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Open Source & Dotnet, Which Way To Go?

One balmy Tuesday morning i sat talking with a friend at Uniben when suddenly my mobile phone beeped. i looked at the screen it was a Lagos land line cos' i saw the Lagos land line extension. I picked the call and there came a greeting to which i responded. The husky voice asked me if i were the one that applied for the post of web programming in their company, i said yes. Then came the series of questions that made me really wonder why most company in Nigeria prefer Dotnet programmers than otherwise.

My caller asked me if i was good in SQL I told him that i was good in MySQL, he said 'No we are looking for SQL scripters'. I personally know that SQLs generally whether MySQL or MSSQL have the same syntax except for some minor differences and you could convert one to another using pre-made tools. Secondly he asked me what programming language i use i told him either python or php; he said 'No we are looking for Dotnet programming C# or VB'. Now i could use C# but because he was like I do not want anything beside microsoft platforms, anyway we would get back to you ' and that was it.

So coders of all languages in the house, i ask you this one question for the benefit of those who are yet to stand where we are standing now, should we for the fact that majority of Nigerian sites run on asp or aspx, limit ourselves to just learning the Dotnet technology or should we learn both Dotnet technology and the opensource technology?

It would be share madness to try to learn both technologies and to make matters worst some companies require you to have mix of these technologies and yet the give you chicken feed in the name of salary.

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Hey kobojunkie i would like to correct the impression you got that i classified C# as an Open source; what i mean is that i do code in c# as well. I have seen an interesting issue coming out of this thread such as some learning of what Open Source actually mean and i appreciate the guy that took his time to give that lengthy interesting lecture.

People generally think that open source simply means you spend lengthy time coding with too little money coming in but i will tell you a secret i have discovered with this open source guys.

i am going to quote what an open source evangelist said,'The best people in any field are not motivated by money, rather it is a means of settling scores.The best people are motivated by passion'; qoute by Eric Raymond,you could check this out at YouTube site.The author of Facebook was a Harvard student before he developed the Network site. That has always been his passion and he dropped out of Havard to pursue his dream of using an open source language to build a social site. Today Facebook records over 100 million members and is rated the second largest social site next to MySpace. People are doing a lot of things with the open source language and are generating a hell lot of revenue. I think the problem with us is that we do actually know the technology to do something very useful but the problem is that we lack idea of what to do with this technology. I am having similar problem until i learned that developers also do serious research on the net to get ideas of what to do with the technology they have learned.

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@logica

You have posted on this forum 99times, I was just wondering wot ur 100th post will be. Let it be the post of the century

@logica

Yes I agree with you, money is not everything. But still money is something and sincerely u need money to runs things, in as much as we shudnt be modelled after M$, guy we need money ooooo

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enough 2 keep u from starving.

well, yes u don't make MS kind of money, but do u really have 2 be modeled after MS? open-source is charity-oriented. programmers should lean more towards improving the lot of everybody rather than being the next billionaire.

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Open source or closed source. I am now ready to give my sincere views on this matter

First the GNU licence properly puts things in place such that u can't take open source and sell it as kobojunkie said. In actual fact doing dt will means breaking the law. I think we all should read that licence before using any software licenced under GNU GPL

Next I have been using linux for a while and my company just embraced CentOS, I can't remember us paying a dime for that. Companies that has made considerate money from open source made the bulk of such money from support. Like a friend of mine puts it, open source is free only if you are a good developer, and by good he meant good. For example I took the source code of Mozilla Firefox and sincerely the only thing that encourages me to go on looking at the code is the fact that I need to modify firefox a little to suit some needs, in other words, I would have prefer to buy firefox (or pay for support) than sit down with the code myself.

Also, I believe Nigerian developers can also contribute their own quota to the software world by open-sourcing some of their less-codes. For example I wrote a plugin for netbeans and I open source it because I believe even I want to sell it, who will buy it, but by making it open source, my friends can contribute to it and we can together make it bigger. Open source is not usually a rip off. If you have developed a good software, some people will like to pay for support instead of sitting down with the code themselves.

