A .NET developer is responsible for designing, tailoring and developing software applications according to a business’ needs. In addition to the determination and analysis of prerequisites for software, his responsibilities include support and continuous development.
What is .NET?: The role of a .NET Developer
.NET is a Microsoft framework that allows developers to create applications, online software, and interfaces. .NET is just one of the frameworks from Microsoft but is the top solution for Windows servers both on local networks and in the cloud.
Regularly, job descriptions need to provide more detail of what it’s needed for the job. .NET is too wide of a term, so it needs to mention which .NET language is needed: VB.NET, C#, F#, etc. This isn’t including the .NET stack: WPF, Silverlight, WinForms, ASP.NET, etc.
The daily job is about the development and execution of appropriate application programs as well as specified products, programming languages, frameworks, technologies and tools which are directly or indirectly merged with the collective term “.NET.”
Developers of this kind are primarily employed in systems and software houses, in telecommunications and information technology companies, in engineering offices for technical planning and in computer service providers. In addition, engagement is possible in IT research and development facilities as well as in the IT departments of companies in various sectors of the economy.
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Responsibilities and Tasks
.NET developers are largely responsible for the design, corresponding implementation and further development of software. In addition, a .NET software engineer is in charge of the analysis of specific problems, potentially providing or developing the appropriate system requirements. These system requirements are then implemented in the design mix of interfaces and components.
Often, they work on concrete projects. Normally, this involves the development of software solutions based on various technologies. In addition, a .NET developer or a .NET engineer also programs .NET applications, support – depending on the field of activity – the 1st and 2nd level support and also takes over the management of software projects. They can take on a variety of tasks, from simple things like bug fixing on an existing product or app, to completely building a new one from scratch.
What tasks does a .NET developer have?
- Design, implementation, and development of software
- Analysis of existing problems and identification or development of system requirements
- Design of interfaces and components
- Programming .NET applications
- Management of software projects of different sizes
- Assistance to the support team
What is the .NET required skill set? Hard and Soft Skills
One should also have hands-on experience in dealing with code structures and system design.
- Experience with one .NET Language:
- C# (“C sharp”)
- F# (“F sharp”)
- Libraries and .NET stack – ASP.NET MVC is becoming very popular in the .NET development field. As a developer, you should master the skill. It’ll help the developer to build fast and secure web applications.
- Databases – .NET is compatible with may databases but often SQL Server or Oracle are the ones that are specified in job descriptions.
A .NET developer should also be interested in theoretical-abstract, organizational-testing, and commercial-organizational activities. In addition, one should be able to work independently, be creative, be flexible and always be willing to learn new things.
In addition, being customer-oriented and possessing mental resilience should be part of one’s soft skills set. Also advantageous are abilities around abstract-logical thinking, memory ability, computational thinking or arithmetic skills, and spatial imagination as well as commercial and organizational abilities.
What does a .NET developer need to know?
- Programming languages and paradigms• Code structure, architecture, and system design
- Development platforms, frameworks, stacks, and tools
- Databases and versioning
- Analytical thinking
As a rule, a .NET developer needs a degree or some form of official education in software engineering, computer science, mathematics, cybernetics or information technology (IT). Holding any certification within the fields of software and database development can be a huge advantage. The same applies to those developers who hold several years’ experience in the field. These are all positive experiences that any company will take into consideration when making hiring decisions.
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The salary of .NET developers
The average salary in the US is around $66,000. Junior profiles are getting around $45,000 and experienced .NET developers $95,000. It should be noted, however, that – as with most occupations – many different factors are responsible for the level of salary: years of experience, concrete tasks in the job, and especially the location of the respective employer is of particular importance in this regard.
What about .NET freelancers? How much do they earn?
The average hourly rate amongst freelancers in the field of .NET is $61 per hour. If we consider an 8-hour working day, the daily rate for freelance .NET developers is around $488 per day. (freelancermap freelance rate index June 2018).
Who is looking for .NET developers?
Actually, .NET developers are in high demand, and companies are finding it hard to find this professional profile for their projects and companies. The problem could be that demand exceeds the supply but that’s not the only thing.
