Alexander Beletsky's development blog

My profession is engineering

ASP.NET developers disease

We are trying to hire web developer with using of Microsoft technology stack of etc. So, I do a lot of interviews nowadays and I found out interesting fact. I’ve noticed symptoms of disease many of many guys suffer from. The people who spent a lot of time with WebForms do not really understand web.

Originally WebForms has been designed in perspective to be conveniently used by Visual Basic developers. Ones who created UI in designers and put logic of application into control event handlers methods. That was a good idea because that gave possibility to many people switch to web world, without too much harm their own world of Windows programming (controls, events, handlers). That worked great, because all you have to understand is Page Lifecycle, be aware of controls that Microsoft created for you and be able to drag the control in WYSIWYG editor. The application created in this way was mostly fine, because it was to far to Web 2.0, AJAX, CSS and HTML revolutions.

Time has passed. Web stepped far away from a form with submit button and tables for everything, into rich UI applications with complex client side code, styled up with CSS. WebForms issues appeared really seriously, because it too much abstracted you from “what is actually going on”. WebForms controls generated HTML for you, did a server side validation. You could tweak a bit of CSS on server side as well. But this is a not controlling of your application, but rather adapting to “old-school” type of web development with With such level of abstraction you were loosing many important things.

I’m not saying the WebForms is bad. I’m saying that WebForms did a bad joke for the people who do not try to see bit far from their nose. If you open your eyes you would see how much web development is far from WebForms development. Modern web development is actually started on client side. You have to understand HTML/JS really fine to be efficient in it. You might not be a designer, but you have to be able to style up your HTML from UI mock in PSD. You should understand REST and AJAX to make go from web page to web application. And the issue is - the most developers do not know these things. They think that knowing a C# or is much OK for creation of web application and the rest is work for front-end developers.

Guys, seriously.. If you think: “HTML is easy, I could do learn in 5 mins”, “CSS is nothing to do..”, “I don’t want to do javascript” - you have those symptoms. Please try to markup the page that might look like that, enchase it with CSS3 transitions and shadows. Try to use jQuery for handling UI. You will see it is not easy at all. And basically your knowledge on C# does not make help you. I would say, it might be even harder than you application server side. Knowing how to do things with WebForms is great, but you should not be only limited to WebForms.

So, if your CV says you are web developer, please make sure that your are really able to do web products. Do not limit your self to “client-side” or “server-side” developer, it does not work any more. Be universal, look for the same things in a different angles, that helps sometimes.