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I have a background in computers and have programmed for about 7 years. I switched careers, and became a Technical Writer, and now think I should jump ship again, back to being a programmer.

Of course the natural course of action, in which I can spend, say two whole years, learning to code, might not be available any more.

I am keen on ASP.NET as its the language that most products at my company are written in.

I am sure this has been asked before, but here I go: where do I begin?

I would really appreciate some practical advise.

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closed as off-topic by gnat, MichaelT, jmo21, Bart van Ingen Schenau, GlenH7 Sep 27 '13 at 14:55

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Are you thinking about switching roles in the same company? Or do you plan on updating your skills in your spare time and then try to find job elsewhere? –  Tyanna Mar 2 '11 at 19:13

5 Answers 5

If you decide to delve into ASP.NET I would honestly suggest going into ASP.NET MVC. This isn't a statement to say Web Forms are pointless, its just that with MVC you'll get a better appreciation for the stateless nature of the web.

Granted, the learning curve is more deeper than Web Forms for MVC, but you'll be working with the stateless HTTP protocol rather than against it like Web Forms do with abstraction (ViewState) also knowing as "lying" ;)

Your current company is probably using Web Forms so you have no choice but to pick it up. However you'll have a easier time teaching yourself ASP.NET MVC in your own time compared to someone who's already got some Web Forms experience who is trying to get into ASP.NET MVC as they are both very different.

It will be quite beneficial should you decide to look for other roles as I have seen lots of job roles for ASP.NET Developers listing MVC as a desirable.

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I suggest you start at the official Microsoft asp.net site for learning about the web platform.

It is full of tutorials for both ASP.NET Web Forms and ASP.NET MVC.

However, they are both built on top of the .NET framework and to use them you need to learn one of the different .NET languages (there are many, but the most popular ones are C# and VB.NET, though there is also a fairly popular functional language F#, though it is less used for web development).

You will need to decide which language you wish to learn and pick up good programming book on that.

What level of book are you looking for? A good set of books, giving a gentle introduction to many topics is the Head First series. The C# book is not bad, and you should also look into the design patterns book if you are serious about the craft.

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ASP.Net isn't a language but rather more of a platform where C#.Net or VB.Net would be a language used on the server-side part of things. Perhaps you could transition to being a tester for a little while to get the hang of the systems your company has and then become a developer for a path that may work.

Any general starting point may or may not be useful as for example if you have a CMS like Sitecore which is built on .Net there is more XSLT than C# used in some cases and then there are all the Sitecore types and structures that aren't going to be part of a generic ASP.Net tutorial I'd think.

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The first thing that you have to do is to get a good book about ASP.NET and thoroughly study it. This will provide you with a step by step guidance on how to create ASP.NET applications. The second thing is to dig into ASP.NET sites and take a look at the samples, guidance and reference sections. One more source of information is the ASP.NET forums that contain vast amount of answers to a variety of questions.

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I suggest going for an online .NET training course. It is the best option as you can improve your skills in your spare time. Talk to an online trainer, they can suggest you better options.

Recently I have taken a .NET course at PRO IT Online Training. I am very much satisfied with the trainer. Talk to them or put an inquiry to them. Good luck!

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