MVP Insider – Q & A with Doug Hennig


Doug Hennig is a partner with Stonefield Systems Group Inc. and Stonefield Software Inc. He is the author of the award-winning Stonefield Database Toolkit (SDT); the award-winning Stonefield Query; the MemberData Editor, Anchor Editor, and CursorAdapter and DataEnvironment builders that come with Microsoft Visual FoxPro; and the My namespace and updated Upsizing Wizard in Sedna, an extension for Visual FoxPro released by Microsoft.

Doug is co-author of the “What’s New in Visual FoxPro” series (the latest being “What’s New in Nine”) and “The Hacker’s Guide to Visual FoxPro 7.0.” He was the technical editor of “The Hacker’s Guide to Visual FoxPro 6.0” and “The Fundamentals.” All of these books are from Hentzenwerke Publishing. Doug wrote over 100 articles in 10 years for FoxTalk and has written numerous articles in FoxPro Advisor and Advisor Guide. He currently writes a column for FoxRockX magazine.

Doug spoke at every Microsoft FoxPro Developers Conference (DevCon) since 1997 and at user groups and developer conferences all over the world. He is one of the organizers of the annual Southwest Fox conference. He is one of the administrators for the VFPX VFP community extensions Web site on CodePlex.

Doug has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1996. Doug was awarded the 2006 FoxPro Community Lifetime Achievement Award.

1. What does being an MVP mean to you?

It’s a great honor being named an MVP. I truly appreciate Microsoft’s recognition of the support I’ve given the Microsoft Visual FoxPro (VFP) community over the years. And the perks are great!

2. If you could ask Steve Ballmer one question about Microsoft, what would it be?

Do you still wear the Canadian hockey jersey you got at the 2008 MVP Summit?

3. What do you think the best software ever written was?

VFP, of course. For me, it’s a software construction kit: I can literally write any software I can imagine using it.

4. If you were the manager of VFP (assuming it was still in production), what would you change?

I would make it into a .NET language. This would extend the life of VFP and bring new capabilities to the language, but also bring the benefits of VFP to the .NET world.

5. What are the best features/improvements of VFP?

The best feature of VFP not found in other languages is the built-in data manipulation commands and functions. This feature makes it easy to do things in VFP other languages can’t do at all or can only do with a lot of complex code.

6. What was the last book you read?

AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll by Murray Engleheart and Arnaud Durieux. I love rock biographies, including the ones I’ve read on Randy Bachman, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Meatloaf, KISS, and Fleetwood Mac.

7. What music CD do you recommend?

The greatest rock CD of all time: Back in Black by AC/DC.

8. What makes you a great MVP?

My willingness to share my discoveries, techniques, and code with community members.

9. What is in your computer bag?

USB external drive, USB memory stick, MVP lanyard (I usually replace the lanyard at other conferences with it), extra laptop battery, and travel supplies (European power adapter, gum, earphones, etc.)

10. What is the best thing that has happened since you have become an MVP?

Not computer related: the birth of my son Nick in 1997.

11. What is your motto?

“There are no problems, only opportunities.” (“It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission” is a close second.)

12. Who is your hero?

My friend Mike White, who died in 2005. He set the bar for me in being a father, husband, and friend.

13. What does success mean to you?

Having the recognitionof my accomplishments and the means to provide a nice lifestyle for my family.

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