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“But you need to master HTML for that, don’t you?”

I was talking with a guy the other day about choosing ASP.NET MVC over ASP.NET web forms. I told him why I think ASP.NET MVC is better (I believe it’s the way to go if you’re a .NET web developer) and he, in turn, tried to throw at me reasons of why not use ASP.NET MVC.

This conversation is legit and it’s been going on since the very beginning of the ASP.NET MVC project. However, there are a few things which are NOT legit in this conversation.

One of them is the sentence from the title: “But you need to master HTML for that, don’t you?”. I’m sorry people, but yes, you should know HTML pretty good when developing ASP.NET MVC apps. But guess what, you should know your HTML even when developing ASP.NET web forms applications! or when developing PHP, Ruby on Rails, Django, Seaside or whatever web development framework you’re using.

If you depend on Visual Studio’s visual designer to create your application HTML markup then stop now and go learn some HTML and CSS. Designers are there to help you (even though they tend to do the opposite) and they’re not there to replace your required skills!

Being a web developer without knowing HTML is like being a carpenter without knowing the difference between screws – you can build beautiful chairs but they might break apart very quickly.

So people, arguing if ASP.NET web forms or ASP.NET MVC is the right way to go is great, but as a .NET web developer you owe yourself (and your team) to know:

  • C#/VB.NET
  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • CSS

These are fundamentals, they are NOT nice-to-know technologies!

All the best,

Comments (2) -

Canada James Sheldon

I think you could take this a step further and argue that developers should at least have a basic understanding of how the inter actual works from a HTTP protocol perspective.


United States Alexander DiMauro

I agree 100%. No, make that 150%! As a web developer, I stayed away from .NET because I just couldn't get into Web Forms. But, now I'm completely into ASP.NET MVC. I really think it's a GREAT framework. The fact that many Web Forms developers didn't know the basics, as you pointed out, was another thing that really turned me off, before MVC.

That being said, I was disappointed when the new Certification exams were MVC track. They just tacked it onto the Web Forms exam. So, big dilemma. Do I really have to go back and learn Web Forms now just to become MS Certified? Without a CS degree, not having certs, too, is tough. But I really don't want to waste my time learning Web Forms...I guess that I am one of the few who jumped straight into MVC.


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