I like C#. I like the .NET Framework.
Pretty much every software challenge a client throws at you can be solved using C# and the .NET Framework. Which is marvellous. It gives you confidence that you can deliver solutions.
However I also know that a for a lot of those challenges, they can be more swiftly solved using … Visual Basic 6.
Somehow at work we got onto this topic today. My own view is “getting stuff done” is still harder today than it once was with languages such as Visual Basic 6 (or indeed others from the era such as SQL Windows). That chat lead me to have a quick look at the “state of Visual Basic 6” in 2014:
- Visual Basic 6 has slipped ahead of C# to be Microsoft’s most popular language (May 2014 TIOBE).
- Visual Basic 6 has a very strong open source community – summarised nicely in Visual Basic 6.0: A giant more powerful than ever
Interesting isn’t it?
A lot has been written about the strengths (and weaknesses) of Visual Basic 6 but for me it really boils down to:
- It is simple to learn and to master
- It is an early example of opinionated software (think Rails but for Client/Server and desktop)
- It was “powerful enough” to solve a large class of problems (pre-Web)
- It didn’t get between you and the problem
I also recalled that Scott H had posted something on this before I left Microsoft end of Dec 2012. Here is his take.
It has a great line in it:
The things that Visual Basic 6 did still need doing. – David Platt