Monthly Archives: June 2006

Was an and-2 but now am an and-1

Sometimes a useless Microsoft story crosses my mind and I think “gee, that might be mildly amusing to post on my blog.” But the story’s small enough that I don’t really have a good hook, which means that it’s hard for me to justify posting it. Well, Adam’s given me a good enough hook to hang a few stories on:

One that I hadn’t thought of is the fact that I’ve been around long enough (14 years last week!) to be an and-1, with the alias paulv. The interesting thing, though, was that when I was an intern 15 years ago (now I’m feeling really old), I was actually an and-2, t-paulvi. I don’t know if there was a Paul V. intern before me who didn’t join full-time or what, but there you go. The biggest problem now is that there are a number of and-2 and and-3’s with the first name Paul and the last initial V, so I tend to get mail for them from people who leave off the extra letters. Since several of them are Scandinavian, this makes for some interesting mail at times…

Adam mentions some people got an and-0 (i.e. just their first name). Circa 1997, this was verboten, but a new hire on our team managed to do it. I won’t use his real name, lest people pull a 867–5309 on him, but let’s say his name is David. We all quickly noticed that his email was david, and we were puzzled: how did he get IT to sign-off on a first-name-only alias? Simple. His last name was, let’s say, Duchovney, and he asked IT to give him the email alias that was, “The first four letters of my first name and my last initial.” Since it was an unclaimed alias, it went through the system and his alias was, technically, DaviD.

The other stupid alias story was that when I joined, one of the team members was named Suchada. A coworker told me the story of printing out something and going to the printer to retrieve his hard copy. There was a pile of printouts Suchada had made sitting there, with the banner page containing her email alias in large letters. Her maiden name’s last initial was Y. “Yes,” the coworker thought, “yes, it is.”

Lang .NET 2006: Where are we going, where have we been?

Back in April, I mentioned that we’re going to have a compiler/languages symposium here in Redmond in August called Lang .NET 2006. Erik just announced that registrations are open, so sign up! As it turns out, I’m going to be giving a talk at the symposium. Ignore the title currently on the site (“Visual Basic 9”), here’s my current proposed title and abstract:

Visual Basic: Where are we going, where have we been?

With its third version on the .NET Framework, Visual Basic has largely completed the process of moving from its previous home in COM to its new home in the CLR. As a full-fledged language on a premier runtime platform, the inevitable next question is: Now what? This talk will discuss future directions for the Visual Basic language, both from a short-term and long-term perspective. Integrating data access and XML directly into the language is the next major challenge on the horizon, and we will cover some of the interesting insights and challenges that have arisen from this work. We’ll also take a look back at Visual Basic’s dynamic language and scripting roots to see what lessons from the past might be brought into future versions and look ahead at where the language might be headed in the long run.

I hope to see everyone there!

Want to build a compiler?

Interested in working for Microsoft? Want to build a compiler? Want to work on the coolest programming language ever? The Visual Basic compiler development lead position is open and we’re looking for someone with the right stuff to fill it:

Microsoft Visual Basic is used by millions of developers worldwide, and is widely acclaimed for both its power and ease-of-use. As the next Development Lead of the Visual Basic Compiler and Editor team, you will be the guiding hand behind the development of the next version of Visual Basic’s powerful programming language. Data/Language integration -LINQ-, advanced IntelliSense and other editor features, and an enhanced runtime library are just a few of the exciting features that you will be driving as you lead a team of highly motivated and experienced engineers. As Dev Lead, your responsibilities will include:
– Contributing to planning new compiler and editor features
– Coordinating feature work with leads on other teams both internal and external to Visual Basic
– Managing compiler team feature work
– Mentoring your team in their careers, including dev leads reporting to your position
– Following up with customers to ensure we deliver the best Visual Basic product ever
This is a “manager of managers” position, and prior experience as a development lead is a requirement. The ideal candidate will be skilled in leadership, technology, and collaboration, and will have a history of high management review scores. Qualifications include a BS in CS/EE -or equivalent-, a minimum of 3 years as a development lead, and 7 or more years of software engineering experience overall. Shipping experience and deep knowledge of compiler, debugger, and editor technologies are a must.

Here’s a link to the job on the Microsoft career site. If you’ve got the qualifications, this is a great job with a great bunch of people. And you really can take my word for it, since it used to be my job!