Here's another community interview from our Italian Visual Basic MVP Alessandro Del Sole, this time with Eric Knox, Development Manager on the VB IDE Team. I got to know Eric at TechEd this year where we had a lot of fun floating in the pool on bright pink inner-tubes. ;-) You can also see Eric in the interview I did with the IDE Team a while back on Channel 9.

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 Eric:

1. Nice to meet you Eric Knox! Let’s begin by asking a simple question: Where are you from?

I’m from Maryland, about 20 miles from both Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC.

2. We all know that you’re a Visual Basic team member, but can you tell us something more about your role inside the team?

I’m currently the Dev Manager for the “Developer Experience” or IDE part of the team. That means that I focus more on scheduling and oversight of VB than I do on any one feature.

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

Definitely - Intellisense as of VS2008. It’s become a *huge* crutch that I depend on more than I realized.

4. What makes VB a great programming language?

It’s easy to read *and* has full access to all of the .Net Framework.

5. What brought you to Microsoft, and how long have you been working there? What was your occupation before joining the VB team?

I have been at Microsoft for 14 years, and before VB, I worked as a developer in Access, Visual InterDev and even Microsoft Consulting Services as a developer consultant (doing mostly VB5 business objects in classic ASP).

6. What’s it like working for Microsoft?

I find that at Microsoft, I work with a lot of passionate, responsible and incredibly bright people. It’s fantastic to work amidst that much technical horsepower and commitment.

7. Tell us something about your life outside of the office (how do you like to spend your free time, when you go out, when you’re at home, etc.)?

I have a wife and two elementary-aged kids, so most of my non-work time is spent doing family-oriented things: going to soccer games, skiing lessons, swimming pools and even playing Wii (because I still think my kids are too young for a lot of Xbox games just yet :-)).

8. Who is your favorite musician?

Over time, the ones I always come back to at some point or another are Garbage and Billie Holiday (but there are so many more, depending on my mood).

9. What’s your favorite food?

Ahi tuna (and many other kinds of seafood)

10. Have you ever been to Italy?

:-( No, although I have been thinking about how and when for many years.

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