Thursday, September 28, 2006

Be Careful Who You Bless

Weird title, huh?

For many years, I was a closeted Fox guru not really interested in global attention or acknowledgement. I had my hands full with my local market. Honestly, I didn't really think I was all that good at what I did until I discovered the online community and began to contribute. Shortly thereafter I was an MVP and writing articles and, by a weird chain of circumstances, a major contributor to the VFP 6 MCP and MCSD tests. By another strange turn of events I found myself offered a position at Microsoft and sojourned there for over 4 years.

The minute I joined MS things changed. Suddenly I was a member of the illustrious Fox Team and that conferred stature and power in the community. Power insofar as promoting individuals and ideas into the community. The bully pulpit.

Really, I didn't want it. I had a ton of support when I joined MS from folks who had gotten to know me and felt that "one of theirs" was joining the Borg Collective. In the 4 years I was there I tried very hard to stay true to my developer roots and, I believe for the most part, succeeded.

But while there it became easy to see who was "in it" to help others and who was "in it" to promote themselves and community benefit was a side benefit.

I won't name names of the latter, but I can in good faith name plenty of names of the former: folks who gave and gave and gave to the community far beyond whatever direct recompense might come. Hey, there's nothing wrong with making a buck but don't be dishonest about why you're doing something supposedly altruistic when it's not.

So here is the Gonzo Hall of Fame of people who did great things for the right reasons and deserve the respect and consideration of the VFP community as a whole. If a name is not on this list it's not necessarily because they don't belong; it's more likely a sign of early Alzheimer's on my part.

Tamar Granor ....I'll never forget how she organized ad-hoc sessions in SD in 2001 for those trapped by 9/11. Class act.
Ed Leafe ..... No one pays him for ProFox and it seems that MS doesn't even give a shit about it as far as MVP is concerned.
Garrett Fitzgerald ... the guy spent so much time helping folks outside of the normal PSS box it cost him his job. I'm very thankful to have been his supervisor for two stints as a contract tester at MS as his heart was always in the right place.
Doug Hennig ... I know for a fact that the stuff he does when under contract for MS is far more taxing than what he is paid. But he does it anyway.
David Stevenson ... You think being editor of FoxTalk 2.0 was easy? A thankless job which he stuck to for quite a while.
Ken Levy ... This guy deserves much more credit than I've ever seen him get promoting the product above and beyond his job title.
Carl Warner ...Spends a lot of time keeping VFUG running with no help and he doesn't charge fees.
Calvin Hsia ... Same as Ken....goes above and beyond as witnessed by his blog posts.
Rainer Becker ... Goes out on a limb many, many times to promote VFP and, sometimes, at great personal risk. Wholly responsible for German help files.

....and many others.

Support these folks. They support you.


Doug Hennig said...

Hi John.

It's very kind of you to mention me in your list. Thank you.


John Harvey said...


Now you've started something! I guess a bunch of us will start spamming you with other people you left off.

Rick Strahl comes to mind as first up. He's been one of the most helpful gurus out there and has developed world class tools for us, as well. (Yeah, you too Doug< G >).

I guess that's one of the great things about drinking the VFP koolaid, it tastes great and it's less filling!

There are so many guys who have been helpful maybe we should just put up a "thank you" list.

I'd say YAG, Menachim, Tom Rettig, from the old days and now Cathy Pountney and Craig Boyd should be added as well.

Garrett said...


Thanks, John.

But to be fair, if I had gotten my ADD treated back then, I might have been able to work outside the box _and_ spend enough time inside it to keep the job.

Gonzo said...

Yup, Rick somes to mind but I don't honestly know the financial side so couldn't in good faith include him in the list. I only listed people I knew for a fact acted on good faith at a loss.

Menachem Bazian is an old friend but I couldn't include him either as he's been out of the VFP world for almost 10 years.

YAG I agree with philosophically but I can't include because he's a Softie.

I said the Gonzo list was not all-inclusive.

Garrett deserves special consideration. He's a great coder, and if any of you need a contractor you could do worse.

Blush some more, Vulcan!

Tamar Granor said...

Thanks. I honestly don't remember setting up anything ad hoc, but I was raised to be a contributing member of any community to which I belong.