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A Fond Farewell

Yesterday I provided a sneak peek into the August issue of Visual Studio Magazine. What I didn't mention in that preview was that the August issue will be my last as editor-in-chief at VSM.

Starting August 1, I am moving over to MSDN Magazine to become editor-in-chief of Microsoft's flagship developer publication. It's an exciting opportunity and a challenge that I am very much looking forward to. That said, I've really enjoyed my tenure at VSM and have learned so much from the talented authors and contributors who make the magazine what it is.

To our longest tenured print columnists -- Peter Vogel, Patrick Steele and Joe Kunk -- thank you for your innovative and timely how-to articles. Your Practical .NET, C# Corner and On VB columns established a vital foundation, from which we've steadily expanded the scope of our coverage. To Nick Randolph and Mark Michaelis, authors of the Mobile Corner and UI Code Expert columns, thank you for your efforts opening new topics of inquiry in each issue of VSM. From Windows Phone 7 to the rise of HTML5, your contributions have enabled VSM to stay current and vital in a changing ecosystem.

On the Web side, I'd like to thank relative newcomers Eric Vogel, Ian Davis and Aaron Bjork. Eric writes the Web version of our C# Corner column and has explored some of the intriguing new features of the language. Ian Davis' Open Source .NET column has introduced readers to powerful tools and opportunities in the .NET space, while Microsoft Senior Program Manager Aaron Bjork writes the monthly Agile Advisor column, which is packed with sound and savvy advice for agile environments. Finally, to Mickey Gousset, the longtime author of our Inside TFS (and before that, Inside VSTS) column, thank you again for your timely, frequent and on-target deconstructions of Microsoft's ever-expanding test and ALM stack.

I want to make special mention of two regular contributors to VSM over the years. Peter Vogel (who I mentioned above) has been writing for VSM and its Web site since before I arrived. He immediately proved his value, producing the always-insightful Practical ASP.NET column for the Web site and cranking out monthly VS Toolbox product reviews for the magazine. Today he serves as Tools Editor at VSM and pens Practical .NET, the anchor column in the Language Lab section of each issue of VSM. He also publishes the weekly .NET Tips and Tricks blog. A true renaissance man able to write about everything from ASP.NET to WPF -- and a whole lot in between -- Peter shows a real passion for .NET development.

A special shout out goes to Andrew Brust, who has written the back page Redmond Review column for Visual Studio Magazine, and before that Redmond Developer News, since 2008. He also writes the always-enlightening Redmond Diary blog. Andrew's insightful and often prescient takes on Microsoft development and strategy have helped VSM readers make better decisions. Andrew has also helped guide and color VSM's coverage of issues vital to our developer readership. As a longtime Microsoft Regional Director and a professional with deep experience in both the technical and business sides of development, Andrew has developed sharp instincts and an impressive range of contacts. It is to all our benefit that those considerable assets have been available to VSM over the years.

I hate to go long with this blog post, but I simply have to mention VSM Executive Editor Kathleen Richards. Kathleen has been an absolute rock for us, providing thoughtful and finely researched coverage of the development space, first at Application Development Trends (ADT) magazine and then at Redmond Developer News. In fact, she continues to edit the Redmond Developer News Web site, even as she writes and edits features and departments for Visual Studio Magazine. She'll continue in her role at VSM after my departure.

I'll also mention our fiercely dedicated and outlandishly organized Managing Editor Wendy Gonchar, and Assistant Managing Editor Katrina Carrasco. It's never easy getting a bunch of editors to turn things in on time, especially when those editors are waiting on software developers. But through a creative blend of communication, harassment and thinly veiled threats, Wendy and Katrina have consistently managed to guide me and the staff away from disaster.

Keith Ward will be stepping in as Editor-in-Chief of Visual Studio Magazine on August 1st. I've worked with (and even briefly, for) Keith for years. He's a sharp guy with broad experience across both IT and development who has, at various stages of his carrier, launched, helmed and transformed a diverse collection of technical publications. He's also a fierce reader advocate who will no doubt champion the cause of hardworking .NET developers seeking to become more productive with their tools.

I'm excited about the move to MSDN Magazine, but I am just as enthused about the direction Visual Studio Magazine is taking. Over the past year, the magazine and Web site has attracted a fine line up of driven and energetic columnists and writers. With Keith taking over, I expect we can all look forward to big things to come.

Posted by Michael Desmond on 07/27/2011 at 1:15 PM

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