Visual BASIC - On Its Way Out?

Written on 10:42 AM by Robert

Radio Shack TRS-80
BASIC was the first programming language I ever learned.  I learned it in my senior year of high school and in the computer club I played games written in that language on the original TRS-80 computers they used.  In case you've never heard of the Radio Shack TRS-80s, here is a picture.  Reading about the history of the BASIC programming language has also made me nostalgic lately.


In college, after taking all sorts of programming courses (Assembler, Pascal, C, C++), I took a course in Visual BASIC 3.0.  It was the most interesting programming course I've ever taken because of its GUI capabilities.  It seemed like anything was possible to create with this version of VB.  Later that year, I was hired by my previous employer as a PC technician specifically because I had knowledge of Visual BASIC.  Through the years, I self-taught myself to use the next versions of Visual BASIC - 4.0, 5.0. 6.0, then .NET.

I worked there for 14 years using similar technologies - VB Winforms, RPG/400, and ASP.  Now that I have been laid off, I realize that I should have pushed for more modern languages.  C# has seemed to take over as the .NET standard.  Java, PHP, MySQL, and any web-based scripting tools have also become increasingly utilized.

Now, I've been reading several articles about the death of Visual BASIC.  C# has proved to do more than VB .NET can.  One article claims that there is absolutely no future of Visual BASIC.  According to another article, developers who use .NET prefer to use C#, but Winform developers prefer using VB6 than .NET (since .NET can be used for web and Windows applications).  This is based on data taken from a survey done several years ago.



The conclusion is that if you are a web developer trying to figure out which language to use, stay away from Visual BASIC.  There are a half dozen programming languages that are more widely used.  Winform development, in my job-hunting experience, seems to be a skill that is not as popular as it used to be.  If you already have Winform programming experience (like myself), you would be useful doing Windows to Web application conversions. Edit

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