A couple days into training have given me some insight, and raised some red flags. One fear I have has to do with the ease of a person to go from developing client only code to developing web interfaces. The project I inherited has a control that really wished it was in a client app. It loads massive amounts of data into a nice little collapsing grid. Which on a desktop app, where you have but a couple of considerations for performance and stability would be nicely at home with the rest of your slapped together VB6 or VBA doodads. However putting a network into the picture, and the nature of the web, this control falls well short of being web worthy. Then if we take into consideration the simplicity of many other database fronteds that exist on the web in a wonderfully simple to use format. Then add to that the availability of actually creating and managing a fat web client with JS, and the whole thing seems so 1991. It reminds me of this VRML chat room I once visited… you get the picture.
So I guess I can complain all I want, but as one of my coworkers pointed out, there needs to be a solution or it is just whining. I admire MS hopping on the bandwagon with their patterns and practices with Enterprise Library. I really thing that taking what they have there and customizing it to fit your business is the way to structure against such problems, but it all comes down to coders not being lazy, and having proper code review in place.
As far as .Net .vs Zend? I have seen a couple things I would like to see in Zend Studio. The fact of the matter remains, I prefer control over being hand fed. I have to agree with Michael over at WebDevRadio and Marcus Whitney at Pro PHP that it really is a different tool, with a different focus. It is less about the language, and more about the tool. It is like the difference between being a painter or a printer. There may be a measure of art to whatever you are doing. You accomplish similar things in different ways. Depending on if you take yourself seriously, you will prefer one over the other, because one will be art to you.