John Koziol - one of the testers on my team - posted an entry in which he began to discuss some of the things he's learning as he dives in VB.NET. We've gotten a number of responses - which are of two forms:

  1. You're just trying to force VB on us Fox folks - how dare you? And why VB instead of C#?
  2. This is great! My value is in what I know and in creating systems. The more I learn, the more valuable I am.

I just wanted to respond to those who posted things along the first line. First, the easy part - why VB? Because John is a tester on VS. VB.NET is used by our testing frameworks. So, our testers tend to develop in VB when they write their automation.

Now - why did John write it? Because he enjoys blogging about what he's doing, and that's what he's doing right now. VS Data is one team - it's not two teams, one VS and one Fox. VFP9 shipped with tools that allow you to access and manipulate SQL Server databases. They work like the ones that ship in VS. Amazingly, some of the work on that was done with the help of folks who write VS code. John's now tasked with getting the VFP automation frameworks into the same standard tools as the rest of VS. This allows us to allocate test resources more easily between the products.

I've personally used Fox since version 1.21 for DOS. I've also used Fortran, C, VB, Powerbuilder and other languages. My personal value to this team, to Microsoft, and to our customers is in my understanding of data access across languages. That allows me to work with others to create the best data capabilities across all of our products. That's what I'm working on. That's what my team is working on. I'm sorry if some people feel that language has to become how they see their own selves (and I'm talking to VFP, VB, and C# folks here). People have to realize that, at the end of the day, bad applications can be written in any language. Good applications can be written in any language. The differentiator is the analysis that the developer or team does and their use of the tool.

I was at VSLive/SQLLive etc., this week. I saw a lot of Fox people there - attending, speaking and even running booths. I've seen VB and C++ developers at Fox conferences. Seems to me that's a good thing.

One more thing. If you have MSDN, you have both VS and Fox. No matter which you use - it pays to check out the other - they each have awesome capabilities, which we're dedicated to providing in both.