I'm evaluating some programming languages to learn instead of Microsoft .Net. I'm a software developer with more than 10 years of commercial software development experiences mainly in Microsoft .Net platform. I have worked both as employee and as freelancer. Now for some reasons I'm interested to learn something new other than Microsoft .Net. Some of reasons are:
Moving to a new company may need knowing new programming languages and development platforms
Getting a remote job or project will potentially lead me to learn something other than Microsoft .Net
My own start-up projects and custom software development projects may be done easier and more agiler with help of technologies like Node.js or Rails/Ruby.
I have a passion on Linux and .Net is not fully available on it yet by Jan. 2016.
Moving to a new city or to a new country needs me to have a broadest skill sets.
I need to do something new!
It's near a year that I'm trying to switch to Ubuntu and finding a good alternative to .Net. First thing first I liked to have .Net in Ubuntu but it is not complete yet and it may need few years to be fully available and adopted by the community. I did a technical comparison between Ruby, Python and Node.js but in realty I need to make attention to job market too. A good software development platform is a platform that has good community adoption and good salary too.
Along this journey I tried to get my hands dirty with my favorite platforms with help of quick starts. Quick starts are good points to learn programming languages. A typical quick start learns you how to setup the platform from scratch, how to develop a basic application with it and lets you get acquainted with concepts and tools. I started with my most loved technology Rails/Ruby. Tried to get a bit deeper on Rails but after a while suspected is it a better to learn something that already can be used in my projects? So tested Node.js a bit.
Last week I thought twice about priority number 1, moving to a new company. Major IT companies in the country that mostly are in banking, financial and government field prefer Java for their projects. Many of their projects are enterprise level and no surprise they prefer Java over other platform. So after getting hands dirty with Rails and Node.js I got Java installed in my machine and built a simple basic hello world with Java, Eclipse, Hibernate and Play. Play felt very similar to Rails which Rails itself felt similar to ASP.NET MVC.
Playing with Java showed me that Java is not very strange for a long term C# developer. This sense was common when trying Rails and Node.js specially when regarding with Web development. Rails, Play and ASP.NET MVC are very similar to each other as they are base on MVC pattern. In other hand C# and Java are very similar languages with similar internal structures. Also Node.js is not very un-familiar for developers with front-end development experiences. IDEs of all this platforms are not very different at root. Batteries and equivalent components exists.
After all I concluded that switching to platforms like Rails, Node.js, Java, Python and PHP is not a hard or time consuming task for .Net developers that have enough software development experiences. It may be reasonable to wait for a job position or a development project then getting more deeper with desired platform.