Do you want to become a .Net Developer? Are you sure about the industry and the growth trends? If yes, what is stopping you?

Some people want to become a .NET developer because the position is a lucrative one and you want to have the skills. .NET is one of the mostly widely used languages used for web development. Here’s how to get started:

Learning .NET Development – the first phase

The latest version of .NET framework is 3.5 and one can start out by using the Beginner's Guide to Beginning ASP.NET 3.5: In C# and VB which is a comprehensive book about development using .NET 3.5. Those who have never done programming can use it and learn from it. It has a step by step instruction setup and the examples are given in both C# and VB. You can choose any of them for development.

The Integrated Development Environment or IDE which is widely used for .NET development is Microsoft Visual Studio and Visual Studio 2008 is the latest version that has come out while 2012 is in the offing.

While you can also use the cheaper 2005 version of Visual Studio, one can make the best use of NET 3.5's programming features by using the latest version. You can even download the trial version and also use the Visual Studio Express for free! The Visual Studio 2008 Express version is definitely good for web application development

While .NET applications make use of a large number of databases including Oracle, Access, or MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server is one of the most preferred ones. The latest version of the SQL server is 2008. There is an official version of SQL Server and there is the free version of SQL Server Management Studio Express. There are umpteen limitations in the free version since once bigger applications are involved, a pricier version of SQL Server would be recommended.

Here are some tools which will come in handy during .NET development. .NET development can get pricey unlike Java, which has a free IDE: Eclipse. These tools will make it easier for you to get into .NET development.

1. NUnit: Unit Testing is good for any developer who need functional, bug-free applications. MSTest is one unit testing tool from Microsoft which is available in some versions of Visual Studio. NUnit is like Java's JUnit for .NET.

2. NAnt: It can be quite tedious to deploy a website. Connection strings need to get updated and configuration files change. NAnt automates these changes and like Java Ant, part of .NET.

3. CruiseControl.NET: It is important to integrate new code with old code and make sure everything works perfectly. CruiseControl.NET is good for making that sure, with the help of Automated Continuous Integration Server and in conjunction with NAnt to run unit tests each time new code is added.

4. NHibernate: This is more like a framework and a .NET port of Java based Hibernate. It acts as a persistence layer between the application and the connected database. NHibernate is perfect if you do not want to write long SQL statements. Complex join statements can be written in a trice.

5. Mono: Mono can let you develop applications in diverse platforms like Linux or OS X. It is sponsored by by Novell and offers an alternative to IIS.

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