Am I allowed to develop still in "Access"

Hi Guys

Lately, I'm getting very bothered by the question "is it fair to give an image as a developer and software solution company for small businesses and deliver them ms access applications in the time the world evolves so quickly and .net is leading the world etc..." I can say that I'm almost paranoid with this question.
My background is ms access and in the past two years I learned .net c# / MVC etc... in a school course, online, blogs and where not...
But I can still not decide and say "access, have a nice day !" just because this is something I know by hearth and yes it's easier and in order to switch to .net nobody will encourage winForm and if I start to develop web I need to get in depth of several languages and architectures which includes but is not limited to

Thorough c#
What else ??? Did I miss something ? Oh yea Angular - how dare am I .....

and this is without to mention that just to choose the right tools and libraries is a big headache for a .net developer and of course for someone which wants to join the .net world. For example one friend of me tells me Angular is a must and someone else tells me forget about c# node.js is so simple that ..... So this make me so confused that I cannot even start thinking where to start, and of course to mention that I don't have the time to play around with all available libraries and frameworks as I need to bring home something called "Bread".....
So if u ask me "why in the world do u want to develop .net if you get clients for ms access" ? Well, it's a good question but between us access is relative limited in case of user interface and abilities. Just as an example - "chat system" - I just done a chat system between application users on access, which I believe that in .net it would've take a fraction the time just for the simple reason because it can be done in the right way using sockets etc... So for this and similar situations I really wanna get to .net (not particular for the "polymorphism" feature :) but for a lot others )

Anyhow, if somebody which was or is in a similar situation can help me get to the right path I would appreciate it.


Joseph KrauszCEOAsked:
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Robert ShermanOwnerCommented:
If you're currently employed in a position where you're developing in Access and that job is relatively secure for the immediate future, you probably just need to start devoting some time to learning slowly on the side.   Work through some of the stuff on Microsoft's Virtual Academy regarding C# / MVC / EF development.   Take one of the smaller projects (or a subset of one) that you have developed or are developing in Access and try to mirror that project as a web-based .net application.  

It's really hard to say for certain which platform/environment/framework will guarantee employment, and I'll leave that up to others here to chime in with opinions, but I think going the .net route is still a safe choice in terms of there being work out there.

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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
Don't get caught up in the new-language-of-the-week game. Seems that every time I open one of the IT-related sites, there is a new hot-hot-hot web language that you simply must learn or else you'll be cast off into the great black void. Of course, the next week that new language is supplanted by another hot-hot-hot language, and the cycle continues.

Don't fall for it (and tell your buddy that Angular is a nice web framework, but it's used by about  .008% of websites as of July 2015).

Several years back I found myself in much the same situation as you, and I decided to learn VB.NET. It was very close to my skill set (or so I thought), and I figured it would be a fairly easy transition. It was not, of course, and I floundered for more than year learning the basics of VB.NET - but I'm glad I took the time to learn, and I now find myself doing a LOT more .NET work than Access work (and it opened doors that were previously not available to me as an Access-only developer). If I were going to do it all over, I'd think I'd concentrate on C# more than VB, but otherwise it was a very good move for me, and I'd encourage you to learn from my example.

With all that said ...

It's nearly impossible to say what language will make you employable in the future, but learning the .NET languages can never hurt, and most brick-and-mortar businesses are very comfortable with applications written in .NET. If you're a VBA developer, then some of those skills will translate over to the .NET world (although you're still in for a lot of learning). Python has also made big inroads over the past few years.

If you're interested in web-based/mobile then Java, ASP.NET, PHP or C/C++/C# would probably be a good fit. Of those, I'd say that either ASP.NET or PHP would probably be the easiest to learn. Of course, you'll also need a solid background in HTML and Javascript to write effective web apps, and you'll also find that at time those frameworks (like Angular) can help you get up and running more quickly than starting with a blank slate.
Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)President / OwnerCommented:
One of the things to keep in mind is that "being a developer" is more about process than it is about a language.   Are you able to solve problems, think logically, and generate a solution?

 Secondarily is you question; Do I have enough tools in my toolbox to do what I want to do.  I would agree with the comments already made, if your going to learn anything, .Net is not a bad place to start.  

 You can do C# or VB and like Scott, you'll find more opportunities available.

 Access is quite mature and to a certain extent, dying out.  The main reason for that is while there will always be a need for a desktop/department level database tool, other tools like .Net and SQL Server have come a long way towards the desktop, which now make them much more attractive and accessible.  There's also frameworks out there, like Dev Express that make the challenge easier.

 I think you'll still find room to work in Access for a while yet, but only because so many Access Developers have left it behind already.   Access is where COBOL was a few years back; not much work available, but hardly any COBOL developers around any more, so they made out well.

 But Access is definitely dying out as a development tool (and to be fair, it never was marketed by Microsoft as one).

Having developed Microsoft applications since the early 1990's, I will say the following:

Recently Microsoft showed disdain, yet again to its developers with Window 8.x.  It is clear the company does not care about its developers' or the time they have invested in learning MS technology. I have done some Access apps and a bunch of VB4-6 and 97 (if I recall numbering system right).  Then I went ahead and learned VB.NET well--which was not without pain. I switched from ASP to ASP.NET and followed along. It has become apparent to me that although there was once a group at Microsoft that understood backwards compatibility and that the developers really are the bread and butter for Windows (no apps, no one wants Windows), that group seems to have been replaced or out voted by a group that says, "to heck with the old and any investments our devs have made, let's break whatever may come in order to put out the new stuff."  That being said, and though I have made over a 100 applications in VB.NET/Winforms, and like programming it, the future of Windows Forms looks shaky and limited.  The push is to a world of glorified HTML and HTML5/CSS3 where there are canvases and everything can be done in a browser window or as an application.  People seem to be choosing tablets and portable devices for the majority of their computer time (except in offices of course).  These factors make it hard to know what to do as a developer, but looking into IOS and Android Apps is probably a wise idea.  For the rest of the applications,  there are many languages, such as Java (cross platform, but no where near as simple as VB or VB.NET or Access), php for web apps, Python for simple scripting and more.  
There are other cross platform capabilities like QT+ and lots of other things to program with.  Of course learning anything new is painful and takes time. If you are making money with Access and Microsoft is still rolling it out, I'd probably keep at it, but I'd also broaden my horizons, and try to learn HTML5/CSS3, or some technology that generates it.  Personally, I think Java stinks in terms of complexity compared to VB.NET and C# also is more complex to work with, needlessly IMO.  However I can translate from C# to VB.NET as needed.  With so many devices of so many different resolutions to support and such, I think the days of WinForms are numbered. However, I can't imagine trying to work on a spreadsheet on my iPad in stead of a desktop, or Droid phone or whatever.  

I feel your pain and it is difficult for a developer to predict the future and no what to invest in, in terms of learning.  Again, broaden your abilities beyond just Microsoft.  DotNet is not taking over the whole world, but it is popular.  Who knows, Microsoft may just up and dump it too when it suits them with no regard to their developers....that is what bothers me most.
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