January 2009

Volume 24 Number 01

Editor's Note - A Look Back As We Move Forward

By Howard Dierking | January 2009

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Well, here we are again at the start of a new year. You know, it seems like it was just yesterday when I wrote the January 2008 editor's note! This month, I'm going to recap some of the changes we made in 2008 and tell you about a few of the new things you'll see in MSDN Magazine for 2009.

Let's begin with our 2008 reader survey, which revealed the high-level topics you all wanted to see more of in the magazine. By far the most requested topic was on software design patterns and best practices. We responded with our March issue, which carried this theme and contained articles discussing topics such as dependency injection and inversion of control and development lifecycle best practices such as continuous integration. We then welcomed Jeremy Miller as the author of the new Patterns in Practice column. Additionally, you can look forward to reading the next themed issue on software design in February.

Other requested topics from the 2008 survey were service develop­ment, database development, and Web app development. Last year, we ran many service-focused articles, and you'll likely notice that service-oriented and distributed architecture is the theme for this month. You can expect to see continued, if not increased, coverage of service-based system architectures. In this regard, we are excited to welcome Jon Flanders as the new regular author for the Service Station column.

While we have covered data access, we have generally stayed away from database development because it was considered within the scope of the DBA. And while this may be true for some organizations, the more common reality is that developers are responsible for building the accompanying databases for their solutions and as such need developer-oriented guidance around building databases. We are therefore happy to welcome Bob Beauchemin as the author of the new database development column, Under the Table.

There are so many facets of Web app development that the topic could be a magazine in and of itself. That said, we have maintained consistent coverage of both the client-side and server-side technologies with columns such as Cutting Edge and Wicked Code. In 2009, we are welcoming Scott Allen as the new author for the Extreme ASP.NET column, which will focus more on the server technologies for building Web apps while the aforementioned columns will focus more on the technologies used to directly create the client experiences. And on that note, I would also like to welcome Ambrose Little and Dr. Charles Kreitzberg to MSDN Magazine Online. Ambrose and Charles have started a monthly online column called Usability in Practice to tackle the psychological and engineering aspects of building great user experiences.

Furthermore, we recently began moving all of our article code samples to MSDN Code Gallery. This will allow our team to be much more agile in managing and updating code samples as needed. In that agility, we are now also able to translate all C# code samples into Visual Basic.

And with a growing number of more diverse and specialized languages, we are happy to add a new column, The Polyglot Programmer, and its author, Ted Neward, to the 2009 lineup. Ted will be focusing on a variety of programming languages and language types, providing guidance on where each type can contribute the most on development projects.

As we continue to grow our coverage to keep pace with the rapidly expanding set of technologies, we will often offer content exclusively online at msdn.microsoft.com/magazine. So please check in frequently!

Visit us at msdn.microsoft.com/magazine. Questions, comments, or suggestions for MSDN Magazine? Send them to the editor: mmeditor@microsoft.com.

Thanks to the following Microsoft technical experts for their help with this issue: Kent Brown, Michele Leroux Bustamante, Mike Calligaro, Sanjeev Garg, T.J. Goltermann, Dana Groff, Phil Haack, Robert Horvick, Michael Howard, Sesha Mani, David Murray, and Matt Winkler.