One of the things that i was happy to learn in my last round of job interviews is that although C# and the .NET environment may seem like the most important thing ever happened to the software development world, it is actually not the case.
Don’t get me wrong: C# and .NET are good technologies. They are well-designed, and ultimately they make it easier for the programmer to write good software for the benefit of the end user. I even respect Microsoft’s boldness to innovate instead of sticking to rusty technologies such as COM and Windows API. Going even further, Microsoft is working on some very interesting new technologies that combine functional programming paradigms with the very object-oriented .NET – Cω, F# and others; of course, i salute this. My only concern with .NET is portability – .NET development environment is good, and the software created with it may also be good, but they are all bricks from which a Microsoft-only world is built. (There are projects aimed at resolving this, such as Mono and DotGNU, but currently the solution they offer is very partial.)
But some – well, probably most people and companies don’t like to save time and money and to expand their user base by making their software portable and they think that working with Windows is just enough. Well, guess what – i am not going to work at such places. Some people are so deeply in love with .NET, that they won’t stand any criticism; if they see a job candidate that disrespects .NET, they will dismiss him immediately. “What?? You disrespect Microsoft, Windows and the Holy of Holies – .NET? Are you serious?!” Yes – it happens, not in these exact words, but it is implied. It happens, but not always. The good news are that there are people who don’t think that C# is the Holy Grail or even outright dislike it. At some interviews i was careful not to say anything bad about C#, not because i was scared, but because i just didn’t want to offend people. It’s a culture thing.
Again – i worked with C# a lot in the last year and i don’t think that it is an inherently bad language, and i even came to like it. But i am just glad to see that there are enough people in the industry, who exercise their right to think different.
The moral of the story: Diversity is not dead yet, and it is good that it is so.