Why Microsoft #1

I was never into movies for a large part of my life. The idea of sitting in front of a screen for more than an hour didn’t seem to make me jump. This was until I came across a film student who was discussing an assignment of theirs. The purpose of the assignment was to deconstruct a movie, from the lighting, to the colouring, to the character development, to the plot, to the climax, to the closing, to the music and all other elements that people more deep than me can think of.

From this point on, every time I watched a movie,  I couldn’t help but notice these things. For example, in a drama, when the colour goes blue we know something dark is going to happen. And when the colours change to warm colours the plot is also turning towards something more positive. What the writers, and directors, and actors are providing in the movie not just good acting, or good music scores, or good lighting, but a good total experience. This is what Microsoft does.

I started developing with Microsoft technologies in high school when messing around with VBA after finding a random book lying around talking about it (I was a nerd). In university, all developing was done using Microsoft technologies, first in VB, then C#. When I started working, I worked for a dev house which mostly used Microsoft technologies. After some time, I thought I was missing out on being like the cool kids who sit in coffee shops all day with their Macs and develop in Ruby or Python. C# was just so mainstream.

Then I started playing around with Java. It’s really close to C#. Downloaded Eclipse and Netbeans to test the IDEs, and started creating a play application. Eclipse was horrid. Netbeans was alright, but nothing like Visual Studio. After this, I played around with Python to be more hip than the Ruby hipsters. Tried the PyDev IDE, and it was alright. Tried a text editor and that just didn’t work for me. Poked a bit at the Django framework. I’ve also been playing with PHP for WordPress sites, and other small projects. PHP makes me want to sleep.

I read a post by Scott Hanselman where he talked about what he would’ve learnt if he started again. It made me realise, C# and the Microsoft stack are actually good, and can do everything I need them to do right now, and will need them to do in the near future. And on top of this, as I mentioned above, the experience.

Isn’t it nice to open an IDE that makes developing so much more enjoyable? Isn’t it nice to use a web server where settings are more intuitive and therefore making my life easier? Isn’t it nice that from the point of starting a project, to deploying to a test server, to deploying to a production server, to managing the database scripts, I can have one, beautiful, unified experience? I think its nice.

Now many will disagree with me. And that’s ok. This is subjective. And so is your opinion. But as for me and my household*, the Microsoft stack has one a place in our hearts.

*Currently my household just consists of myself and my wife, and I didn’t get her permission to include her in this opinion. But I’m sure she won’t mind.

Patrick Kayongo

I create and maintain software. Pan-African.

Johannesburg, South Africa