I have a dream...

Posted by Phil Weber on August 15, 2003

Julia Lerman laments the VB.NET stigma and C# elitism being perpetuated by the trade press. In particular, she refers to this editorial in asp.netPRO magazine. I found that editorial troubling as well. In it, Elden Nelson writes:

Whether it's just or not, C# developers make more money, get work more easily, and enjoy more prestige than VB developers.

He then recommends that VB.NET developers learn C# at their earliest opportunity, presumably to cash in on the cachet.

Now, I don't disagree that it's a good idea for VB developers to learn C#. But I do object to asp.netPRO's tacit endorsement of language bigotry. What if the editorial had said:

Whether it's just or not, white developers make more money, get work more easily, and enjoy more prestige than minority developers

(Or, as one of the commenters on Julia's blog suggests, "...male developers make more money, etc. than female developers")? If the situation is 'not just,' as Nelson implies, why isn't he working to change it?


Posted by Anonymous on October 29, 2003:

Oh my gosh…. Equating programming language expertise to race and gender! So, VB developers should be recognized as a protected class? Should we have affirmative action quotas (“you must employee at least 30% VB coders”)?

Doesn’t your argument apply equally well to any technology? (“It’s so unjust that nobody will pay top dollar for your Fortran skills. We’ll work to change the bigotry. It would be insensitive to ask you to change.”)

Coddle away. In the meantime, I’ll be keeping up with new technology, and landing better jobs.

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