're better, and that anyone that likes VB.NET is lacking experience.
I'll let you draw your own conclusions - for now, I just wanted to let you know how the developers I interview respond to this all-important (trivial) question.