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Janki Mehta
Janki Mehta

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Why .NET is Poised for Massive Growth in 2024

The .NET development framework has been around for over 20 years now, first released by Microsoft in 2002. Over this time, it has evolved significantly from early versions like .NET 1.0 and .NET 2.0 to the latest iterations of .NET 6 and beyond. As the framework has matured and added new capabilities, more developers and businesses have adopted it for web, desktop, mobile, and cloud applications.

Looking ahead to 2024, Increasing demand for .NET development skills from both developers and employers is projected to continue increasing for several key reasons:

Cross-Platform Support

One of the biggest changes for .NET in recent years has been the shift to fully support cross-platform development. In the past, .NET was seen as tightly coupled to Windows. However, with .NET Core in 2016 and .NET 5 released in 2020, developers can now build .NET applications targeting Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android from the same codebase.

This cross-platform capability has opened up .NET to a much wider audience of developers who may have previously avoided it due to platform lock-in concerns. It also allows businesses using a variety of operating systems in their infrastructure to leverage .NET developers more easily. As more organizations adopt hybrid and multi-cloud environments, the cross-platform nature of modern .NET will drive greater demand.

Language & Framework Advancements

Microsoft has continued advancing the C# programming language as well as the core .NET framework. New features in C# like nullable reference types, async streams, and top-level statements make the language even more powerful and enjoyable to use.

The .NET framework itself has also gained capabilities like Hot Reload for faster development workflows, cloud-native support through ASP.NET Core, and better integration with Kubernetes, Docker, and containers in general. These ongoing improvements help ensure .NET remains highly productive and relevant for building modern applications.

Enterprise Application Demand

While startups and smaller companies continue fueling demand, bigger enterprises rely on .NET heavily as well. According to a 2017 survey, over 80% of Fortune 500 companies use .NET for at least some applications. Many core business systems at large banks, retailers, manufacturers, and other organizations were built on .NET decades ago and require ongoing support and enhancements.

As digital transformation initiatives accelerate across all industries, these organizations will drive extensive demand for .NET skills to modernize, migrate, and expand their mission-critical applications. Budgets for application development, maintenance, and DevOps are growing, and .NET has an established place within many major companies.

Rising Demand for Full-Stack Skills

Full-stack development combining both front-end and back-end skills is increasingly desirable for building complete applications. Companies want developers who can work with the entire tech stack rather than specialists in just one area.

With the introduction of Blazor in .NET 5, developers can now create rich web UIs using C#/Razor components that run in the browser with WebAssembly instead of traditional JavaScript frameworks. Blazor has the potential to reshape full-stack development by unifying client and server using a single language.

As the Blazor ecosystem matures, demand for .NET developers with complementary skills like C#, ASP.NET Core, and Blazor will grow substantially. Those with full-stack .NET backgrounds will be highly sought after.

Employment & Salary Outlook

The combination of increased adoption, ongoing enhancements, and rising demand across industries means the job prospects and earning potential for .NET developers remains strong.

According to data from Dice and other job sites, the number of .NET-related postings on Indeed increased by over 150% between 2017-2021. Average base salaries for intermediate and senior .NET positions typically range from $80,000 to $130,000 per year in the US. Many locations also have lower costs of living than tech hubs.

Long-term forecasts also indicate robust growth ahead. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9% increase in jobs for software developers through 2030, much faster than average. For experienced .NET professionals, job security and opportunities for career advancement or job-hopping should remain plentiful in 2024.

In summary,

with the platform's cross-platform flexibility, advancing language and features, entrenchment in major enterprises, rise of full-stack opportunities, and abundant job prospects, the overall demand profile of .NET development looks exceedingly bright as we head into 2024 and beyond. Strong professionals in the .NET ecosystem can feel confident about the continuing need and usage of their skills.

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