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I dedicate my time to helping the community through articles and hundreds of replies in the programming forums a month and carrying on a dialog serves no one but yourself. Asking in the forums - if it hasn't been asked already - could benefit someone with a similar problem. That benefits the community, not 1-on-1 email.
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Software Design Engineer
Developer Division Sustained Engineering Microsoft
Well, things have certainly been interesting these last couple weeks. Talking about leaving in a hurry!
I resigned my position as Director of Technology with Proplanner and took at job as a Software Design Engineer with Microsoft - all around a better opportunity (though that title had a nice ring to it...that gives me a goal ).
I can no longer be a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) because I'm a "Microsoftie", but I still aim to help the community with the same vigor I did before (now that I'm back online, though only on the corporate network for now so don't expect too much chatter). I will - if my manager allows - haunt CodeProject (mainly the C# forum as before) as my "community service" to the developer community so don't think I'm going away!
And just to preserve my former description, I'm logging it here:
Heath Stewart is a happily married software engineer originally from Nebraska and a graduate of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. With nothing much to do in either state, Heath started programming early in life when gopher ruled and the Internet wasn't commercialized, and enjoys continuous research and development in new languages and frameworks. Fluent in many different programming languages, he has developed many large software solutions for companies in different areas, such as Internet filtering, intrusion detection systems, production management systems, Web sites for various purposes, and data analysis tools. He also enjoys photography.
Currently, Heath is the Director of Technology at Proplanner, a Web-based Production Planning System that primarily uses .NET where he designed a multi-tiered environment and supports multiple front-ends (such as a legacy Java interface on PDM) and back-ends (such as Web Services, RDBMS's, file-based IO, and PDM).
Heath is now a CodeProject protector and is happy to help the development community as a Microsoft MVP (C#).
I'll be creating a new description and just wanted to preserve the old. History - it's a wonderful thing.
I recently accepted a job as a Software Design Engineer (SDE) in the Developer Division Sustained Engineering team at Microsoft. It's been a life-long dream (for almost as long as I've been programming) to work for Microsoft and that dream is finally coming true. It's a big step for my wife and I - having to uproot from the midwest where we've both grown up - but it will be an exciting change. The greater Seattle area is beautiful, and only an hour away from Mt. Rainier (unless you get stuck in rush hour traffic like we did!). I love to hike and backpack but haven't had a chance since coming to college here in Ames, IA (go Cyclones!).
This is definitely an exciting opportunity and living in a new place will be an adventure.
Just wanted to say congratulations again. Megan and I can't wait to come to Seattle; you should have all the nice places to see scoped out by the time we come up to visit. If I'm lucky maybe you can even give me a tour of the campus! Congrats man, you deserve it.
Thanks. We'll be happy to see you two as well. It'll be fun there but I'll definitely miss my friends here in the midwest. We'll be back for our annual tailgating with some other friends from around the country that are ISU alums, too.
Microsoft's main campus in Redmond is huge! It's like its own little city (actually has a larger population than my hometown). And with all the water (bays, lakes, rivers, and the Pacific ocean) and mountains (Mt. Rainer, Mt. St. Helens, and the Cascades) there's sure a lot to see. We could even go to Seattle's zoo instead of Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo again!
It definitely is beautiful up here. The Puget Sound area is so full of wonders, and you have so many mountain ranges (and several REI's to go with that!) that's it's almost overwhelming (in a great way). My wife and I were so bored with Iowa (we weren't heavy drinkers; then there's plenty to "do") and coming up here is a big change.
If you'd like (not to sound strange), give me a hollar before you come up if you needs some tips on great places to go (by then I should know some! ).
Oh, and don't worry about getting your coffee fix. There's a Starbucks on every other block (I'm not exagerating!).
Software Design Engineer
Developer Division Sustained Engineering, Microsoft My Articles
I've watched you contribute selflessly to the codeproject community for the past 2 years. I would never forget your reply to one of my impossible question in the forum (demonstrating wit and simplicity).
Once again, accept my congratulations!
...the mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to ignited
When you provide a complete answer to a question, and get the follow up reply "Pls solve !!", what do you do to not lose temper? I figured that at the rate you're helping people, you ought to get a lot of those replies.
:thumbs up: for your C# forum efforts by the way
-- Ich bin Joachim von Hassel, und ich bin Pilot der Bundeswehr. Welle: Erdball - F104-G Starfighter
Let's just say I'm glad that this message board can't record what I say on the other side of the screen!
