Steve Andrews

passionate technologist · business applications · community guy

From the Forums: FXCop 1.35

There have been a number of questions on the MSDN forums about where one might download FXCop version 1.35. It seems that GotDotNet has got up and gone, and that's where FXCop used to live. I found that you can download the FXCop 1.36 BETA from the Microsoft Web site, but 1.35 was nowhere to be found. One option to get FXCop 1.35 was to inst... [更多...]

Team System Link Love: 1

I'll try to publish a links with some - [daily|weekly|monthly|infrequent] - frequency. So we'll kick this off with issue #1, and while some of these aren't exactly new links, they are ones I refer to a bit, so I guess it's as much for my benefit as yours. Administration and Setup: Backing Up and Restoring Team Foundation Server D... [更多...]

SOX 404: Part 2 - Separation of Duties

NOTE: This series of articles are written as introduction to complex subjects. They are general in nature and highly condensed. They are not intended to be legal advice or counseling in individual cases and cannot substitute for consultation with a knowledgeable attorney or other competent adviser.   Part 1: Introduction ... [更多...]

SOX 404: Compliance Not Found? (updated)

Redux of original post. NOTE: This series of articles are written as introduction to complex subjects. They are general in nature and highly condensed. They are not intended to be legal advice or counseling in individual cases and cannot substitute for consultation with a knowledgeable attorney or other competent advisory. In case anyone has fo... [更多...]


I used to really dislike Mercedes. I didn't care for the way they looked, and I thought they were, well, stupid. I swore I would never drive a Mercedes and I would ridicule them when I saw one on the road or in a parking lot or a driveway. But I was at a used car dealer looking at cars recently, and a Mercedes caught my eye. After taking it... [更多...]

Speak up!

I've been writing up a topic summary and stuff for the Tech·Ed U.S. 2008 Call for Content. Yesterday morning I logged into the submission web site, and was shocked to find out that the Call for Content had closed. My submission was going to be on regulatory compliance using Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server, which I think would have b... [更多...]

Testing the WinForms UI

Yesterday I was engaged by a Test-Driven Development hardliner; a letter of the law type guy. He was very adamant that the .NET Framework and Visual Studio were grossly lacking because there is no way to test the UI, and Test-Driven Development requires a test to be written before any development can occur. The scenario given was that you have a ... [更多...]

Visual Studio Tools and Add-Ins

Thanks to everyone who attended my session at the Philly .NET Code Camp 2008.1. Here is a list of the tools I covered: Microsoft Tools Visual Studio SDK The Visual Studio SDK is the mothership of all Visual Studio add-ins. Among oth... [更多...]

Extending Outlook with VSTO SE

The Everywhere Platform Other than Windows and its default applications such as Notepad and Internet Explorer, what one piece of software is on more desktops than any other? In most companies, the president, sales staff, support staff, office manager, and sometimes even the janitor have Microsoft Outlook installed. The question begs asking then, w... [更多...]
Steve Andrews | passionate technologist · business applications · community guy

Steve Andrews

passionate technologist · business applications · community guy

Debugging Handled Exceptions

You know, if it weren't for exceptions our jobs would be so much easier. Of course, if it weren't for our jobs exceptions wouldn't exist either. But they exist. And we cringe. Sometimes they are just so very hard to track down –elusive little buggers that they are. You might try debugging your code in Visual Studio, hoping you get ... [更多...]

WinForms: Tab Order

So you've created a great winforms app with loads of controls, you fire it up, start tabbing through fields, and the cursor is jumping all over the place. What a pain. Now you have to go back through each and every control and set the tab order manually in the Properties window. Sound familiar? In a stroke of pure genius, Microsoft thought ... [更多...]

Comment and win!

The first ten unique people to add a VALID comment on any post in this blog within the next 24 hours get a free Zune* **. Conditions: * Winner(s) must be a US resident, 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Valid comment determination is at my sole discretion. Shipping and handling fees of $259 is the responsibility of any winner(s). Actual pri... [更多...]

Taming the Visual Studio WinForms Designer

Here's a new Visual Studio tip I picked up recently. I have built my share on WinForms apps, and most of them had extraneous labels to denote input fields or other areas of the form. I don't use them, their just placeholders for text. It used to be that when I was working on the code side (F7), I would wander through IntelliSense, trying... [更多...]

Breakpoint Breakdown

We are all familiar with the breakpoint, but let's break down some of the advanced breakpoint features. Here's the simple class we are going to use. Create a console application and paste the following code into the program.cs file: using System;namespace BreakpointTester{    class Program    { ... [更多...]

