My name is Mort, and I am a VB programmer…

[Update 11/01/03: Thanks to reader Mikel Berger for a new link that supplies both the audio and the video of the commercial.]

So I was thinking about the whole discussion around refactoring, and parts of it reminded me of this Molson commercial. Unfortunately, most people outside of Canada will never have seen the commercial although it was reported on some around the world after it became something of a phenomenon. In it, a nondescript guy walks up to a microphone in front of a big screen displaying a maple leaf and starts talking. You can check out the commercial here. Which made me idly think of a slightly different commmercial…

(Paul looks thoughful as wavy lines cross the screen and we fade out to the same stage, only this time with a picture of VB being projected on the screen. A nondescript guy comes out and starts to speak, using the same music.)

I’m not a newbie or a script kiddie.
And I don’t get paid less than other programmers, or only work on UIs, or write email viruses.
And I don’t know BillG, SteveB or EricR from Microsoft, although I’m certain they’re really, really nice.
I have a Handles clause, not a += expression.
I speak VB and VBA, not C#.
And I write it ‘For Each,’ not ‘foreach.’
I can proudly type names using any capitalization I like.
I believe in line continuations, not curly braces; colons, not semicolons.
And that ‘With’ is a truly proud and noble statement.
CType is a cast, ReDim IS a statement.
And it IS written ‘Mod’. Not ‘%’. ‘Mod’.
BASIC is the oldest Microsoft language, the most popular programming tool in the world and the best part of Visual Studio.
My name is Mort, and I AM A VB PROGRAMMER!

(Wavy lines fade back to Paul who’s nodding his head as if to say, “Yeah, that’d be cool…“)

Take it for what it’s worth, eh?

16 thoughts on “My name is Mort, and I am a VB programmer…

  1. Len Weaver

    Paul, you have GOT to send that to the guys who do the ".NET Show". Maybe they could slide it into a ‘Diversionary Tactics’ spot or something.

  2. Karl

    I am canadian..those commercials were cool. They followed them up by getting people to actually go to movie theaters and doing it…

    I never understood why it’s For Each but ElseIF (and End IF)..the spacing seems very inconsistent. it’s the opposite in c# I believe….

    and ‘With’ is a horrible language statement…replace it with something about pointers…


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  4. Malcolm Anderson

    As far as I’m concerned, my name is Mort, and I’m a C# developer.

    I just want to do my job and go home.

    I have a 20 minute attention span for non-NOW techniques. If I can’t reproduce your demo in 20 minutes, I’ll get back to that subject later when it becomes a NOW priority.

    I care about simplifying my users life, not using the newest and greatest tools.

    I use C# because my boss pays me $20 K a year more for C# than VB, not because I like it any better.


  5. Jimmim_Cricket

    Anyone who uses the "Mort" comparison with VB vs. C# deserves a good smack on the head and a keyboard across the face.

    It is very preposterous for someone to make these bold statements and assumptions. Im really getting disgusted with the "MSDN" nerds spending all day on their "BLOGs", perfecting them and crying about something they have helped create!!

    My reasoning is this…Even if you are a C# Genius, or even if you could re-write Rocky’s CSLA framework in COBOL backwards, it dont mean a pile of shit to me!! Because regardless of what you think is superior, YOU ARE STILL A C# RAT-FINK, YOU STILL CODE FOR THE MAN, THE MAN "MICROSOFT", AND WETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, YOU ARE PROBABLY WORSE THAN "THE MORT".

    Because its like those old guys that "once were something" or "once had something" but are just big wash ups. I think alot of the Microsoft MVPs and MCADs are very afraid of the truth and havent even begun to realize the absurdity of these "Mort" BLOGs happening.

    It disgusts me that someone thinks they are better simply because of a computer language. You might as well go around saying that "Your dad could beat up my dad", thats equally as absurd.

    If you’ve never written Assembler, but you know C# so well that you make BLOG posts about how much better you are because of your use of it, you are just beyond wack. If you’re still writing Microsoft code, and actually think you are a real "programmer", enough of a "real programmer" to seperate yourself…you need to realize that you’re a sham, and you’ve been duped by Microsoft into believe this pile of horseshit logic. C# and VB.NET have only a handful of differences, much like the MORT and the MVPs!! Think about that a little…they are not much different…one is a little easier to use and understand…one is a little elite…but just because you are elite does not mean youre life is any better or any easier…

    I admire the Mort. The Mort knows when to turn the computer off and go home. The Mort knows when to laugh at "the elite programmers" who sound so absurd because they are scared little men (boys) who are afraid of losing their jobs so bad that they would build a time machine before actually lifting a finger or doing some physical work. Let’s face it, most of these MVP’s arent exactly someone I would want my children to set out to be.

