Microsoft will have you believe that Visual Studio .Net and the .Net Framework are so well designed and easy to use that any developer should be able to get started from the day they get their copy.
With over 200 educational book titles already published on the technology, there is certainly no shortage of resources available. But for those organisations that want their in-house developers to really get on top of the technology there are training courses already in the works among Microsoft's training partners.
One such partner is Aspect Computing, the education division of which has been focused on Microsoft development tools since 1995. The propeller-heads at Aspect have been studying .Net very closely for about a year, and all are impressed with the stability of the framework.
Aspect has thus put together courses on the subjects of ASP.Net, C# and now VB.Net. Doug O'Hara, Aspect's manager of education services, said the company plans to increase the number of .Net-related courses it offers in the coming months as Microsoft releases more official curricula. "These classes are already filling up fast," he said. "People are clamouring to get in."
O'Hara said developers will look to training courses because Microsoft's most recent development product, Visual Basic 6.0, did not focus on object-orientated programming, unlike the new one. "It's quite a radical difference in style and approach," he said. "There are big changes in the way it is written, which should help developers move toward an object-orientated world.
"Most programmers will find .Net a significant improvement on Microsoft's existing technology," O'Hara said. "I wouldn't necessarily be trading in all of your existing investments, though. It's not a magic bullet - just a powerful step forward."