More interview fun
Thanks to all who have provided feedback on my recent interview with John Walker. Here is a PDF of the complete series for those who would rather use that format for offline viewing (please think twice before printing all 27 pages, though). The interview proved to be a very interesting activity - even more so than I had anticipated - and so I've decided to try a few more. I'm in no danger of making a career of this (don't worry) but I'm finding it an interesting diversion to meet and talk with people who have important information to share with this blog's readership.
With that in mind I headed across to the UK last week. The primary reason was to attend internal meetings in Autodesk's Farnborough office, but once they were finished I headed up to Cambridge. I'm actually from that part of the world - I grew up 35 miles north of Cambridge - so it was quite nostalgic for me to spend time in the city. My main purpose for visiting Cambridge was the Microsoft Research facility there: I'd been in touch with Don Syme (the father of F#) over the last few weeks and he had very kindly agreed to meet with me to talk in person. I spent the best part of the day with Don: we talked at great length about AutoCAD's architecture and Autodesk's software in general, and also about the significance of F# for our industry. I recorded about 45 minutes of dialog which will form the basis of an interview to be published via this blog.
The day ended with an impromptu demo of the more visually compelling of the F# samples I've integrated into AutoCAD, as well as a brief description of my recent C#/F# LOGO implementation inside AutoCAD. Aside from Don, the attendees were Andrew Kennedy (who is responsible for the Units of Measure implementation in F#, something I'm going to dive into soon), James Margetson (the other original member of the F# team who happened to write the base sample I integrated into AutoCAD) and Byron Cook (who I immediately recognised from his Channel 9 appearances). I'm very grateful to Don and co. for taking the time to talk with me.
Don also gave me a signed copy of his book, Expert F#. I've so far only flicked through it, but at first glance it's a very interesting volume which I'm sure will help greatly with my efforts to sharpen my functional programming skills. With any luck I'll have a few more to give away at my upcoming F# session at Autodesk University.
Right... I'd better get started with converting my recording of the interview into printable text. Hopefully I'll have something to post by Friday.