    If you write any type of Micro$oft code, you are no better than anyone else writing any type of M$ code. Thats the simple truth, and I think the whole "Mort" front it just a bitter/jealous trait in someone who really doesnt have much of a life…

  6. Michael I am Proud to be a VB Pr

    VB gives me complete freedom to do anything I please…

    I can automate, perpambulate through out "Word"

    I excel at having "Excel" under my beck and Call

    Every database has its key

    Every file can be opened

    You can do what you please on windows machines

    VB is so brilliant, VB is so great

    Simple Syntax, Kick ass power

    VB VB you make a worthy Mate…

  7. VB6 BFF (Best Friend 4-evah!)

    VB6 is great. It is a language/IDE with many possiblities – almost all possibilities you would need for almost all your projects. I have yet found a situation which I could not tackle using VB6 in conjunction with all the other technologies out there that work with VB – Win32 API, ActiveX, OLE, VBScript, etc.

    Those who say that you must go to .NET to get things done probably don’t know all the options available with VB6. I don’t like working in .NET, but am forced to because of work. I loathe the idea of having to bloat your computer with the huge .NET framework just to have the "privilege" of using .NET. I am not one who is sold on the argument – "oh, but disk space and RAM are cheap these days" – that argument still doesn’t justify why I need to install such a large overhead (.NET framework) in order to be able to use .NET.

    I also hate how applications compiled in .NET may not run on another (likely your client) machine unless they have at least the .NET framework edition that you used to build and compile your application. Applications built in VB6 run on practically all computers using Windows 98 and up.

    The point of programming is to get things done – and to get things to work. VB6 does this.

  8. Steve

    I have yet found a situation which I could not tackle using VB6 :

    Dont work much on commercial software I guess!

    only one thing to say "STA"

  9. darren

    hahaha i am a c# programmer… but i love this. C#/Java people get so snooty about VB programmers… like they are better than VB programmers… so stupud!

  10. Eric

    Oh, the jealous coders out there. I understand it’s threatening to many that a finance guy like myself can hop on the internet and make a concerted effort to learn several programming languages as well as OOP. Admittedly, I started in VBA 3 years ago. Loved it once it all “clicked” in my head. “Morting” around, creating something from essentially nothing was awesome, and it turned my 40 hour/week job into a 25 hour/week job via automation…I literally left work at 2 everyday once I brought my VBA project to fruition. It was great. Then I suddenly realized, those 5 years I spent in college obtaining my bachelor’s in finance (a field that’s pretty heavy in analytics) was a huge waste of time. I don’t want to crunch numbers. I don’t want to steal money from the middle class to line my wallet, and I most certainly don’t want to have a job where my employer has to train me. I wanted something where I could be hired because I had knowledge and skills that my employer needed, but couldn’t train me on even if they wanted to. And so began my move to software development.

    1 thing I’ve noticed that “real” (if you can make that declaration yourself) programmers seem to overlook is the financial side of running a business. So you can do this, and you can do that, but how long is it going to take you? Am I, as a business owner, willing to delay the release of this application by 2 months just so you can code some fancy little variables and functions that will make the program run 3 seconds faster?Absolutely not. More times than not, it’s useless. There is generally no financial benefit to it. That being said, I fully understand the desire of many programmers to produce the most elegant, most efficient code they possibly can. It’s called pride, and yes, even though my schooling was in finance, I too have an incredibly strong desire produce the best code I can. And not just produce it, but truly understand what the machine is doing when the code is running.

    Again, that being said, we all started out as Mort’s. You did, I did, your boss did. Anyone that says any different is an arrogant little prick that probably has a hard time finding work. I promise, you didn’t just fall out of the womb with expert programming knowledge.

    The issue I see here is that VB.NET has made it pretty simple to do something that once required experts. I am not an expert programmer. I would like to be, and someday I will be, but in order to get there, I have to Mort my way through new languages in order to begin understanding what they are doing. The advent of simple IDE’s threatens the very livelihood of those programmers that have dedicated their lives to learning how to program, and now, someone like me can come in and get hired to develop applications for $55,000 with no school training (college is a waste nowadays anyhow) Keep in mind I have a wide knowledge of the financial sector as well as financial modeling. What you “expert” programmers don’t quite get is, unless you’re working for a software company, business owners don’t care about the abilities that don’t apply to their needs. So you know 25 languages? Business owner says “I need someone that knows these specific 5.” Running a business is not about all the extras, it’s about getting the job done, which is why Mort’s are everywhere unfortunately.

    Call me a Mort, talk smack that I use VB.Net to develop the same app as you in half the time, I don’t care. I’m employed, I produce solid work, I’m learning more every single day, my boss is happy, I’m happy. The owner of my company would fire you for suggesting to use a more complicated language. It NEVER makes sense from a financial aspect unless the language you’ve chosen has limits.

    So you’re better than me because you use C++, I guess that makes me better than you because I know how to value companies and fixed assets? IMO, having a firm understanding of business as well as the ability to develop applications in VB.NET shits on most people that focus mainly on the coding aspect of development. By all means, become a master of your trade, but if you for one second think you’re better than I because I use VB.Net, then I’ve got a bridge to sell ya. You will go much farther if you can bring more to the table than writing code…that I am sure of.

    Yes, I understand why you’re threatened by my kind. We kill 2 birds with one stone from an employer’s perspective.


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