October 2014

Volume 29 Number 10

Editor's Note : Arrivals and Departures

Michael Desmond | October 2014

Michael DesmondThe October issue of MSDN Magazine comes to you bearing both good news and bad news. I’ll start with the tough news first. This issue will be the last featuring Charles Petzold as a regular columnist in MSDN Magazine. Petzold has signed on at Xamarin, where he is helping developers grasp the finer points of the Xamarin C# tools for cross-platform Android and iOS app development. Unfortunately, that means he no longer has time to write his monthly column for us.

Petzold has been associated with MSDN Magazine and its predecessor, Microsoft Systems Journal, going all the way back to 1986, and he’s been a regular columnist here since teaming up with Juval Lowy and Matt Milner on the Foundations column in 2007. Since then, Petzold has authored several columns for us in a more-or-less uninterrupted string, including UI Frontiers, Touch and Go, and (most recently) DirectX Factor. That last column, which launched in January 2013, dove into the sometimes-arcane world of DirectX and native C++ development.

“On average, I’m sure I spent more time programming and writing for each DirectX Factor column than any previous magazine writing,” Petzold says. “I enjoyed the experience immensely, but I think DirectX is intrinsically a full-time job.”

Now, Petzold is moving on, entering what he calls “a whole new chapter” in his life. He’s been writing a book about Xamarin.Forms, an API abstraction layer for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone programming using C# and XAML. And you’ll find Petzold at the Xamarin Evolve conference this month (Oct. 6-10), where he’ll be speaking about Xamarin.Forms.

It’s been our honor at MSDN Magazine to host Petzold for all these years, and we hold out hope that he’ll visit our pages again sometime soon, perhaps writing a feature or two about cross-platform mobile development.

Now, for the good news: MSDN Magazine this month welcomes Microsoft Principal Director Keith Boyd as a member of the editorial team. Boyd heads a team of about 50 programming writers at Microsoft and is in charge of all the developer documentation in the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise division. His arrival immediately improves the magazine’s access to top-shelf developer content and ensures it can better fulfill its mission of helping working developers master the tools and techniques critical to their jobs.

“Our goal is to thoroughly modernize the content of the site and to make it as discoverable as possible, so more members of our developer community can benefit from it,” Boyd says. “That means improved content presentation, better integration of the magazine content with other MSDN properties, improved discovery of related code assets, and better linking to related content and videos. We want people to come away from the magazine Web site inspired to try something new and motivated to make a bet on Microsoft.”

There’s a lot to be excited about as we round the corner into 2015. Boyd singles out the work Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has done to refocus the company, and looks forward to the continued evolution of Visual Studio and Visual Studio Online. He also notes coming advancements in both Windows and Windows Phone, as well as the rapid-fire innovation coming from the Microsoft Azure team. As Boyd notes, “It’s an exciting time to be a part of Microsoft.”

And it’s an exciting time to be at MSDN Magazine. We’re looking forward to working with Boyd and his team to keep readers abreast of everything that’s going on in the Microsoft ecosystem.

Michael Desmond is the Editor-in-Chief of MSDN Magazine