Editor's Note

VSM's New Big Idea

If you're a longtime programmer or merely someone who has followed computers for a while, it's possible you've seen the work of VSM's managing editor before. Guy Wright has been working at computer-related magazines since the personal computer's relative infancy, stretching back to 1983, when he began his publishing career with a two-year stint as the technical editor and technical manager of RUN Magazine, which served Commodore's VIC-20 and Commodore 64 computers. Guy followed that gig up by serving as the founding editor in chief at AmigaWorld Magazine. Once upon a time, when the Apple 2 loomed large and the IBM PC juggernaut had yet to be established, all of the cool kids I knew had Amigas, and they were always telling me how much their computer kicked the ass of every other computer.

Since his time at AmigaWorld Magazine, Guy has been involved in several computing- and B2B-related titles, both print- and Web-based. He has worn other hats, as well, working with the development team on Commodore's ill-fated CDTV device, putting the first comic books on CD-ROM, and even spending some time in purgatory -- I believe he calls it heaven -- using VB3 to create magazine archive CD-ROMs and demo discs. To put it another way, Guy was programming in VB before I'd even heard of VB, and I've been working at this magazine for going on 13 years. He notes that he wasn't a professional programmer -- a not-uncommon trait for many people who initially picked up VB -- but he appreciated the way it let smart people who knew the business rules implement solutions for their domains. One subject Guy and I have chatted about extensively is the fact that it's much harder to pick up VB.NET and be productive in the same way that pre-.NET versions of VB let you pick up the tool and be productive.

I felt it was a coup for the magazine to score someone with Guy's experience when we hired him. I still do. For the past couple of years, Guy has played policeman on the staff, making sure the process runs smoothly and the articles are edited properly, while also nagging the editor in chief to turn his articles in.

"You've been doing this long enough that your turnaround on these should be minutes, not days!" he tells me. He's been writing editorials for years, he reminds me, and it gets easier over time. Maybe, maybe not.

But in the time-honored tradition of bosses everywhere, I sense opportunity here. If it's so easy, let him do it. And so he shall. Beginning this month, Guy will begin overseeing VSM's new online blog: "VSM's Big Issue." This blog will serve as a jumping-off point for discussing the issues and technologies of interest to Visual Studio developers, issues that wouldn't normally fit neatly into the pages of VSM.

In contrast to many other blogs you can read, where the writers climb up on their own particular soapboxes to share their takes on the world, we want the VSM blog to be more of an open forum where we pose questions on topics we think are worth discussing and then encourage readers to share their opinions. (OK, we might occasionally do a little soapboxing when the mood strikes.)

We will be inviting many of our friends of the magazine to stop by and chat about these same issues. We'll include short interviews with magazine luminaries and columnists, movers and shakers at Microsoft, and key technology implementers at the third-party companies who drive much of the innovation in Visual Studio.

We will be updating this blog frequently, so be sure to stop by often to see what's new. Guy and I will both be posting to the page, though Guy will be posting a bit more frequently than I will -- he does have to show me how it's done, after all.

One of our main goals with this blog is to make it easier to talk to the editors, to express what you like or don't like about the magazine, and to give you a forum for telling us how we at VSM can serve you better. We look forward to carrying on this conversation online.

Talk Back: What would you like to see us cover in the new VSM's Big Issue blog? Tell me at vsmedit@1105media.com or ednote@1105media.com.

About the Author

Patrick Meader is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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