I'm A VB: Mark Harr




Blog: http://www.harr.us/markblog


·        How long have you been using VB?

Since shortly after VB 1.0 came out.  I was looking for a new development environment to rewrite an application written in Easel that did not cost $12K and have a $600/PC runtime license.


·        What industry do you work in?

Software Development Consultant. I work in whatever industry my client does. 😉


·        How big is your development team?

Depends on the client, but often just 1 (me).  Sometimes 2 or 3, and occasionally a team of 5-7.


·        What kind of apps do you most commonly build?

Mostly web applications, internal and external.  Sometimes SharePoint, some server services.


·        What’s the most interesting app you’ve ever built?

I built an entire enterprise system that did mobile medical exam scheduling, for a new and quickly growing company.  It had with 6 front-end applications (3 desktop and 3 web-based) using common web service middle-tier and database, incorporating credit card payments, inbound and outbound faxing.  And most interesting, from requirements-gathering to implementation, it took 10 weeks with team of 4 developers.


·        Please tell us about an app that you’re working on at the moment.

It’s a marketing literature website for a manufacturer. It’s like an ecommerce site, except there are no payments since all products are free and can optionally be downloaded (PDFs and software apps).


·        What other technologies do you most commonly use?

Frequently SQL Server; sometimes I’m a DBA on the side.  I do use C# if a client requires it, but I prefer VB for quicker/better development.  Occasionally Win Mobile, if I can find a reason to integrate it into the solution.


·        What are some of your favorite VB features?

#1, by far, is case-insensitive coding. I can’t understand why any development language is not case-insensitive anymore.  I also prefer the implicit typecasting of VB vs. C#; it makes for more productive code-writing sessions.  Visual Studio intelliSense just makes writing code so much easier; I can’t even think how I used to code before it.


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

Besides the features I mentioned above, VB in general, since Day 1, seems to be all about getting applications done.  Any other language seems to be about tricking developers into making mistakes, whereas VB feels like it is helping me get the app finished as quickly as I want to.


For other interviews in this series, please visit http://imavb.net.


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