I love .NET and love C# language. C# is probably one of the best language I ever programmed with. I think that .NET is my comfort zone. Web technologies as ASP.NET MVC, Web API, NancyFX are great. But, as I said long time ago server side development is not enough to create cool web apps.
non-trivial applications requiring significant developer effort to maintain, where most heavy lifting of data manipulation and display falls to the browser.
As might know from my earlier post we've chosen ASP.NET MVC to build our HTTP API on. That worked well at the beginning, but later decision were taken to move out the API to Node.js platform. So, another team started to work on new API project, basically implementing existing API interfaces from ASP.NET MVC in Node.js.
Being wisely architected, our front-end did not have major ASP.NET MVC dependencies. We did not use any specific features (like Razor) or anything else just in sake of minification of efforts during switching back-end platform. And I would say it worked really well.
How does it feel like?
So, I've started to work almost all the time for front-end having Sublime Text 2 + Chrome Developers Tools as IDE. It was a really unusual at the beginning, after many years in Visual Studio.
Besides the coding I have pleasure of new infrastructure. Setting up .NET solution, containing ~80 projects, long build process, setup of MS SQL and re-staring of IIS.. All of that made a lot of idle time, read wasted time. I'm in idle, during waiting till build is finished.. or waiting 30 sec while IIS update AppDomain if I rebuild and press F5. It easily can take up to 2 hours per working day just wasted.
Node.js + MongoBD environment is extremely easy to setup, amazingly fast to work with. I'm restaring the application in 1 sec, just by stopping node process and running it again. With a tools like nodemon, you don't even need to do that. Just save the code and after a sec, press F5 in browser to test it. All of that are increases general developers happiness.
Even though, Backbone.js code and Node.js code are completely different stuff, having the same language both front-end and back-end is great thing. In particular it minimizes the language context-switching then you do coding. It's possible to apply similar patterns and practices both ends.