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.NET developer insights for 2016

12 May 2016

Microsoft hopes the new cross-platform implementation of .NET open source will draw more developers into the Windows ecosystem

In the wake of the company's recent acquisition of cross-platform tools vendor Xamarin, Microsoft aims to make mobile development easier by sharing code between desktop, mobile, and server applications. With the release of .Net Core open source framework the company hopes to get developers on non-Windows platforms more interested in Microsoft technologies and services. Over the last year, .NET has moved further into the open source and cross-platform space, allowing .NET to keep up with similar trends in cloud and mobile. While pondering on the idea and how this might affect the software industry, we stumbled across an insightful research into the state of .NET development for 2016.


The survey was conducted by Telerik, a subsidiary of Progress and based on the responses of more than 100,000 participants. The developers were asked for their views on key technologies and innovations across web, desktop, and mobile app development. What we gathered from the results was a sense of excitement around the open source push and cross-platform support for .NET development.


  • 38% of respondents think the opportunity to build and run .NET apps cross-platform is "amazing."
  • 43% think that .NET Core being open sourced and cross-platform is a "dream come true."
  • 63% of respondents won't touch a Mac, but 29% of them own iPhones.



A key discovery of the research is that developers are preferring the web as their choice platform; with 49 percent of respondents developing responsive web software, and 45 percent building desktop web applications. In comparison, just 30 percent said they are making Windows desktop applications. Half of the developers who identify themselves as being web developers are employing responsive web techniques to produce apps for use on both desktop and mobile.


Xamarin, acquired by Microsoft earlier this year, represents the preferable cross-platform tool for the 62 percent of native mobile app developers. For the 43 percent of hybrid mobile developers, Apache Cordova is their number one choice.


However, Microsoft still appears to suffer an uphill struggle when it comes to Universal Windows Platform (UWP) adoption, despite slow gains. 44 percent of Windows desktop app developers report they are "unfamiliar" with UWP in addition to the 41 percent of mobile developers and 58 percent of web developers who also responded the same.


Nevertheless, it's clear that Microsoft is taking on new heights in the cross-platform development and the future looks bright for the new .NET framework. The company’s giant leap towards open source and cross-platform support have been met with a positive response by developers and that’s a good sign for the upcoming release of .NET Core, which is scheduled for mid-June.



The full survey, which features insights around IDE preferences, lightweight code editors, reporting, command line tooling, package managers, XAML, mobile hardware, and more is available here.