Community Interview with Bill Horst (Beth Massi)

Beth Massi

Continuing the community interviews from our Italian Visual Basic MVP Alessandro Del Sole, this time we have Bill Horst, a tester on the VB Team. You might know Bill from his awesome series of blog posts on Converting SQL to LINQ.

Also check out the Visual Basic Team page for pictures and bios and visit the home page of the Visual Basic Developer Center for a link to all these interviews as well.

Here’s the interview with Bill:

1. Nice to meet you Bill Horst! Let’s begin by asking a simple question: where are you from?

I’m originally from Ellicott City, Maryland (USA). Now I live in Seattle, Washington.

2. We all know that you’re a Visual Basic Team member, but could we know something more about your role inside the Team?

I am a member of the VB IDE QA team, which means I test VB IDE features through automation and some targeted manual and ad-hoc testing. I have a general ownership of VB Debugging, and also worked on VB LINQ Queries for our most recent release. I also work on designing our test tools and methodologies.

3. What’s your favorite Visual Basic feature regarding the language and/or the IDE?

Generally, I like the debugging features (probably because I’ve spent so much time working on them), and the new LINQ and XML language features are my favorites from VS 2008.

4. How long have you been working for Microsoft and what was your occupation before joining the VB Team?

Five years, all on VB IDE QA. Before that I was in college.

5. Why do you think VB is such a great language?

· Good IDE support (such as Intellisense, background compilation)
· Easy to learn
· No semi-colons, fewer {braces}

6. Have you ever been to Italy?

No, but I hear the Ice Cream is great!

7. Would you like to tell us something about your life outside the office (how do you like to spend your free time, what do you like to do when/if you go out in the evening or when you’re at home and so on)?

My lovely wife and I got married a year ago. We are active in a unique Seattle church called “Church of the Undignified” (see recent article), and do our best to serve God and help people who are hurting in the city. She is hoping to open an iced cream shop next year, and has been inventing flavors in our kitchen. Naturally, that means I sample a lot of tasty things, too. Beyond that, we enjoy reading, spending time with our friends, and occasionally playing a good game of “Pearball”.

8. Who is your favorite musician?

Hard to say, but I’ve been enjoying Sufjan Stevens a lot lately. I have a fair number of musician friends, so I tend to favor them, too. My good friend Eric Miller is one I recommend.

9. What’s your favorite food?

My wife’s yam tacos

Thank you very much for taking time to answer these questions and letting us know something more about you!


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