November 2019

Volume 34 Number 11

[Editor's Note]

Hail and Farewell

By Michael Desmond | November 2019

Michael DesmondI was named after my grandfather, a newspaper man out of Toledo, Ohio, who died of congestive heart failure at the age of 65, soon after I was born. He never got to meet me, but my parents would tell the story of the note he sent me from his hospital bed. It read simply: “Ave atque vale.” Hail and farewell.

It is a time of farewells here at MSDN Magazine, as we close the final issue in the publication’s 33-year history. I’ve been editor in chief of this magazine for eight years, nearly one-quarter of its total run, and have had the opportunity to forge so many connections and friendships. I’ve enjoyed the subversive humor of David Platt and Ted Neward, experienced the unpredictable genius of Thomas Hansen, and marveled at the ridiculous work ethic of Stefano Tempesta.

And that’s the point, really. MSDN Magazine and its decades of success wasn’t about the code, as much as it was about the people. Our long-running stable of columnists—Julie Lerman, James McCaffrey, Ted Neward, David Platt, Frank La Vigne and Dino Esposito—is proof of that, as are frequent contributors like Mark Michaelis, Alessandro Del Sole, Steve Smith and Srikantan Sankaran. Rachel Appel kick-started our exploration of modern apps, Jonathan Waldman produced some of the best blockchain articles I’ve ever read, and Bruno Terkaly and Ricardo Villalobos tackled Azure back when it was a thing developers regarded with suspicion.

The magazine has seen so many brilliant contributions from the field, from authors like Vassili Kaplan, Hadi Brais, Laurent Bugnion and Zvi Topol. And the list of Microsoft contributors goes on and on. Stephen Toub, Kraig Brockschmidt, Ashish Sahu, Dmitry Lyalin, Stephen Kerr, Adam Tuliper, Kevin Ashley, Andrew Whitechapel, Immo Landwerth. To all of you who took time from your demanding jobs to help inspire and enlighten our readers, thank you.

I want to recognize also those who came before. To former editors in chief Keith Ward, Howard Dierking, Stephen Toub, Michael Longacre, Eric Maffei and John Lazarus (who started it all), we stood on the shoulders of giants. And thank you to our editorial directors at Microsoft, who at times served as defender, advocate, liaison and muse. Diego Dagum, Kit George, Jennifer Mashkowski and Mohammad Al-Sabt—your efforts enabled us to do some great things.

I won’t neglect our amazing staff. To Features Editor Sharon Terdeman, whose skill, dedication and patience transformed even the most calamitous manuscripts into polished, finished articles; and to Art Director Josh Gould, who brought visual clarity and cohesion to our uniquely challenging content, thank you! And a shout out to former technical editors David Ramel and Terry Dorsey, who displayed a rare blend of developer expertise and editing skill. Finally, Wendy Hernandez, our tireless managing editor, you made all of us look good. You were the engine at the heart of MSDN Magazine, and its success is a reflection of your ability to keep me from wandering off—because you know I’ll wander off.

Well, that’s it then. It’s time to close the book on MSDN Magazine. But know this: The people who breathed life into the magazine are still out there, testing the edges of new frameworks, exploring the limits and possibilities of the tools and languages, and sharing their insights with the community. The body of this enterprise may be at an end, but the spirit of it will live on.

Ave atque vale, my friends.

Hail. And farewell.

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