So far so good, I have come across many applications from many different companies that have hired me for converting their older applications into .NET applications (vb.net or c#) and I have to say, so far so good.
I am of course translating everything into vs2005 version. I feel that going straight to vs2005 from the deprecated Visual Basic 6.0 makes things easier, as you see the improvements right away on refactoring,
code placement etc. Rewriting the app sometimes involves a lot of time dissecting what is happening and nothing slows you down more then unreadable code.
This is due to the fact that many developers have their own style, even though there may be corporate policies in place, they tend to still keep a certain of their own "style". This coupled with the fact that each person has their own settings for any environment *tab indenting etc...)...well you get the point.
Next up is an issue that was rectified in this version of VS, which is the debug functionality of VB 6.0. This is a god send for those like me that rely a lot on run through testing. I prefer setting the text or code as I think it, then work out the bugs through intellisense etc..
As well, sometimes the logic is off by a single digit, which I may or may not remember at the time, if the Id in the database had been started at 1 or 0, depends on the implementation of that company at that time.
Rewriting a whole application from scratch is sometimes easier then trying to reuse all the code from a previous version, however if the conversion is simple enough that you keep 3/4 of the code written, this is better, as any developer coming back into the code will find themselves much easier to continue where they left off.
I thoroughly enjoy using the 2005 version as well, as the advanced refactoring, lets you find better placement for your blocks of code or "snippets" as they call it. These can be extracted and replaced everywhere using regular expressions from your IDE, to find and replace bits of code you have now decided to move or alter or even rename ( based on company policy).
The next thing on the table to be improved was the regions. These regions had been improved a la UltraEdit a tool I use profusely as a web developer. You can now enter regions inside methods, making things very neat and tidy. Again reading code to find an error or bug should not take you a day, with proper regions and comment systems in place
(TODO etc..) you can find ,replace ,search for where your bug is causing a crash.(ie- Time out error, please contact your admin....)
Of course this is a windows tool, a pretty encapsulated tool I find worth the money for development in any environment, more so then previous version. Any developer should have their versions upgraded if they can.
To finalize , there is an integrated web server for web development, even if you don't have IIS installed, which can really help you, but remember that just because you made it work on your machine, you may need more tweaking to make it work in an intranet environment with security settings set to high(windows2003).
As well, a free express version of SQL2005 comes with it, which again avoids having to install your own MSDE version as before when you wanted to debug any application at home etc..
Until they come out with 2008 version, I will keep using this version
and learning new tricks to help me with my development (book called Visual Studio 2005 Hacks- Tips & tricks from O'reilly)
Until next time ....