I’ve been working in the tech market as a specialist .NET recruiter for around five years now, so I’ve had a lot of experience with market change. For me, though, one thing has remained a constant – .NET’s popularity. The 2019 Stack Overflow Developer Survey reports .NET among one of the most loved frameworks, showing Microsoft’s ability to successfully respond to tech market change over a 20-year history. So, when Microsoft announced its plans for the next phase of .NET at its conference last September, I knew good things were to come. Here, I give you a high level run-down of .NET 5 – the next step in .NET’s chameleon-like evolution. You can read about this in more detail here.
What is .NET 5?
From November 2020, .NET 5 will replace .NET Core and .NET Framework for all things .NET. .NET combines the best of .NET Core, .NET Framework, Xamarin, and Mono under a single, unified, opensource platform – including platforms for IoT, data science, and machine learning.
This includes libraries, APIs, frameworks, tools, languages, and run-time components to build, test, run, and deploy software and applications on a broad range of platforms – including Windows, Linux, macOS, and cross-platform web development on ASP.NET, iOS, and Android mobile development and cross-platform IoT – on any device.
.NET 5 will also support Azure application development, with frameworks and tools like ASP.NET, Web API, serverless computing, data models, microservices, and docker containers, all supporting web and cloud application builds.
When will .NET 5 be released?
.NET 5 is due for release in November 2020, with several planned phases between now and then, including .NET Core 3.0 in September. Microsoft plans to ship a major version of .NET once a year thereafter, with long term support for even numbered releases. The full schedule can be found here.
What is included in .NET 5? What are .NET 5’s features and interoperability?
A better question is, what doesn’t .NET 5 include? .NET 5 will have a Base Class Library with APIs for building any application, supported by application frameworks that include cross-platform tools – like ASP.NET, Xamarin, and IoT.
.NET 5 will also offer other languages and libraries that can be integrated into .NET projects, with interoperability for Java, Objective-C, Swift, Angular, and React (as examples), as well as supporting new versions of the ever-popular C#. It’s a catch-all.
.NET 5 will support all major platform capabilities for .NET Framework, .NET Core, and Xamarin – including Windows Forms, WPF, UWP, ASP.NET, MVC, Entity Framework, and LINQ. It also offers support for tools including Visual Studio, VS Code, VS for Mac, and Command Line Interface. It will provide both Just-in-Time (JIT) and Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compilation models to support a broad range of scenarios, device-types, operating systems, and development environments. There will also be more choice on runtime experiences and capabilities.
There is also greater flexibility within deployment models, with smaller deployments and smaller SDK project types. This will lend itself to side-by-side installations, especially in large businesses with complex technical environments.
In fact, it almost feels that the only things .NET 5 will not support are ASP.NET Web Forms, WCF, or WWF (Blazor is the recommended platform going forward).
What does .NET 5 mean for .NET and Microsoft?
.NET 5 will vastly improve the development experience for many users, offering a more flexible and versatile approach to development, but also a simpler one. Plus, .NET 5 is also fast, scalable, and, thanks to its stability, high performance.
In my opinion, .NET 5’s unification and interoperability will build on Microsoft’s stake in the developer market, especially as technology in business becomes more sophisticated. .NET 5 will arguably make designing, building, and scaling software and applications far easier.
The fact that .NET 5 will be both open-source and almost all-encompassing (in terms of meshing everything .NET into one platform, and offering interoperability for other languages and libraries), is significant. It marks yet another departure from Microsoft’s previous ways of working – once Microsoft-exclusive, license dependent, and disparate. It’s an example of how healthy competition from cloud-dominant providers - like Amazon and computer technology giants like Oracle - can produce better things for the developer community.
I think the emergence of .NET 5 will increase demand in the market for talent due to its broad range of uses in software development – I would imagine a lot of companies will now be considering .NET 5 for their frameworks going forward. This, combined with the fact that .NET is already a popular skillset, means that the race for talent ahead of the 2020 go-live is now on.
For businesses wanting to get ahead with their .NET hires before the rush hits, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’m a .NET specialist recruiter with connections across the market. And if you’re a candidate, I’d love to hear from you too – even if it’s just to chat about what .NET 5 might mean for you! I for one, can’t wait for the next big change in .NET.