I gave a presentation yesterday to a packed room of students and faculty of the Univeristy College Dublin School of Computer Science and Informatics. I love speaking with student audiences - they ask the most insightful questions, don't pull punches, and (in Ireland anyway) typically come from non-.NET backgrounds.
I know the story: I come from a Java background myself. Actually, it was C++ as an undergrad, and then Java with a thin veneer of C++ (to do 3D graphics) in grad school.
It's always refreshing to hear the different perspectives, and comments both to my blog and straight to my in-box are always open.
In this presentations, I think the technology kinda speaks for itself. And Microsoft is long overdue for something like the Express Editions of Visual Studio, so that students and new .NET developers have a powerful and freely available development environment.
Yesterday we did past, present and future of .NET, and focused on aspects of the technology of particular interest to the UCD Computer Science department - web dev and mobile device development. Here are the slides, if you'd like to see them.
If you haven't explored .NET before, and don't have Visual Studio 2005 at hand, I highly recommend you download the lightweight Express Edition in the flavour of our choice, and let me know what you think.
My thanks to Sean Murphy and Liam Murphy from UCD CS for making the event possible!