Wishing Bug-free Code to Everyone!
It's with quite a bit of regret that I must tell you that I won't be the About Visual Basic site guide starting next month. This will be my last blog. It's been real and it's been fun!
I originally decided to become the About Visual Basic guide after I retired from a career writing code and managing other programmers. I started using Visual Basic with version 1.0. I knew immediately that this new way of writing code would be a world class revolution.
Unfortunately, the company I worked for at the time had other ideas. Top management was married to IBM. They spent millions on IBM technologies like IMS, token-ring networks, PL/1, and OS/2 that became tombstones along the way in IBM's horrible and prolonged death march. (Corporations, unlike people, can die and then come back to life. That's what happened to IBM.) The company I worked for even made major investments in Lotus, Novell, WordPerfect and an IMS based code generation technology called Pacbase that was recommended by their consulting partner, Arthur Anderson.
It is difficult to imagine a longer and more consistent string of completely wrong technology choices!
All the while, I tried in vain to convince top management that Personal Computers, Visual Basic, and the Internet were really the future. I conducted the very first Internet demo the President of my company had ever seen. He told me I was wasting my time. Looking back on it now, I really don't know how I survived.
The bottom line was that when I retired, I had a driving need to get back to the technology foundation that made sense to me: Personal Computers, Visual Basic, and the Internet. I became the About Visual Basic guide and I've been writing about it for a decade now. Along the way, I also co-authored a book about it:
I wish I could tell you what the future of Visual Basic will be, both here at About.com and in the world. But my crystal ball is foggy on those. Change is in the air in both. The only thing that is completely clear is that they won't be the same. Windows 8 is such a dramatic departure from anything Microsoft has done before that it's almost unrecognizable. It will be fascinating to see whether it will be a breakthrough or a train wreak.
Visual Basic continues to be a great development environment - I think the best environment - for the jobs it has always done well:
- Desktop applications
- ASP.NET server based applications
- Office automation
It's not so clear that it will be the best answer for the new world of mobile applications, cloud based computing, and game programming. In fact, it probably won't be. Microsoft seems to want to pretend that all computing can still be wrapped up in a huge package labeled "Windows". IBM died because they could not see out of their own internal hall of mirrors. I wish Microsoft the best ... but they may be dying of the same disease.
In any case, it's time for me to conquer new worlds too. I've often described myself as a novelist trapped in a techie's body. Maybe you will see a novel with my name on it someday. If you do -- buy it!! But until then ... may your code always run flawlessly the first time.