I usually try to accept the fact that many programmers these days aren't really developers and don't know how to really research the problem, so asking me to explain what I wrote isn't a big surprise. It's always nice when someone has researched their problem but just can't figure it out.
I'm only human, though, and sometimes my fustration comes through. Lately it seems there's a rash of "questions" where they post a whole bunch of code (not even formatted, which makes it incredibly difficult to read) and then they simply say "it doesn't work" with no further explanation. Or sometimes there's not even any code at all with a statement of "it doesn't work". That's what's truly aggravating. That's like going to a doctor and saying, "I don't feel well." There's not a doctor in the world that could diagnose the problem just from that, nor is there a developer in the world that could diagnose a problem with no source code, little description, and simply "it doesn't work". One can always offer suggestions, but in some cases those suggestions can be long-winded and with a good coverage of suggestions it can irritating when a little more explanation could probably help the developer figure it our right away.
And don't forget to pour a for the other homies who provide wonderful help in the C# forum, like Dave and Nick!
With all of the same questions on the C# forum, it wouldn't be hard to write one that actually posted something relevent. Some answers come to mind...
"Most controls in Windows Forms encapsulate Windows common controls; you can use messages to do what you want. It's already a reference type - don't use ref. Everything you need to know is in the .NET Framework SDK - just read it. Instantiating and array does not instantiate reference type elements."
Heath Stewart wrote: "Most controls in Windows Forms encapsulate Windows common controls; you can use messages to do what you want. It's already a reference type - don't use ref. Everything you need to know is in the .NET Framework SDK - just read it. Instantiating and array does not instantiate reference type elements."
Perfect, then you could add this to your signature with the following disclaimer:
"If you did not get the answer you were looking please read my signature below for the answer to your question."
470 as of this post till I squash you (assuming you never post again, of course)! I see I'm currently #37 in the message post rankings. You're #26. Not too bad for either of us, eh? Of course, I don't think we'll ever beat Nish!
A couple weeks ago I was awarded with the Microsoft MVP award for the Visual Development, C# catagory! This is truly and honor and a testament of helping out the community (mostly the C# forum[^]). I just didn't want to say anything until the papers were signed.
Thanks to everyone, though, who help support the communities both here on CodeProject and elsewhere.
I had a friend at Microsoft who I've known for years recommend me, both for my contributions to a site where we met (DevHood - no longer up) and here, not to mention some help I gave him regarding CCWs for an InfoPath project he was working on at Microsoft.
Several other CP'ers are MVPs as well, including Marc Clifton who sometimes graces the C# forum, Chris Maunder (the site adminisrator and founder of CP), and Nishant.
Nice article Heath, it would be interesting to see how many companies will pursue such integrations. I think we would find it more common than not; obviously depending on the abilities of their development staff or the size of their pocketbook to pay for consultants. Good job, another great one!
What's the deal with certification anyway? I've been contemplating this for years but am so torn about whether or not I should take the time and spend the money. My company has even offered to pay for certification tests (like they give me the time) and I still don't really care too much.
I have worked for and with many people that brag about their certifications (like MCSD, MCSE, etc.) and, frankly, know little or nothing at all. I've also worked with a number of truly bright and talented people that aren't certified. Is it just that we spend too much time actually developing code to study? Heck, look at my posting record and profile. I know what I'm doing yet newbies with questions like, "What does method X do?" are getting certified.
Studying is also necessary. After taking a few of these practice exams for fun and curiosity, I realize that it's full of nit-picky stuff that no one cares about. For example, "what do you call the process of putting X, Y, and Z togther?" I don't care what it's called, I only care about the problem I'm trying to solve by doing so and with the solution that results from said operation. Isn't that what's important?
The only real reason I can see to get certified is that too many managers care about such things. They think that because someone is certified they know what they're doing. Yeah, right. I can give them hundreds of counter examples from both perspectives. Test applicants by having them solve a problem instead of answering text book questions and the truth will come out.
There are similar comments made about getting a college degree, but I think they still hold a similar basis for their reasoning. Determination, yet with a certificate or a degree you add measurable determination. While there are people out there that do not have a formal education; there are many which are extremely bright in their area. Certifications provide a quicker mechanism than a typical degree and this is one reason I feel they have grown exponentially in recent years.
Given that, management must use certain determinates to select a new hire, these are typically an easy mechanism to use. You may not believe in them, however if this is what it may take to get a position your looking for, it maybe a good path to travel.