It was the C# team vs the Visual Basic team last week on .NET Rocks, as I went mano-a-mano in a grueling contest with VB Community maven Beth Massi on the .NET Rocks radio show! Well, all right, actually Beth is very much a woman, so we went senora a mano, and the truth is that we get along pretty well, so there wasn't much blood spilled. In fact, the mundane truth is that there was little animosity visible as we chatted cheerfully about Visual Studio 2008, LINQ, our pasts in FoxPro and Delphi, and our current jobs.

Beth is my opposite number on the VB Product Unit, as she works with Paul Yuknewicz to manage their team's community efforts. We collaborate on several projects, including a lengthy and still unfinished endeavor to create a new Community Plan for the Developer Division here at Microsoft.

Beth and I also teamed up last week in San Francisco, when I paid a visit to the Bay .NET User Group for a talk about LINQ. I gave a hour and half introduction to LINQ, then turned the podium over to Beth, who showed the audience an enticing look at the new XML literal features in the next version of VB. At the end of the talk I walked back up front for a quick 20 minute overview of Lambda Expressions and Extension Methods.

The truth is that the always entertaining C# vs VB rivalry is often exaggerated, perhaps for no better reason than to give us something to talk about, or maybe just we can impress our managers with evidence of our competitive spirits. The VB team sits here on the same floor with the C# team and we all get along just fine! Yes, we let them sit on the same floor with us: how's that for noblesse oblige! (Just kidding with that last bit, what?)

I should also mention that I met the hosts of .NET Rocks, Richard Campbell and Carl Franklin,  last winter when we were in Cairo for a Microsoft Conference. If you have never heard their excellent show before, you should understand that they are both simultaneously brilliant and a bit eccentric.  Given their unique and entertaining characters, it is quite possible that Cairo, with its mix of the ancient and the modern, the Christian and the Muslim, was the perfect place to meet them. Cairo is a extraordinary city with a remarkable present and a fabulous past, and it made the perfect setting for Richard and Carl's esoteric mix of the practical, the humorous and downright bizarre! Carl and Richard have lots of interesting guests on their show, including a recent and highly elucidating interview with one of the key founders of LINQ, the great Microsoft developer Erik Meijer.

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