Screening .NET Developers

As an IT recruiter, what should know about .NET?

What is .NET?

.NET (pronounced as "dot net") is a framework for  developing a wide range of web, mobile or Windows based applications. .NET (Network Enabled Technology) was developed by Microsoft.

.NET is widely known as Microsoft's move against Sun's Java. Java being cross-platform, threatened Windows, forcing Microsoft to introduce their own language and platform, intended to kill Java on Windows.

.NET supports programming languages such as C#, VB.NET, and F#.

C# (pronounced as "see-sharp") is the coding language most developers use to create .NET applications. Basically, C# is a programming language, whereas .NET is the framework built on top of C#. C# was originally created by Microsoft from existing C and C++ and is a fully object-oriented programming language.

Microsoft's implementation of C# is tightly integrated with their .NET Framework, so it is common for recruiter to confuse the two technologies. However, they are very different things.

What is ASP.NET?

ASP.NET is a part of the .NET framework, which helps create dynamic web pages. Basically, ASP.NET extends the .NET platform with tools and libraries designed for building web apps.

What languages does .NET work with?

.NET apps can be written  in C#, F#, or Visual Basic.

  • C# is a simple, modern, object-oriented, and type-safe programming language.
  • F# is a cross-platform, open-source, functional programming language for .NET. It also includes object-oriented and imperative programming.
  • Visual Basic is an approachable language with a simple syntax for building type-safe, object-oriented apps.

How long has .NET been around?

.NET was first created in 2002, so it has been around for 18 years now (2020). You can check how old any tech skill is.

What is the difference between .NET and .NET Core?

  • .NET framework is used to create Windows desktop applications and server based applications. This also includes ASP.NET web applications.
  • .NET Core is cross-platform, and is used to create server applications that run on Windows, Linux and Mac.

This is how Microsoft explains the difference:

.NET vs .NET Core

According to the 2020 StackOverflow developer survey, ASP.NET is among the most popular web frameworks, and ASP.NET Core is the most loved web framework, beating out React.js.

Popular web frameworks

Here are the some of the main reasons why .NET is so popular:

Object-oriented software development model

.NET follows object-oriented programming (OOP), which is a widely used development model that breaks down software into smaller pieces which are easier to manage, combine and reuse.

Cross-platform design of .NET Core

.NET Core is a cross-platform implementation of .NET that allows developers to write code that can run on macOS, Windows, and Linux. It is also open source code, making sure that a large engineering community is always contribute to making it better.

Large Community

Being one of the most loved frameworks, .NET has a large community of developers. This is across companies of different sizes, meaning that every issue a developer has, has been experienced by several developers before them and can be resolved with the help of community members.

What skills should a .NET developer have?

ASP.NET MVC

ASP.NET is a very popular web framework, enabling .NET developers to create pretty, fast, and secure web applications seamlessly. The ASP.NET MVC framework follows the MVC architecture pattern, preferred by modern companies.

Client-side web development technologies (HTML/ CSS)

A .Net developer should have the skills required to set up pretty and interactive web applications. For this, experience with client-side technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap etc is preferred.

Databases

As a developer, it is crucial to be able to architect as well as maintain a database. Developers should be familiar with Microsoft's implementation of SQL technologies. In addition, familiarity with modern database technologies like NoSQL is good to have.

Understanding of OOP (Object Oriented Programming)

Since .NET is OOP based, a deep understanding of OOP is critical for every .NET developer. The fundamental concepts of Encapsulation, Data abstraction, Data Hiding and Polymorphism should be very clear.

How to screen .NET developers

.NET developers are among the most sought after developers globally. This also means that often developers without the required experience mention .NET as a skill on their resume, making it hard for you to identify the right developer for your role. Using a skills assessment or a coding test, can help you screen developers without spending engineering time.

When screening .NET developers, it is important to keep in mind that you want to test them for on-the-job skills, as opposed to textbook/ theoretical knowledge.

Depending on the role, you might want to use the C# & .NET Test, C#, .NET & SQL Test, ASP.NET Test or request a custom assessment tailored to your role.

Check out sample questions to screen .NET developers.