(Editor’s note: This is the first blog post by Chris Madsen, who will be writing on the .NET Developments blog from time to time. Madsen is a consultant who programs in Visual Basic and Visual Studio 2005. Her first few posts will cover the ups and downs of migrating from VS 2003 to VS 2005; she’ll also write about some of the Visual Studio 2005 features that surprised her. Welcome aboard, Chris!)
The other day I got the latest edition of Visual Studio magazine in the mail. Along with it came a glossy, full-color pirate’s map. Evidently, that’s how Microsoft thinks of Visual Studio 2008 — “made for the likes of developers, and other scoundrels.”
I know the calendar says 2008, but in the real world of developers, it’s barely 2005. And I’m more a captain of a leaky little fishing boat than I am a pirate. It takes everything I have to get my work out the door on time. I upgrade my tools (such as Visual Studio) when I can’t live without a new feature, not when I get glossy maps in the mail.
I’m not alone: I still see plaintive questions begging for help with VB 6 apps, and with upgrading to VB .NET. I’ll leave it to others to reveal all the cool new stuff in VS 2008. I’m going to concentrate on Visual Studio 2005, including the woes of upgrading from VS 2003.
Whenever I run across a juicy bit, I’ll let you know. These are the things they never tell you, the information that’s written between the lines in the documentation, the stuff they leave out. It’s the stuff you find after opening a hundred Google links, buried in the answer to the answer to the answer to a question on some obscure site.
Who is this “they” who never tells me stuff? I’ll leave it up to you to decide.
I program mostly in Visual Basic .NET, so that’s what I’ll be talking about. I work almost exclusively with WinForms, and I’ve done a lot of work using Access, Word, and Excel in .NET apps. I love to write macros to make my life easier. I am a consultant with clients in Florida, Massachusetts and Maine. Just to keep things interesting, I live across country from all of them, in Washington State. So I might throw in some tidbits about telecommuting and consulting. Let me know if you are interested.
I’m sure I’ll write about some things you already know. Maybe they’ll make you smack your head and exclaim, “What sort of idiot is she?” But I figure if it wasn’t obvious to me, it wasn’t obvious to someone else, and that’s who the tidbit is for. I’m glad you have a better grasp of some things than I do.
But they could have told me.