Fabulous Adventures in C# and VSTO

I am incredibly excited, but a little sad too.

1295 days ago I attended a rather hastily-called meeting in which the senior management of the Visual Studio team announced that the Microsoft Office Developer, VBA and Scripting teams would be reorganized into a new team dedicated to the proposition that professional developers who use Office in their solutions could benefit greatly from a more modern, integrated, managed-code-based approach to development.

This was a huge challenge, and very exciting. Over the last 1295 days of design, implementation, testing, usability studies, customer visits, documentation, and everything else, I've seen Visual Studio Tools for Office go from a vague mission statement to actual shippable software that meets real customer needs. I've learned a tremendous amount from my coworkers and customers, and I'm very proud to have played a small part in getting VSTO ready to go when Whidbey ships.

But...  as readers of this blog may have guessed, I really, really love programming languages. Some of my old colleagues from Scripting now work in the C# team and were good enough to offer me a job working on the guts of the C# 3.0 compiler, which, after long and difficult thought, I've accepted.

I'm sad to leave the VSTO team --  they're a heck of a fun bunch of people to work with, and we're just getting started in our mission to revitalize the rich client. But the chance to work on the incredibly awesomely cool features that are coming up in C# 3.0 was too good to pass up. I'm totally excited about this opportunity. (I can't really talk about these new features yet because I don't want to spoil the surprise. Go to Anders' talk at the PDC in September if you're curious! Anders was kind enough to give me a personal preview of the new stuff and he's just infectiously enthusiastic about them.) 

Of course, this doesn't mean that I'm going to stop talking about VBScript and JScript any time soon. But I have a feeling that this blog may take a turn towards some of the theory and practice behind the design and implementation of really huge modern compiled languages.

Finally, the VSTO team is going to need someone to move into my old office. They're a great bunch of people -- smart, fun, innovative -- who solve complex and interesting problems. If you love building tools for other pro devs and you are a strong C++/C#/COM programmer, go read this posting by my friend, coauthor and erstwhile lead Eric Carter.

Comments (9)

  1. Mike says:

    Fantastic – good luck. I’ve been reading your blog for a long while now because it covers both scripty stuff that’s useful for work, but also language theory that I find really interesting. I never studied any computer science – I’ve been coding since 1979 and everything I know I worked out for myself or read on blogs like yours – so for people like me, people like you are a godsend.

  2. Jiho Han says:

    I think that’s awesome. Congratz!

    Now I get to read about C# too. Can’t be better.

  3. Marcus says:

    Awsome! I wish you all the luck on your new job, and hopefully it’ll provide for even more great articles from you. I just love it when you geek out, it’s a blast reading.

    Anyway, good luck!

  4. Arun Philip says:

    Congratulations Eric!

    I was pleased to read this: "…this blog may take a turn towards some of the theory … behind the design and implementation of really huge modern compiled languages"

    You’ve always given a good focus on the theory and fundamentals of programming, it’ll be nice to see some posts on compiler design.

  5. Dmitriy says:

    This really, really great!


  6. Jeff Parker says:

    Well this is good news for me as well. Since I have always like reading your blog, your articles have always been great and funny. However I have gone more away from the scripting languages in the last couple year to the C# world so this will be excellent news for me as well.

  7. Jeff Parker says:

    Oh and congratz to you as well 😉

  8. Eric Lippert could not pass on the opporunity to mess with the guts of C# v3. Which is good for Eric,…

  9. Jeff Atwood says:

    Hey, congrats! I think you’re an awesome addition to the C# language team!

    I might be tilting at windmills here, but since you’re changing teams, can I propose another change?

    Can we deep-six the purple font? The lack of contrast between the purple text and grey background makes your entries harder to read than they should be. You can see this quite plainly when viewing comments: the comments, in a traditional black, are much easier to read than the body of the blog entry!

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