November 2015

Volume 30 Number 12

Editor's Note - Welcome Essential .NET

By Michael Desmond | November 2015

Michael DesmondIf you were to glance at the Web metrics for published MSDNMagazinearticles over the past five years, right away you’d notice that Mark Michaelis has his fingerprints all over the top of the board. His October 2014 feature, “The New and Improved C# 6.0” (, was the second-most visited article in the past five years, while his May 2014 feature, “A C# 6.0 Language Preview” (, wasn’t far behind, ranking fourth in first-month page views out of more than 900 total published articles.

Success is hardly new to Michaelis, who’s been a Microsoft MVP for going on 20 years now, and a Regional Director for the last eight. As chief executive officer and chief technical architect of consulting firm IntelliTect, he’s spent the last nine years architecting and implementing advanced .NET-based solutions. And his close relationship with Microsoft has enabled him to emerge as a thought leader in the arena of .NET development. Not bad for a guy who majored in philosophy as an undergraduate (he went on to earn a master’s degree in computer science).

All of which is a long-winded way to say Michaelis would make a terrific columnist at MSDN Magazine.

Starting this month, Michaelis’ new Essential .NET column explores the broad development space around the Microsoft .NET Framework, starting with a look at exception handling in C# 6.0. The inaugural column will be the first of many, he says, to provide updated guidance and best practices for developers working with Microsoft’s evolving flagship programming language.

“When .NET first came out, Brad Abrams and Krzysztof Cwalina spent countless hours educating the .NET community on the .NET Framework Design Guidelines. Since then, however, .NET and the .NET languages have changed and, along with that, the design guidelines have changed and improved, but without the same ambassadors,” Michaelis says. “My focus on exception handling is just a first in a series of many articles to re-engage the developer community on writing maintainable, robust, performant and best practice-infused code.”

What can you expect in the months to come? In December, look for an exploration of the design process around C# 7.0, followed later by a look at how the upcoming version will improve on C# 6.0. From there, expect Michaelis to dive into the deeper waters of the .NET Framework.

When I asked Michaelis why he thought his C#-themed features were so popular, he noted that at the time Microsoft’s focus on Windows 8 had produced some “trepidation” among developers, who worried about the strategic commitment to the .NET Framework and C#. Michaelis says his articles were simply the right stuff at the right time: “My articles happened to come out at a time when there was a thirst by developers to learn the specifics of Microsoft’s renewed commitment [to the language],” he says.

We’re excited to have Michaelis on board, and look forward to seeing Essential .NET take up residence in our pages over the months and years to come. Do you have a topic or issue you would like to see Michaelis attack in an upcoming column? Let me know at

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