Software developers have often been asking this question : From career & future prospects perspective, which is better? Is it Java or is it .Net? This article aims to answer this question so that there is no confusion. The answers you will typically find on the Internet will be very biased because most of them are contributed by hard-core Java and .Net fans. This article will be 100% neutral; which is what I promise. We'll invite views from our fellow engineers who've been working in Java or .Net so that we've an enriched discussion.
Java Vs. Net : Which is better?
The first question we need to ask - can these two be compared? A 30,000 ft. view of these two will tell you that Java is a programming language (generally speaking) while .Net is a framework. .Net, as you might know, is a platform that supports several languages viz. C#, VB.Net, F# and others. A framework is nothing but a pool of ready-made functionality available at your fingertips when you are writing code using that framework.
Those who are interested in deeper analysis may perform search on the Internet to find out which among the two scores over the other for specific aspects. But generally speaking; both Java and .Net are quite robust and have found applications world-wide in very complex projects.
Okay, which is easier to learn?
Unfortunately - there is no clear answer to this question. It all depends on you. I had a friend who could do Permutation/Combination & Probability related questions easily in his mind and I could never make any sense out of those questions. If you asked him; he'd say Probability questions are easiest to answers and they were the ones 'to skip' for me. Similarly, some of you will find Java easier to understand and master while others will think it's easier to code in C# than anything else in the world.
Career Opportunities In Java Vs. .Net
This is where things get interesting. The hiring scenario these days requires you to know multiple things. For example, you'll rarely see job openings that say "Java Programmers Required" or ".Net Programmers Required". You'll typically find job openings that require J2EE, JSF for those who know Java and C#, SQL server and other MS tech for .Net folks. The point to note is that - you will have to keep learning and keep improving your knowledge no matter which career path you choose.
Both Java developers and .Net developers have been in demand for the last few years and I don't see that changing in near future. No one can predict which technology would continue to be hot in coming months and years.
Which is better for future?
Instead of worrying about that; why not make yourself future-proof? Like I just said, no one can predict the future in the technology domain; because things change here every single minute. As a software engineer / developer - you should *not* stick to any specific language; yet master one that you are currently working on. Let me make it very clear : You need to be master of at least one and jack of several! Any programming language is just a set of tools that help you implement logic. If you hone your logic skills; you should be able to get comfortable with any programming language, tool or framework within short time. I've seen that happen with few of my ex-colleagues.
Start with any - and learn it with all the interest and try to be excellent. If you pick up Java; don't hate .Net and vice-versa. If your current job demands C# and ASP; learn it. If you are just starting out with a big IT company that has not told you which profile they will assign to you; it just doesn't matter.
Ultimately - you'll end up becoming managers:
...and then you'll will play with excel, power-point and outlook. No more 'coding' will be required from your part and all you will do is monitor your team's performance. A solid understanding of the technology will definitely help.
Ultimately - there's no clear and direct answer to the question we started with. Pick up any and get started. You will know what decisions to make in your career. Of course, CrazyEngineers will always be with you to help you make decisions.