May the Source Stay Only With You

So you've stayed up late every night for the past couple months coding out a sweet new idea. The bits are finally in order; you do a release build, zip it up, and put it on your website with a link to PayPal. "I am so going to retire" you think. Next thing you know, folks are posting serial numbers, cracks, and your precious source... [更多...]

Find Target Registry Code

It's always such a pain finding a Windows shortcut's target. You have to right-click on the shortcut, choose properties, and then click 'Find Target…'. After Explorer pops up, you still have to close the properties window (Esc key). Wouldn't it be great if there was an easier way, like in the context menu? A while back I fou... [更多...]

Browse With Resolutions – No Dice

When browsing an ASP.NET website from Visual Studio, there is a menu option 'Browse With'. When you open the dialog, you can select a browser to view the document or site, as well as select what resolution you want to view it in. Awhile back I was trying to test an ASP.NET mobile application without an emulator. I wanted to be able to op... [更多...]

MSBuild Task for SharePoint - MakeCab

I've been doing quite a bit of SharePoint lately, and I feel there is still too much repetitive, manual effort involved in creating SharePoint solutions. One has to first create an empty class library project, and then add the folder structure and feature.xml, elements.xml, manifest.xml and wsp.ddf files. Next you have to keep track of file l... [更多...]

Padding the ole Resume

I found this list hanging on the wall at a friend's cube at work, and thought it was too funny to pass up. Top 11 Worst Resumes Lead programmer of the SQL Slammer worm As data analyst for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, I often took work home Spearheaded the 2005 deployment of my company's Token Ring network Saved thousands of dollars i... [更多...]
Steve Andrews | How did you get started in software development?

Steve Andrews

passionate technologist · business applications · community guy

How did you get started in software development?

A certain meme has been going around asking developers how they got started in software development. While I'm a little late to the game, here's my story:

How old were you when you started programming?

I was around 15 years old when I started playing with HyperCard and Filemaker Pro on a Mac IIci. I loved it from the start; my dad would literally have to unplug the computer for me to go to bed at night. I really didn't start getting into commercial development though until I was around 19-20 years old.

How did you get started in programming?

I built a couple websites during high-school using Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft FrontPage, and while I now feel these were the worst tools possible, they enabled me to visually design a web page, and then view the underlying markup. From there I moved on to glorified notepads (Dreamweaver, Homesite, Interdev, and Visual Studio). After moving back to the Philadelphia area, I bought an HP desktop and sat in front of it all day every day for about six months and just soaked up as much as I could.

What was your first language?

My first language was HyperTalk back in the HyperCard days. My first real development languages were Visual Basic and ASP.OLD.

What was the first real program you wrote?

It's been so long now that I don't remember. I built my first website in Microsoft Publisher, the second in Microsoft FrontPage, and from there, again, I moved onto glorified notepads. The first real project was probably a client website.

What languages have you used since you started programming?

Visual Basic ~6, Cold Fusion, ASP.OLD, Java, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, VBScript, T-SQL, etc. Not sure all of those are 'languages' per se, but…

What was your first professional programming gig?

My first gig was from a guy who called me up to sell me on Amway. While I wasn't interested in 'sales', he also co-owned a small software company and gave me my start.

If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming?

Absolutely. For me, programming is like the only thing in life that's logical. Even when computers screw up for seemingly illogical reasons, under the covers there are some bits that can explain it. I can only tell people that it's the way my brain is wired; I don't think I could quit this business if I tried.

If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new developers, what would it be?

For starters, find what really gets you passionate in software development, whether that's a specific technology, an industry, or a particular focus, whatever. It's really the underlying passion that counts.

Second, understand that a career in technology means you must constantly be learning, growing, and rethinking. Technology, as well as patterns, practices and methodologies, are always in a state of constant flux. If you're not willing to commit yourself to this, you may want to find another career.

Third, if you have the passion, don't worry so much about degrees or certifications. For me, I'd rather hire someone with a thirst for knowledge, passion in their heart, and an aptitude for programming over someone with an 'education' any day.

Fourth, get involved in the community: attend local user groups, join the online forums, participate in community or open-source projects, etc. Not only do you get a chance to give back, but you learn so much along the way.

What's the most fun you've ever had ... programming?

I don't think there is any one project I can single out. The most fun I've had programming however have been client projects that significantly impacted their business. I also enjoy little personal projects, either because they were 'cool', or they helped automate and simplify something in my life, or taught me something new.

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