I have been playing around with programming for a long time, and VB6 is my very first language to do project for real customer. At that time, the only option of IDE to be used was of course Visual Studio.
When it came to the era of Dot Net Framework, class and object got inside the picture and I started to explore C# programming (which is more Object Oriented if compare to VB.Net). Still I was using Visual Studio.
What I don’t like about Visual Studio is that: first the cost, second it installs a lot of things that I don’t want (or don’t understand). So I started to search for an alternative which I found SharpDevelop. Actually SharpDevelop is purposely for C# programming, however you can also code VB.Net using it (even F# in the newest version). As Dot Net evolves from 1.0 to 3.5, SharpDevelop is developed into 3 different version: 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. What’s so great about this little program is that: firstly it is open source and free, secondly it is small (relatively compare with Visual Studio). When you install SharpDevelop, it doesn’t like installing Visual Studio, make you feel like upgrading your windows.
Well bad things for SharpDevelop (my personal opinion) is that the reporting system doesn’t really fit my requirement. But since it is free and small, easy to install and uninstall, I think every C# and VB.Net programmer should take a look and give it a try (It can open project save in Visual Studio).