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"The Best Programming Advice I Ever Got" with Bill Wagner

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Bill Wagner, co-founder of SRT Solutions and regular contributor to the C# Development Center, tells why it's important to focus on the usability of code.
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Bill Wagner

Job Experience:

I have spent most of my professional career between curly braces, starting with C and moving through C++, Java, and now C#. Iā€™m the author of Effective C# (2nd edition released in 2010), More Effective C# (2009), and am one of the annotators for The C# Language Specification, 3rd and 4th editions. I am also a regular contributor to the C# Development Center, and try to write production code whenever I can

Most Notable Achievement:

Wow, that's hard to answer. I've been fortunate enough to have worked on many great projects with a lot of great people. If I had to name one thing, it would be the More Effective C# book. I've had quite a few people tell me that it really helped them understand the major changes that came with C# 3.0 and LINQ. I am really grateful that so many people learned from it.

Most Frequently Used Programming Language:

C#, after earlier experience with C and C++, although I've also used several others over time.


One of the leaders on my earliest projects told me, "Make code usable before you make it reusable." It's so easy to get caught up in making something perfect and extensible that sometimes we don't even make code usable in the first place. Once you've got something that satisfies its original purpose, you can see how it may be extended. Until it's actually used, you can't know where it could be extended or reused.

Most importantly, that advice keeps you focused on moving forward rather than spinning without making any progress...

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