Clients Determine Value

Readers weigh in on interactions with end users and more.

Letters to Visual Studio Magazine are welcome. Letters must include your name, address, and daytime phone number to be considered for publication. Letters might be edited for form, fit, and style. Please send them to Letters to the Editor, c/o Visual Studio Magazine, 2600 El Camino Real, Suite 300, San Mateo, CA 94403; fax them to 650-570-6307; or e-mail them to [email protected]. Note that the views expressed in the letters section are the opinions of the letters' authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Visual Studio Magazine or those of 1105 Media.

Clients Determine Value
Patrick Meader made a good point in a recent Editor's Note ("Protecting Your Code," December 2007). Says Meader: "It's typically your users who determine how valuable your IP is, not you, and you risk causing them to walk away if you overvalue it in terms of the hoops your users must jump through to use it." I looked at this concept a few years ago, and I concluded that, in fact, the client is the one who determines the amount of value that he or she receives. We can make an estimate that we call our price, and often we will be close enough that the client does not bother to inform us as to how far off we are. I have had clients who paid me more and had clients who paid less or refused what I offered because I was so far off in my estimate. We estimate, and the clients decide. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This is a concept few people are aware of, but all are affected by. Wouldn't it be neat if everyone understood the laws that are at work in our environment?

Ken Daniel
Niles, Mich.
received by e-mail

VB Developers Already Know VB
Patrick Meader's commentary on the acceptance of C# in the marketplace ("C#'s Exploding Mindshare," November 2007) gives the impression that C# is definitely killing VB, which is way far from the truth. Indeed, I think his numbers on the acceptance of C# are part of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Regarding book sales numbers, I think you see more sales of C# books because it's much harder to learn than VB. We are in 2007; a language with punctuation marks and case sensitivity is kind of dated, in my opinion. OK, so why do you have so many people wanting to learn C#? I think it's because of the "aura" of C in general (including C# and C++). Experienced programmers, project managers, colleges and universities (and the fresh students coming out of them) do not take VB seriously, not least because "Basic" is in the language name. There's also the perception that any C incarnation is going to be faster than any language derived from VB, regardless of the way .NET and the CLR work. The job opportunities aspect could be misleading, as well. It's possible you see more C# openings because they stay open longer than VB opportunities, because there are fewer C# programmers and VB jobs are staffed more quickly. As part of its research, VSM should commission a definite study on the true differences between C# and VB.NET that include language features, performance, and so on. VSM should also conduct these tests with Windows apps and ASP.NET. I just hope that VSM doesn't perpetuate the myth that C# is just "better." At the end of the day, both languages let you do the same thing, and what you can achieve all depends on what skills are available to you (as a programmer or as a manager).

Carlos R. Rodriguez, President, Almácigo Systems Inc.
received by e-mail

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