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Why C# Reigns Supreme In .NET

by DeeDee Walsh, on Feb 11, 2024 12:15:00 AM

As a former Visual Basic product manager (Microsoft alum: 1991-2012 🙂), it pains me to say this... But C# is the crown prince of .NET programming languages. And don't take my word for it, the TIOBE Index awarded C# "2023 Programming Language of the Year"). The battle between C# and VB.NET has been a .NET staple for years. While both languages can build .NET applications, C# stands out as the champion for modern developers. If you're still using VB, it might be time to reevaluate why C# is the better programming language for just about everything:

1. Need for Speed

C# has some pretty serious power under the hood. Strong typing means the compiler knows what's up with your variables way before runtime. This cuts down on unproductive type errors and lets the compiler really optimize your code for faster execution. Think of it like giving your app a performance boost without changing a line. With VB.NET, its more relaxed approach to types means extra conversions behind the scenes which takes a toll on performance, especially in tight loops and number-crunching code. Winner on performance goes to C#:

  • Early error detection: Potential type mismatches are flagged early, streamlining development.
  • Execution optimization: The compiler generates tailored code for specific data types

2. C# is Modern

Lambda expressions? Asynchronous programming? C# has embraced these modern coding styles, making your life way easier. Need to filter a list or handle a slow network call? C# will make your code cleaner and more intuitive. VB.NET can do similar things, but it feels a lot clunkier in comparison. Winner on modern code goes to C#:

  • Functional flair with lambdas: Tasks like filtering, sorting, and transforming data become incredibly concise.
List<int> evenNumbers = numbers.Where(x => x % 2 == 0).ToList(); 
  • Asynchronous mastery: The 'async' and 'await' keywords dramatically simplify working with operations that don't yield immediate results. This avoids thread blocking and keeps your applications responsive
async Task DownloadDataAsync() { ... }

3. The community has your back plus look at all those frameworks!

The C# crowd is seriously massive. We're talking tons of libraries, tutorials, and super active forums ready to answer your burning questions. That means when you hit a snag (and let's be honest, we all do), finding an answer or getting help is way easier. Plus, with tons of C# libraries and frameworks out there, chances are someone's already built what you need – giving you a sweet headstart. With VB.NET, the community is smaller, so finding that perfect code snippet or someone who's faced the same issue is trickier. Winner for community goes to C#:

  • Rich Resource Pool: An abundance of libraries, frameworks, tutorials, and online support forums.
  • Powerful Tooling: Seamless integration with key technologies like:
    • ASP.NET Core (highly performant web framework)
    • Unity (leading game development engine)
    • Entity Framework (streamlined database interactions)

4. Your career will thank you

Let's talk job market. C# skills are in seriously high demand compared to VB.NET. More opportunities, better pay – that sounds like a good deal to me. C# skills open a lot more doors than VB.NET these days. Investing in C# isn't just about today's projects; it's about giving yourself an edge for the long haul. Winner for career opportunities goes to C#:

  • Diverse Opportunities: A broader range of potential projects and positions.
  • Competitive Compensation: Potential for higher salaries.

5. C# has Microsoft's blessing

C# is where Microsoft is putting their energy. New features, constant improvements... It's clear C# is where they're placing their bets. Embracing C# means you're aligning yourself with the future of the platform and the centerpiece of .NET. Winner on safe bet for the future goes to C#:

  • Staying Current: Ongoing access to the latest language features and innovations.
  • Long-Term Relevance: Ensure your skills remain in demand for years to come.

Let's not forget VB.NET's got some quirks

VB.NET has its merits, especially if you love its readability and have tons of legacy code to maintain. Side note: we can help you with the "tons of legacy code" issue. But VB.NET's slower evolution and sometimes hidden performance snags make it a less appealing choice for modern app development. 

csharp wins

So here's the verdict: C# wins on pretty much all dimensions. And me from 1992 would be very disappointed in myself for this verdict. Even though C# wasn't invented yet in 1992... Anyway, let me know what you think.



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