The Visual Basic Stigma 02 Mar 2007
software development

I recently recommended to a client that a project they were looking to have done in Visual Basic should be done in C#, but I found that it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be to articulate *why* I was recommending that. The easy answer was because I'm a C programmer at heart and C# is what I'm into these days, but given that the bulk of my professional experience in the last 4-years has been in Visual Basic, and that both C# and current versions of VB are fairly interchangeable for someone familiar with both, that reasoning seemed a bit weak.

I came across this article on programming in Visual Basic and it really rings true to me. I don't enjoy programming in VB quite as much, but at the end of the day I'll look back and realize that it made almost no difference to me at all. I have the same embarrassment about programming in VB that the author talks about on occasion, and I have the same thing with Windows programming in general in comparison to C on Unix-like systems.

I also thought the wikipedia article comparing VB and C# had a pretty interesting section on the VB and C# programming cultures. I know that my first project in VB6 was terrible. I had a fairly strong C on Unix programming mindset and even though the concepts should have been the same it took me a long time to figure out how to adapt what I knew about programming "The Right Way" to that environment. I can't honestly say for certain that was the fault of VB, it may have been my unfamiliarity with doing graphical user interfaces, but to this day it still feels more natural to follow good programming practice in C#.

Speaking of that first VB program, I'm inclined to agree that, given enough time I will think my old code was crap when I look back ...