I can name some companies that have made considerable money via open source. One of them is RedHat. Although RedHat linux is free, if you order for the CD, they charge for the CD and the shipping(which is in accordance with GNU GPL), If you also are a low level user, you can pay for support, and this company is quite successful and made a name for itself.

Another company is MySQL, their modus operandi is this, release a community version, let the open source community find the bugs and fixes, then this version after stabilizing it, they release it to the other community of users who pay for support. By so doing everyone is happy, the power users don't pay but they contribute, the low level users pay, but they pay for a software that have been tested and proved by quite a large array of power users.

The third company I will mention here is Sun. Although they just started their open-source campaign, their approach is very similar to that of MySQL described above.

Asterics PBX is another company, the software is free, but for you to be able to utilize it to its full capacity, u might need to attend their trainings and boot camps.

I can go on and on. But the bottom line is Open Source is not actually free, it just means the source code is available, and that also does not mean you can't make money from it, it also does not mean others can pick your code and make money from it. NO.

Finally this is my view, Open Source or Proprietary, As long as everyone is happy, the job gets done and clients keep coming back, who cares?!

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How much money is ACTUALLY made from support??

@Poster, Since you are so good with PYTHON, is it possible for you to put together a sort of thread to teach those of us who would like to learn the language please?? I am ok with .NET and Java but I need to work on a PYTHON project and figured that someone who already has C# under his sleeves would be best to learn from.

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most of the money made in the open-source paradigm comes from support.

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I am glad to here all your views on this one question, by Open Source i mean all scripting languages that are used for web application development. I am good in PHP,PYTHON, and C# as well but the the Nigerians view this open sources guys as doll chaps but i want my friends in the house to know that time will come when there will be an Open source reveolution in Nigeria and majority of these companies that shun open source will embrace when the look at what they have to pay as licence to get a single software.Well in the main time it is still good to get your fingers burned on both paltform.

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There will be a paradigm shift soon.

The reason why M$ thrives in Naija dt much is because dose that have money to setup business have it so much dt dy can afford M$ products, Naija has not been a good ground for up-coming businesses, but like I said things are changing, The cost of Oracle licence is 40k USD, why will I use dt for an upcoming business when MySQL is free or at least 5k USD if I want to buy.

But for now my guy make I advice u, go learn .NET if u no sabi am. I am a java programmer and I have to take tym out 2 learn a little C#, although I have not been able to use it for anything meaningful but I know whenever duty calls I am prepared.

And anoda thing, although php sucks, its synonymous to web development so learn it too.

And if you like google, learn python

my 2cents

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@Poster, What do you mean by Open Source or .NET?? Open Source simply means available for free download to the public. Open source applications can be written in .NET as well and there are hundreds of those online. So forgive me if I do not understand why you ask which way to go. Do you mind expounding on your point here??

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I think programmers should not limit themselves to any particular scope. One has to be knowledgeable in every applicable sphere (whether open source or .NET). You know, that may mean knowing at least a language in each sphere. This would enable a programmer to be versatile and be able to work in different environments. So I think programmers should try to maintain a solid knowledge base in both open source and .NET because at different times, different skills would be required of you and a programmer is likely to work in different environments at different points in his career. It ain't easy, but I think these are things programmers (and aspiring ones) have to face in their careers.

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simple:

you want to spend money on licenses and software (and most importantly, have the money to do so)? dot net. r u an up and coming chap who has no money but have a wonderful idea that u really want to get out there? open source.

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first of all, you have to understand that nigeria is a microsoft country. can u count the number of companies/orgs that are not using windows OS? to thrive as a software developer here in nigeria i think you just have to give whoever is payin whatever he wants. the other alternative is create ur own niche. thats not gonna be easy

and who says you can't learn both open source and .net? there is hardly anything that is easy. programming seam to be the hardest of things these days cos every IT company wants to be the boss by remixing and/or realising new technologies

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