There's nothing like starting a new job. Like the first day at a new school, suddenly all the hard-won savvy and schoolyard instincts are up to question. You can't even find your locker, much less remember the combination on the lock.
I feel a bit like that kid struggling to open his locker today. You see, Monday was my first day on the job as editor-in-chief of MSDN Magazine, and I'm working hard to learn my way around the joint. I'm replacing Keith Ward, who for nearly two years has done a wonderful job refining and improving the magazine. Keith is moving on to serve as editor-in-chief of Visual Studio Magazine, where I know he's looking forward to doing more direct reporting and writing in the software development space.
As for me, I'm all-in working to close out our September issue, which goes to press in about a week, and to manage the flow of fresh articles for our October issue. Heck, November issue planning is already well underway, which gives you a sense of just how far ahead of schedule we have to work over here.
Not that managing a long-lead publication like MSDN Magazine is new to me. For the past two and a half years I've served as Editor-in-Chief of Visual Studio Magazine, a monthly magazine (and Web site) providing how-to content to Microsoft developers. And yes, for those of you keeping score at home, Keith and I literally traded jobs -- an editorial prisoner swap, if you will.
Prior to VSM, I founded and ran Redmond Developer News, a twice-monthly publication dedicated to covering the .NET development space. My checkered editorial past includes stints at Redmond Magazine (where I was Editor-at-Large) and PC World magazine (where I held numerous titles, including Senior Editor). I also plied my talents as a freelancer for several years around the turn of the century, writing for numerous periodicals, Web sites and book publishers, as well as spending a few years in there doing editorial work for Fortune 100 technology companies.
But enough about me. As I acclimate to the new surroundings, I'm anxious to learn about what you think. MSDN Magazine has for years stood apart as the authoritative source of expert technical and how-to content for Microsoft developers. The question I have is, how can we do this better? What tools, techniques and technologies would you like to see covered in future issues? Are there any changes you want to see made to the magazine or the Web site?
In short, what are we doing right, what are we doing wrong, and what could we be doing better? You tell me.
Now if you don't mind, I need to see if I can get into this locker...