There is a really interesting article here – Does Visual Studio Rot The Mind? by a long time Windows programmer named Charles Petzoid, the author of Programming Windows.
In the article he questions the reliance of Windows programmers on the use of Visual Studio and it’s “code for you and hide the details”, way of programming. He feels that VS encourages poor programming skills and he frets that modern coders have become too reliant on the eye-candy of the GUI builder.
I have to agree with him on that. It’s interesting to see how reliant Windows programmers are on VS. Many of them have no idea that .Net allows them to grab a real text editor and code everything for them selves. You don’t have to use Visual Studio, in fact you actually learn more about how to program by doing things for yourself. I’m not saying that you should never use VS, it can be a real time-saver for quick, one-off tools, but for serious, very large projects involving many coders, it’s almost always better to do everything yourselves. That way there are no secrets in your code and everything works the way you intend it to work.
The whole XAML thing that Microsoft claims to have invented is not new at all. Linux programmers have been using Glade’s XML based interfaces for years. It’s just astounding to me that Windows programmers are so ignorant of how other platforms work. If you are a Windows Programmer I highly recommend that you get yourself a Linux box and do a little programming on it. Read a few Linux programming books and see how other programmers have lived for years without VS. It’s a real eye opener. I’m not saying you will like it better, but it will make you a more critical Windows developer for having taken the time to learn something different.
Who knows, you may actually find yourself loading Vi on your XP box and compiling your C# from the terminal.