.NET is changing. Should you make the move?


Change is in the air. As Microsoft prepares to roll out the newest version of its most popular framework, .NET, there’s a lot to consider before you jump in the proverbial bandwagon: Am I ready? Does it make sense to switch now? What project should I start with? Is my team making the move too soon? Yes, being at the forefront of change can be exciting, but you don’t want to prematurely rush into something just to regret your choices, or show up unprepared when your website no longer works.

Recently, the experts from Code School explained what you can expect in the newest version of this popular platform, shared the reasons behind these changes and gave a live coding demo to attendees of Pluralsight’s webinar series. (Side note: If you missed the event, you can watch the recording here.) So, let’s take a quick look at the “why” behind all the big moves from .NET 4.6 to .NET Core.

First, speed.

It’s not that 4.6 was slow. But going was dreadful. Do you have about four hours to spend acquiring the right tools and downloading and installing more than 2GB of data before you even get started? You could probably be up and running on a similar competitor within the first hour of this process! 

Second, it didn’t play well with others.

OK, OK...you could do a little magic and make it cross-platform, sure. It took a little work (and you’re not afraid of hard work), but it was complicated. But, still. More download time? After the initial half-day setup? And, for most developers, the end result was…meh.

Third, it was OK (we guess).

.NET launched among its competitors and kind of got left in the dust. If you wanted to run cross-platform, and introduced Mono, it got even worse. 

So, should you make the switch?

Is now the time? Here are a few questions to ask yourself or your team: 

1.     Are you starting a new project?
2.     Is your project large and/or complicated?
3.     Are you using any old libraries that are no longer maintained?
4.     Do you like your projects to be secure and stable?
5.     Will .NET Core bring any benefits to your project?

Now let’s answer these questions to see if you should make the move from .NET 4.6 to .NET Core:

Are you starting a new project? Recommendation: Start fresh with the latest, most recent version of the technology you’re using.

Is your project large and/or complicated? Recommendation: If it’s large, no problem. Most code works exactly the same in both frameworks. However, if your project is complicated, and specifically unorthodox, you may run into a few problems at this point. It’s best to wait.

Are you using any old libraries that are no longer maintained? Recommendation: Stahp! What are you doing? Address this problem first. Most libraries are on their way to supporting .NET Core, so stand by, and work on this issue for the time being.

Do you like your projects to be secure and stable? (No, this isn’t a trick question.) Recommendation: 4.6 is stable—for now. But .NET Core is the future, meaning that updates will eventually stop for 4.6. If you’re building something new, go with the framework that’s going to have long-lasting support in the long-run.

Will .NET Core bring any benefits to your project? Recommendation: Consider all those reasons for the change above: speed, cross-platform support, performance. All those things are getting a huge boost. In fact, the performance bump in .NET Core is 2300%—that’s not a joke! If you’re building a publicly facing website that could stand to benefit from that kind of jump, or needs better cross-platform functionality, then go for it. (If you’re working on an internal intranet that 10 people will be using, maybe stick to the old version.) Another thing to consider? If you’re working with third-party libraries who might make the switch outside of your control, go ahead and upgrade.

It’s not a black-and-white decision, certainly. However, change is happening. And, change is good. With the release of .NET Core, Microsoft has revealed its hidden super-power: the ability to listen to its users. Really. Big changes in performance and speed are exciting. Want to see it action? Check out the experts from Code School, Eric Fisher and Jon Friskics, break it down in detail with a live coding demo here


Lindsay Lauck

Lindsay Lauck is a branded content specialist at Pluralsight, which is a fancy title for writer. A transplant from Dallas, TX, she moved to SLC to enjoy the mountains. You can catch her sampling the local whiskey, working on her future rock career and online @botfriendly or botfriend.ly