I’m A VB: Jorge Serrano, Visual Basic MVP



Website: http://geeks.ms/blogs/jorge/


·        How long have you been using VB?

In the University had the opportunity of use VB 1 (one floppy disk of 3 1/2 1.44 Mb). It was a little bit odd in a first moment, but a few time later I used VB 3 (7 or 8 floppy disks, I don’t remember now how many) and it was a fantastic experience. In my University nobody were using VB, only Cobol, Fortran and a little bit of C and C++, but nothing of VB or Turbo Pascal or Delphi. Since then, I have been using Visual Basic always… forever.


·        What industry do you work in?

In this moment I’m working in a telecommunications company. I have worked in that sector in almost 8 years. I have worked in other sectors as bank, insurance, management and consulting companies, and I have had the opportunity of use VB always.


·        How big is your development team?

In my last work, we are 5 people working in the development department.


·        What kind of apps do you most commonly build?

Very diverse. Normally, the focus of all applications are the communications. WCF is a good ally to get the objectives. Other kind of applications are the management applications for all areas in the company, and we use SQL Server and MySql as databases.


·        What’s the most interesting app you’ve ever built?

This is a difficult question because each application is different and has their special features. For example, I’m specially happy to have developed a telecommunications application in Andorra (a little country between Spain and France) in a record time. We had to change the actual application developed in VB 6 (it was a caos) to VB 6 but re-programming all, doing a new database model, programming a workflow to execute all processes (WF didn’t exist), processing the information of the telephone central, calling to other systems as Java Web Services, passing the information to other areas as billing department or marketing department, etc. It was a very complet project.


·        Please tell us about an app that you’re working on at the moment.

I am doing an internal Framework for the telecommunications company in which I’m working. This Framework has their namespaces and classes well defined (multi database, general and reusable actions of a telecommunications company (Pgp, Mail, Hash and encryption algorithms, Zip files, Pdf files, Excel CSV files, Smtp, Pop, Ftp, etc). Anyway, I have developed too an internal tool to generate code for entities and daos that will be used with the multi database namespace of the internal Framework (we work with SQL Server and MySql). Furthemore, I have developed a lot of differents applications, Windows Services, Web Services, etc., that use this Framework to reduce the development time and develop with a secure frame.


·        What other technologies do you most commonly use?

I have used MySql, AS/400 and Oracle as databases.  For the Web, I have used PHP, ASP (traditional) and ASP.NET of course. I have used VBScript, JavaScript, and jQuery too.  As programming languages, I use C# and VB all days. In my opinion, both are the same, the Framework is the part more important that a programmer has to know and the programming languages are the skins. I’m very comfortable with C# (yes), but I’m more comfortable with VB. 😉


·        What are some of your favorite VB features?

It’s a language easy, simple, comfortable and understandable… Have I said “basic”?  In the VB.Net features, I would like to highlight some of them:  First all, it’s a POO language.  Furthermore, it’s very easy work with collections and generics.  Finally, LINQ has been very productive for the programmer, and I have to say… I love LINQ to XML.  About the tools, Interop Forms Toolkit 2.0 is a helpfully tool for the VB 6 programmers. There are a lot of VB 6 programmers yet.


·        What do you like most about VB as a programming language?

It can be learned and used very fast.  The learning curve is very short. A person who wants develop their first application can do it in a few weeks.  Of course, the objective will be write code well formed (name of the variables writen well, etc) and it can take more time, but a new programmer can write his/her first program in a record time with VB. In other languages as C#, this tasks will take more time.


For other interviews in this series, please visit http://imavb.net.