I'm A VB: Gary Lima, Visual Basic MVP




MVP Profile: https://mvp.support.microsoft.com/profile=B2255B06-7323-40CB-8968-F95F8B0B3B53

Website: http://www.visualbasicrocks.com


        How long have you been using VB?

I’ve been using Visual Basic for about 8 years now. I started out with VBA, programming in Word, PowerPoint and Access, and moved into VB6.  However, Access quickly became my primary IDE.  I started creating simple databases for our company, then complex databases, and finally started writing automation applications. Today I’m a hardcore VB.NET enthusiast! I’ve programmed with VB.NET 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, and a little 2010 beta.  I’m known on the web as “VBRocks” and “VB Rocks”.


        What industry do you work in?

I work in the printing industry!  My company prints statements for various credit unions and utility companies.  I write the first line of software that processes the data sent to us by our clients.


        How big is your development team?

My development team is 3:  Me, myself and I!  Fortunately, we get along pretty good!  馃檪


        What kind of apps do you most commonly build?

I mostly build applications that read data in from various formats, such as regular fixed field text files, csv files, xml files, database files, etc.  However, I also do a lot of database programming of internal applications.  I use SQL Server as a back-end, and Visual Basic applications as a front end.


        What鈥檚 the most interesting app you鈥檝e ever built?

I’d have to say that the most interesting application I’ve ever built is a program I called “Extract”.  Our company had been uploading thousands of individual .pdf documents to our vendors, which took hours and hours to do.  My management desired a solution to the problem, but could not figure anything out.  My Extract program allowed my company to upload only 1 (master) .pdf to our vendors, and then extract (split) the .pdf’s on their end.  This ended up saving my company thousands of dollars, and a lot of time.


        Please tell us about an app that you鈥檙e working on at the moment.

Currently I’m working on a Remove File Transfer program comparative to WS FTP and File Zilla.  This application can use FTP, FTPS, HTTP and HTTPS protocols.  Additionally, it can upload to WevDAV servers.


        What other technologies do you most commonly use?

I love ADO.NET!  It Rocks!  I love how easy it is to connect to just about any data source and load data into a disconnected dataset.  Plus, it has powerful built-in support for binding, sorting and filtering, which saves a lot of time, by not having to program the respective Interface Implementations.  I also love how easy it is to extend ADO.NET to support data validation.  Plus, I love how easy it is to read to and write from XML files.


        What are some of your favorite VB features?

I’m excited about the improved Lambda Expressions! VS 2008 only supported single line Lambda Expressions, which were a little frustrating; especially since C# supports multi line anonymous delegates. But I am so excited to see Lambda Expressions improved to support multiple lines.  I also really like LINQ. Although it’s not always the most efficient, it is very flexible and very powerful!  In fact, there’s probably no better way to select, sort and filter object data that with LINQ. I also love the compiler! C# has always annoyed me, because it always seems like it takes the compiler longer to respond when errors have been created, and then fixed. Sometimes it’s necessary to build the project just to get error indicators to disappear. The VB compiler is a lot better: As soon as an error is detected, it is identified; as soon as it’s fixed, the identifier is removed.


        What do you like most about VB as a programming language?

I love the syntax of Visual Basic… It’s more like, how I think… Instead of “Love programming I do” (as Yoda might say), it’s “I love programming”! Additionally, there are a lot of VB features that make life so much easier! For example, a TextFieldParser (Microsoft.VisualBasic.FileIO namespace), plus the “My” feature, which provides easy and intuitive access to a number of .NET features, such as interacting with the computer, applications, settings, resources, etc. I also love how smart VB is, when it comes to interpreting how something like “=” is used…  As an assignment, or equivalency? VB knows… Another thing I love is how VB always drops in the ending structure keyword. For example, if you type the word “Do”, and press enter, you automatically get “Loop” inserted.  I’m still surprised that C# hasn’t got to the place where they automatically add {} where required. Not to put down C# too much, because I’m a C# programmer as well, but I personally believe that VBRocks!


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