Happy 20th birthday Visual Basic!

Today I saw a post on Facebook by a friend of mine, Anthony Green, about writing his first blog post as a Microsoft employee (he has a personal blog as well, unfortunately he’s not written anything since 2008) – when I saw the title, I couldn’t believe it was 20 years already – seems just yesterday that I wrote about its 15th birthday:

Happy 20th Birthday Visual Basic!

My, what a journey it’s been. Almost fifteen years ago I randomly bought a copy of “Visual Basic 5: Deluxe Learning Edition” – I was just 15 at the time and wanted a new hobby, and writing software seemed like it would be fun. In those early days, I had no idea what career I would choose, and really didn’t intend for software development to become the dominant force in my life – I just wanted a better, more productive way to spend my time during the summer.

In the years that have went by, I became passionate about the field, and all it encompasses (possible obsessed, if you believe my wife) – it’s been the driving force in my life. Today, I manage a team of 6 developers, and have a fun start-up with some friends (that someday won’t cost me money every month) – and all because I bought that book. Overall, I have a lot to thank VB for, it really did get me started in this field.

Today though, my language of choice has moved on to newer options – I prefer bleeding technologies when I can use them – but VB will always have a place in my heart, and I’ll always follow its progress as it continues to transform and adapt to an ever-changing world. As the most popular .NET language (contrary to what many of the C# developers think), it plays a vital role in the development of the framework and the ecosystem.

In the conversations I’ve had with Anthony about the future of the language, I greatly look forward to writing about its 25th birthday; I expect those will be exciting times for the language and the entire .NET ecosystem.