Often there is no clear answer to what exactly makes a .NET developer and what skills are required, so it’s important to check out exactly the skills the job requires. E.g: X years of experience working with WinForms, proven experience with VB.NET, etc.
Real insights from an active .NET Developer
For this position, we talked to Esteban Solano, a software engineer, developer, and consultant in .NET with more than 10 years of experience in software including desktop, web, mobile and cloud software, development and agile technologies.
He recently started out as a freelancer and he’s passionate about programming, software architecture and .NET-related technologies for the industry. When he has some free time shares some advice and tales of his experiences through his blog: http://stvansolano.github.io/blog.
He achieved multiple certifications in .NET development of the web, mobile, and the cloud, and was recently awarded as Most Valuable Professional in Development Technologies by Microsoft for the third year in a row! He is also a professor, speaker and promoter of open technologies (OSS) and multi-platform technologies in the country in Costa Rica through talks, workshops, courses and training companies to go .NET.
What is your background and how did you start with .NET development?
I started with .NET in 2005 when I was in college and I heard about something called .NET and forms for developing better apps outside of Macros in Excel and Access.
I graduated from college in 2011 and soon I had my first job in the field of C#. I learned a lot and was able to put into practice a lot for concepts while I was learning them (AJAX was on the rise and Web Services XML too). I attended new courses and worked hard with .NET while I was taking complementary .NET and career courses at night.
More recently, I’ve been developing different applications with .NET tools and I also teach others .NET, specifically through mobile with Android, and Xamarin. I’ve also coached companies to learn and use .NET with interesting stuff like Mono, Docker and .NET Core. I give talks as part of a user group that I founded in Costa Rica focused on mobile and .NET, which recently became an official group of the .NET Foundation to empower groups to learn and spread about .NET-related technologies.
In your opinion, what should everyone work with .NET know? What is the perfect skill set someone should have?
A more specific toolset that I would recommend will be C#, knowledge of the Roslyn compiler, .NET Core and some experience combining your favorite platform with .NET: web (TypeScript), mobile (Xamarin) or anything on the cloud – Azure, why not, with Kubernetes.
There is a lot of cool stuff that you can do with a little knowledge of .Net history, e.g. how it became a cross-platform after being born in Microsoft. This plus a little bit of C# and knowing some of the best practices and you should be ready to go!
Right now, I develop .NET from a Mac by using Visual Studio, Android/iOS tooling and Xamarin to develop native cross-platform apps with my knowledge of .NET. I can also quickly bring a .NET Core backend using Docker, Asp.NET and Web API and will have an end-to-end solution, all in the same language! (Tip: you can use F# as a functional programming language).
Would you say .NET development is a good niche for freelancers or other remote workers?
Definitely yes; I actually work as a Senior .NET developer remotely and full-time as a freelancer from Costa Rica, which is a small country, but it gave me the opportunity to work with transnational companies and clients around the world. I deliver apps developed with .NET tools, mostly C#, Asp.Net Core and Xamarin.
What advice would you give to those starting with .NET?
If you are just starting, I’d recommend starting with a simple text editor like Visual Studio Code and work on a side project to learn the basics with a C# extension.
If you enjoy the web, like most of us, I would suggest to give C# online a try and use a C# editor based on Roslyn – a good example is Fiddle. Take any tutorial or online book about C# and code a bit!
You could also bring in other technologies that are being used such as React, VueJS and start a project using Yeoman, just to mention an example.
If you can’t leave the terminal, you can install .NET Core command tools through Chocolatey or Homebrew to quickly scaffold a .NET console app from scratch. You can do it from MacOS, Windows or Linux and focus on the language and things that may help to learn more advanced (not that hard) stuff like LINQ, Entity Framework or Tasks for sync/await operations.
What do you think that the future of .NET development will be?
I envision .NET to continue making great other technologies, not necessary .NET Foundation-developed or owned by Microsoft, to empower users to do more with the standard tools that we use today.
I imagine things like machine learning, language processing, bots and smart devices running with .NET components talking with cutting-edge technologies that we will change the way we live.