What is .NET?

Since 2002, .NET has held its ground as one of the most advanced frameworks available. With cross-platform capabilities and the opportunity to write .NET apps in a number of languages, there’s a reason so many developers choose to power their applications with .NET

I’m new here…tell me about .NET for beginners

.NET (or dot net) is a free, open-source developer platform. In other words, it’s a tool that developers can use to build applications for the web, mobile, desktop, games and Internet of Things (IoT). When you download .NET, you’re accessing the ability to translate your code into instructions that a computer can follow. Ultimately, you can use the program to build software in both the startup and enterprise worlds.

It was created by Microsoft in 2002, with several languages available for developers to use. Since then, Microsoft has gone on to release new implementations such as .NET Framework and .NET Core (we’ll get to those shortly).

Overall, .NET has earned its high popularity status in the developer community, with its usage only spreading as it continues to innovate the industry.

Let’s talk about the .NET Framework

.NET Framework is used to build and run apps specifically on Windows systems. It’s a part of the .NET platform and is the first implementation to be born out of .NET.

The framework contains a set of developer tools, programming languages and libraries that can be used to build applications, as well as websites and games. Since first being released in 2002, .NET Framework has undergone a number of updates to meet the evolving needs of the industry, with .NET Framework 4.8 being the current version.

Why do I keep hearing about .NET Core?

.NET Core is the newer, cross-platform version of .NET. In addition to Windows, it can also run on MacOS and Linux computers. It’s being praised for its cross-platform functionality and flexibility.

Basically, .NET Core is a complete rewrite of the .NET Framework to achieve that cross-platform goal. It provides a minimal core feature set, though developers can download additional features as library packages if they need them.

.NET languages: How to write apps

C# is the language most commonly used to write .NET applications – but it’s not the only one. Let’s take a look at the .NET programming languages developers will need to know to get stuck into this IDE.


A simple, object-oriented programming language. C# is mostly familiar to programmers familiar with C, C++ and Java. C# is an in-demand language right now because it’s easy to learn for developers that already know these languages. Plus, new tools and software are constantly being developed to meet the needs of the growing C# community.

Visual Basic (VB)

A Microsoft event-driven programming language and environment with a graphical user interface (GUI) that lets programmers alter code by dragging and dropping objects, and specifying their behaviour and appearance. Often used for in-house applications, VB offers reliability and scalability.


An open-source programming language for developers that want to write robust, high-functioning code – and who doesn’t? Minimal code is needed to build fast, reliable software, and F# has found its place in the data science and machine learning space.

What are the benefits of .NET?

.NET isn’t the trendiest of all tech stack contestants out there, but there are a few solid reasons why some of the world’s best developers are sticking with it.

  • .NET uses Visual Studio, which is still one of the most advanced IDEs (integrated development environments) in circulation.
  • Thorough self-documentation makes it easy for new developers to jump onto a project, and code can be re-structured without any impact on app functionality.
  • C# is a language that makes it easy to spot errors during the build – not once your product is up and running.
  • .NET is an Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) Module. That means it breaks down software into more manageable “chunks”, so it’s
    easier to test code and resolve any issues.

What applications can we build with .NET?

.NET supports a wide range of applications, so the technology has made its way into multiple industries. From gaming to healthcare, education, marketing, business and daily life, the potential is immense.

Most notably in the modern world, we’re living in, .NET has enabled the development of applications in IoT, AI, machine learning and big data.

Some of the applications we can build using .NET include:

  • Mobile, web & desktop apps
  • Cloud services
  • Games
  • Machine learning systems
  • Software redesigns
  • IoT apps
  • Internal business software

Can anyone use .NET?

Coders that already know C# are already off to a flying start. Even still, there are heaps of complex topics to navigate if you’re new to the framework. OOP, .NET Core, and the relation between the multiple languages are just some barriers to entry.

With the regular .NET updates and re-releases, lessons and advice can become outdated in a matter of months. For these reasons, .NET isn’t an overly beginner-friendly technology.

The good news is that .NET platforms are free to use! There are no licensing costs, so anyone can access languages, compilers and libraries for nothing.

To get the .NET platform onto your computer, download Visual Studio or the .NET SDK (software development kit).

Some of the major companies said to have .NET firmly in their tech stack:

  • OLO

Our Yolkers have this covered

Despite its relatively old age, .NET is a platform that continues to impress in terms of flexibility, scalability, accuracy and features. Our Yolkers are experts in .NET Core and .NET Framework, and a skilled offshore team can bring all the benefits of the program to your application.