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Moving from Java to C#

Mark Thomas

After about 10 years working primarily in Java, I'm a few weeks in to my first commercial C# project. The transition was much smoother than I'd expected and after some head-scratching around the syntax additions in C# 3, I feel productive. I'm surprised how little time I have needed to spend learning the .NET framework libraries and exploring the .NET open source community.  As a business app, most of the code I am writing models the domain and interacts with other parts of the domain; it is all written by the team.  With the exception of things like the collections classes, most of the framework/library interaction is on the fringes of the system.  That said I've done my fair share of Googling things like 'How do I parse XML in .NET', but the community is large and so it's easy to find solutions to problems. A harder part is learning C# idioms, the Manning book C# in Depth was great for this (see later) as were chats with my teammates and pair.

Along the way I've picked up a few useful resources:


Other thoughts

  • Get Resharper
  • If you are familiar with Java IDEs like Eclipse or IntelliJ and regularly re-factor then you will need Resharper. The out of the box support for refactoring is minimal even in VS2008.

  • Remember there is an eco-system outside of Microsoft
  • Many companies having selected .NET will automatically favour Microsoft solutions for everything. Even though the open-source community doesn't appear as vibrant as for Java, it does exist. Check out too.