Wednesday 30 March 2011

Why startups don't use .net

There have been several articles over the last couple of weeks about the usefulness of .net for startups. I will mention three:

* Did the Microsoft stack kill MySpace?
* Why we don't hire .net programmers
* Why Microsoft could kill your startup career

Even though our company is now several years old, our HQ is still located in an office facility that is mainly for startups. Well over the time we have had many companies, including Microsoft, Mozilla, IHTSDO and a few others, but most of the companies are startups. I recognize the same thing: I have not heard the word .net been used by any of the startups, yet. Would I hire a .net developer? I see no problem with .net, but also no significant value of having it on the resume. There are so many other parameters that are important.

I think the last article describes the problem best: Do large companies use their software engineers well enough? I think most have a problem here. A good software engineer is a serial decision maker, who writes down decisions about how things should be done in an automated way. Seen from the management POV, this is not a deterministic process, but a stochastic process, simply because the human mind is shaped by so many things, that influences the outcome. Many attempts have been made to improve the value generated by software developers, including agile software development processes, better ways to write specifications etc., but often these methods are confined within the software development department. If you want to get problems solved, for real, a larger part of the organization needs to be involved, thinking out-of-the-R&D-box must be allowed, and innovation must be rewarded.

Is there a correlation between having spent many years on .net, and not being a good choice for startup companies? It seems so. But it is not about the technology.


Unknown said...

Is there a correlation between having spent many years on .net, and not being a good choice for startup companies?
Definetly not. .NET, like Java, is more about patterns, delivering quality software. Most startups do GUI software, and thats a place where .NET isn't the best choice for. .NET is strong on the server and thats where only few startups target at. It's just a thing of the use case, nothing more.

Lars D said...

Most IT startups that I know, mainly write code for servers, including webservers.

Unknown said...

MySpace is worthless example because Facebook killed MySpace not ASP.NET. Like Google killed Yahoo and not Python killed Perl or something...

There are large amount of startups that are not Web Applications so you can't really see what is the technology behind an many websites set URL Rewrites and Server filters for Server Type responses to hide their identity.

So you can't check what x site uses?

.NET is least choice only because it's costs more than other solutions, that's all. This is the only reason why it is still not so popular.

Windows 2008 + Sql Standard Edition 2008 costs much more than Ubuntu Core with ProgressSQL which costs nothing.

Visual Studio Professional costs more than Eclipse that costs nothing.

Startups want to spend less money thus use cheaper solutions that may not be that different than expensive ones.

I don't know where your post came from and how title is related to the post itself.

I'm ASP.NET developer BTW

Soren said...

My opinion as a start-up participant:

1) It is about starting up - you want to start up asap, not spend the first month on negotiating software deals.

2) You don't get income before your software is there, hence you want to not spend anything. You have just quit your well-paid job to try out a new idea, but you still have to pay mortgages - it limits your will to invest.

On a side note: I also fail to see topic and post correlation :-)


Jonathan Levin said...

I honestly think its because of:
1) The price of the software
2) The salary of the developers
3) The mentality that comes with it

The third point is mentioned in this post.

Jake said...

stack exchange is a .Net company

George Birbilis said...

IT startups won't to spend as low as they can on infrastructure, that's why they usually go for Linux. Recently though with WebsiteSpark and Microsoft Platform Installer etc. things are getting more competitive from MS side (not targeting just the big corps with the big pockets that is)

Lars D said...

One guy gave me this remark on this topic: the documentation for a platform means a lot with regard to what kind of people will adopt a platform, and how they will use it. Good point. I don't know many programmers that know how to create plain-php-style program flow in c# web pages.