My Take on Bruce Johnson's Stages of .NET Conversion
My colleague, Bruce Johnson, writes about The Five Stages of .NET Conversion (for VB6 Developers). Based on the names Bruce gives to the stages, I thought the piece was going to have a negative slant but after reading it I totally agree with what Bruce has to say. I would like to see the names of the stages changed from Anger, Depression, Shock, Denial and Acceptance to Shock, Confusion, Understanding, Elation, and Exploration to give a more positive spin to the end of the journey.
Bruce ends his post with a very valid warning:
The Base Class Library (BCL) is incredibly daunting. While I would like to tell everyone not to be intimidated, it’s hard not to be. Enhancements, like the My namespace in VB.NET 2005 relieve some of the stress, but there is still a lot of surface area that the average developer needs to be aware of to maximize their effectiveness.
I wanted to give you some tips you can use to make the early “Shock and Awe” phases of your move a little bit easier.
1. Use Intellisense
There’s valuable help there which people often overlook. When you get the list of members, take time to look at the descriptions that pop up. When you’ve chosen a method, look at the descriptions of parameters to get insight into the functionality.
2. Use the Conversion Wizard
When you know how to do something with VB 6.0 but can’t figure out how to do the same with .NET, use the Conversion Wizard. Write a small app that exposes the feature in VB 6.0 and the run the Wizard to get a .NET version. It may not always show you the best way to do something but it will help you keep moving forward in your journey.
3. Use the Unofficial Visual Studio Help System (Google Groups)
Lucky for you lots of other developers have made this journey ahead of you and many of them have documented their learning experience through questions and answers on usenet newgroups. Google Groups (http://groups.google.com) is a searchable archive of these postings and is likely the most valuable resource available to you on the internet.
I hope these tips will make your move to .NET a little less painful.