Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Follow the leader

First, some disclaimers.
  1. I work for Microsoft, on Microsoft Office Live
  2. I do not work on C#, VB.Net, or even in Developer Division (DevDiv)

Ok, on to the point. Jeff Atwood recently posted about some frustration he's dealing with regarding the differences between C# and VB.Net. Here's the article: C# and the Compilation Tax

I noticed something when I worked at GeoAge (How's that for link love to the company that had to lay me off?). We were a VB.Net shop, and I'm pretty sure they still are. I was a C# dev at heart. One thing that I hated about using both languages was that Intellisense was a lot better in VB than in C#. Autocomplete in particular saved me thousands of keystrokes a day at work.

Then I started playing with VS 2005. Turns out that in 2005, C#'s intellisense seemed to take a huge cue from VB, and we had equivalent completion, and intellisense.

I've developed a theory. The VB team focuses a lot of energy on making developing code easier, while the C# team devotes time to making the language more powerful. I think the C# team then capatilizes (one version back) on the work from the VB team. Probably under a lot of pressure from their customers, since they see how much more productive VB devs can be.

So, I expect that in the next version or two of VS, we'll see background compilation in C#, and see the My namespace make it into C#. Those are my predictions.

Just hold on Jeff, and hopefully the C# team will make you happy. Of course, by the time they do, the VB team will have some new thing that makes their devs more productive, so you'll be wanting more from the C# team. It's a vicious cycle, but I think it makes C# a better language, and the .NET platform stronger. If you can deal with being a cycle back in productivity.

Funny SR71 Blackbird story

Someone sent this out on the MS pilots alias today. Go read it, it's short, and pretty funny.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Office Live is having a contest! Win $10K

I'm not eligible, of course, even though I'm an Office Live customer, and own a small business. Guess that's just the price of being a MSFT'ie.

Anwho, here's the info on the contest:

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

If you're planning to use us an excuse to visit the Pac NW, better hurry

Courtney and I made a deal about a year ago. When we decided to take the job at MSFT, we agreed that we would site down one year later, and have a conversation. This conversation would revolve around whether or not we were happy living in the Seattle area.

Moving out here was a big change for us, and a particularly tough decision for Courtney, since she's never lived farther than 45 minutes away from her parents and grandparents. Obviously, we're more than 45 minutes away now.

A couple of weeks ago, the weather here changed. The sun came back out. You wouldn't believe the difference I noticed in Courtney's happiness level. I'm sure she saw the same in me. It's not like either of us was really pissed or anything, but we were both less cheerful than we're used to. This prompted us to start our discussion a couple of weeks early.

We've decided that we don't like living in the Pac NW, and that Microsoft isn't enough of a reason to stay here. It's actually a really tough decision for us, because both of us really enjoy working for MS (me more than Courtney). Both of us really miss our family and friends back in Florida, too, though.

Not to mention the financial burden of having a household in Florida and here, and our total inability to ever afford a house here (450k for a condo, anyone?). So, we're moving.

I'm trying to work a deal with my current team to let me work remotely, from Florida. This poses some challenges, not insurmountable (we do have a team in India and one in China, after all).

We will be moving no later than December, and we're hoping to move closer to August or September. It all depends on what happens with my current team, and with the feelers I put out for jobs at other teams in MS and other companies.

I'll keep you posted.