Microsoft Developers can cover a wide variety of platforms and devices these days – cross-platform Mobile development with Xamarin, enterprise grade software with .NET Framework, multi-device development with Universal Windows Platform including Windows 10, Xbox One and HoloLens, open-source development with .NET Core and cloud-based applications that run on Microsoft Azure. You can write for all these platforms and devices with the same programming language – C#, or even on many of them support other languages such as F# and Visual Basic that take advantage of the Microsoft development stack. Microsoft Developers in the past were regarded as big-business only with focus on proprietary solutions but recently this has changed over the past few years with focus on open-source with .NET Core and more platforms and devices to develop for such as tablets, PCs, consoles plus augmented and virtual reality devices. You can find more details about Microsoft Development platforms and options at developer.microsoft.com
Microsoft Developers can be open source by taking advantage of the .NET Core eco-system which is based upon the successful .NET Framework, a fully end-to-end open source project with all source code available for the framework, compilers, libraries and even the language itself with community feedback and submissions being accepted. Of course it wasn’t always this way but the perception out there is that it still is and that the open source initiatives are just temporary – that’s certainly not the with Microsoft being one of the biggest contributors to GitHub, even closing down their own online source code repository CodePlex in favour of posting all code there instead and there’s plenty of documentation for all of the Microsoft platforms for developers or designers at docs.microsoft.com
Microsoft Developers can cover so many more platforms and devices than just PCs or the web, you can build chat bots for Skype, services in the cloud, interactive 3D experiences for HoloLens, large-screen applications for Surface Hub, target Internet Of Things (IoT) devices and many more besides. The focus is on developers, even if building for non-Microsoft platforms there’s support such as Xamarin with the ability to write applications for iOS and Android as well as the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) – this extends the reach of developers who aren’t using Microsoft technologies to still have a great development experience. Microsoft offers many options for developers to create their applications with development environments – for those interested in cross-platform development there’s Visual Studio Code available at code.visualstudio.com, or for those on Windows then there’s Visual Studio with versions catering for every level of developer from beginners, small teams and companies with the free Visual Studio Community through to Visual Studio Enterprise for larger teams and companies, details including downloads are available at visualstudio.com
Microsoft Developers to-be can get started with resources such as microsoftvirtualacademy.com – which is free Microsoft training delivered by experts covering topics from Cloud Development, Game Development, Web Development and more plus content for Beginners. There are for learning specific parts of the Microsoft Development stack including, asp.net for ASP.NET resources, documentation, examples and much more besides and is a great resource for beginners and seasoned web developers. For anyone wanting to get started with developing for the Universal Windows Platform there are dozens of Tutorials available at comentsys.wordpress.com that I wrote – these go through many examples including basic features, building mini-games and small applications as well as covering more advanced features. You can also find out about developing for the cloud at azure.com, with information and resources plus the ability to manage and build solutions for the cloud on Microsoft Azure. For those who want to develop using .NET either with the full .NET Framework or .NET Core then dot.net is the best way to start with information, downloads and resources. Then there’s the C# language itself which is supported on every Microsoft Development platform from cloud to IoT – the best way to start learning C# is with a workshop, so a free C# Workshop will be posted all throughout August here on this blog at rogueplanetoid.com and hopefully will encourage many more people to become Microsoft Developers!