First of all, just to be absolutely perfectly clear, I do not work for Microsoft and have received nothing in return for writing this article. I just want to get that out of the way before going any further.
Throughout my nearly 20 year career as a professional software developer, I have always used Microsoft products to develop the various applications I have helped build. This includes their products, services and languages and which have included Visual Foxpro, Visual Basic, Xamarin, C#, SQL Server, Azure, Visual Studio, Visual Code, ASP.NET (Core) to name a few.
Natually I have liked some of these better than others. What is becoming very apparent to me, is that I am genuinely loving the new development ecosystem that has been coming out from Microsoft over the last few years. Under the leadership of Satya Nadella, the company has completely transformed. Their products, tools and services just keep getting better and better. As a developer, this is fantastic news. For any regular readers of my articles, none of this should come as a surprise. I regularly praise the Microsoft tooling I use on a regular basis.
I started using Azure over a year ago, and can’t believe how awesome it is. I use it for everything including SQL storage, blob storage, hosting, service bus, webjobs, functions, identity provision and application insights to name a few. I use it for everything. It allows me to build modern, scalable, highly available, secure and robust applications. All of the Azure services can be leveraged from within your .NET apps as well as from the Azure portal itself.
This year I started building a web app using ASP.NET Core 2.0. It brings the joy back into building web applications. It is very obvious that a lot of thought went into the architecture and design of ASP.NET Core 2.0. I have always enjoyed working with ASP.NET, but ASP.NET Core lifts this to entirely new levels. The team behind it have a clear understanding of the sorts of problems that developers face, and have solved these in simple yet elegant ways.
They have embraced open-source, they are open and transparent, their tools are no longer closed but integrate with practically every other tool (whether they are Microsoft or not). They are a completely different company to the one I carved out my career with. Credit where credit is due, they have listened to their customers and have responded accordingly. They are now building tools that developers need, want and can enjoy using.
Being a Microsoft developer these days is great fun, and I hope it stays that way for a very long time.