Interview with a Wiki Ninja, MVP, and Visual Basic Guru - Reed Kimble
Behind Naomi N, Reed currently has the most TechNet Guru Gold Medals (6; all in VB). You can see the awards for VB here: TechNet Guru Contributions - Visual Basic (thanks to Naomi, Mahesh, and Carsten for keeping that article alive).
Not only is Reed an MVP and a Moderator on the VB forum, but what's amazing is that Reed only wrote 7 Wiki articles! And all 7 are TechNet Guru medal winners! And 6 of them are gold winners! So when Reed Kimble is in the competition, the VB authors have a high bar! And that's fantastic for building high quality articles on TechNet Wiki!
Here is Reed's profile...
Notice how Reed created 1 Code Gallery item, and it has 17K downloads!
Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?
My name is Reed Kimble and I live in north central Arkansas, in the heart of the Ozarks. Originally from north east Pennsylvania, I’ve been in Arkansas some twenty years. I’m employed as Systems Administrator at Micro Plastics, Inc. and have been with the company since 2000. In this capacity I have dealt with all aspects of IT and have primary responsibility for systems architecture, development, and IT administration/logistics. I also work closely with the Manufacturing and Research and Development departments on process automation. Although I keep my hands active in many aspects of IT, my specialization over the years has drifted toward .Net development, with Visual Basic in particular, as well as embedded systems development.
What are your big projects right now?
My current big project is two-fold; first I’m working on the next generation of our in-house production monitoring system, which moves from a centralized I/O capture architecture to a distributed wireless infrastructure. In conjunction with this, our team is implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX as our global ERP solution, and I’m working with them to provide infrastructure, integration, and development support.
What do you do with TechNet Wiki, and how does that fit into the rest of your job?
I have to admit that my contributions to TechNet Wiki have revolved solely around the monthly “Guru” competitions (see TechNet Guru Contributions). I’ve tried to enter semi-regularly to give the program encouragement and to encourage other forums contributors to share their knowledge as well. In my day job, the Wiki can be a quick solution to many an IT problem, and I find it useful to refer coworkers to specific articles from time to time.
What is it about TechNet Wiki that interests you?
TechNet Wiki interests me in the fact that I can create an article about any situation that I might myself have found difficult to accomplish, and explain it all such that no one else has to go through the trouble again. Two good examples are writing to a console window without wrapping text, and generating a spectrum of colors. It’s also interesting in the fact that it has the potential to become the greatest wealth of Microsoft-based IT knowledge available on the Internet.
What could we do differently on TechNet Wiki?
One thing I would like to see with the Wiki is some form of two-way integration with the forums. When reading a Wiki article it would be interesting to have an optional side bar with related forums threads, and when composing a new thread in the forums it would be useful to be presented with a list of Wiki articles which could potentially answer the question.
Do you have any comments for product groups about TechNet Wiki?
My one comment for product groups would be to add Dynamics AX. This product is sorely in need of stronger community support, especially in the United States. Their current website is… somewhat less than perfect in content and community involvement.
Do you have any tips for new Wiki authors?
To new Wiki authors, the one and most important tip I can give you is to write an article. If you just want to post a code sample, use the Code Gallery and put the sample where it’s most likely to be found and utilized. If you just have something to share, but don’t want to get into a detailed explanation about it, post it as a discussion in the forums. When you write an article, speak to your audience and tell them a story about something techy and interesting. Explain things as best you can, and provide back references or links, when appropriate, so that readers can easily expand upon your subject matter if they choose. Segment your content so that it’s easy to follow and flows in a logical order, and then include a TOC using the Wiki tag. These are the things that will make the content of the Wiki attractive and will give people a desire to continue reading beyond that first article that a search engine delivered unto them.
Thank you, Reed! So, I realized that you didn't mention how you're a Microsoft MVP. Do you have any advice or suggestions for our readers (in addition to your Wiki tips), especially in the .NET space?
Please join me in thanking Reed for all his amazing contributions to the Visual Basic community!
- Ninja Ed