Today we’re talking to William Burrows, a professor emeritus of the Foster Business School at the University of Washington and a Microsoft MVP for Visual Basic. He publishes tutorials on Microsoft technologies on his site, myVBProf.com.
Hi, William! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
I am retired from the faculty at the Foster Business School at the University of Washington where I taught a variety of courses in the Information Systems area for a 25 year period. These courses ranged from introductory-level IS concepts to graduate-level courses on systems development.
After retiring, I taught several courses in our master’s-level IS program where the students were employed full-time. I started putting together online tutorials that the students could watch when it was convenient for them and it turned out that this approach worked quite well.
When I “really” retired, I decided to produce tutorials on emerging Microsoft technologies for the Visual Basic community. Since these tutorials were not specifically targeted for Foster students, I needed to find a hosting service, and that brought me to DiscountASP.NET.
When did you first become interested in web technologies?
My interest in web technologies started in the early 1990’s with the advent of the Mozilla browser. I started introducing HTML and active server pages into my courses in the mid 1990’s. That interest continued as Microsoft introduced ASP.NET and others introduced JavaServer Pages. My interests have continued to evolve with Silverlight and now Windows Store applications.
Which technologies are you using for myVBProf.com?
My site started as an ASP.NET forms site where I used Visual Studio. When Silverlight 3 was released, I decided to switch my site to that technology. With the release of Visual Studio 2012, I decided to switch back to ASP.NET forms using HTML5 for markup. The tutorial videos can be viewed with either the Flash plugin or an HTML 5 compatible viewer, so now the tutorials can be viewed in browsers that do not support plugins.
Since my tutorials are free, I have not needed a database to support registration of other activities. I maintain a site for a non-profit also hosted by DiscountASP.NET that uses SQL Server and I have had no problems creating and maintaining the database.
How did you come to choose DiscountASP.NET?
I started my site in 2004 with a different hosting company. I experienced a number of problems with this hosting company (technical issues, poor performance, and poor support.) I am a Microsoft MVP so I asked a number of MVPs for their recommendations and DiscountASP.NET rose to the top. Based on the MVPs recommendations, I switched to DiscountASP.NET and have been very pleased ever since.
We’re always glad to hear that! What do you like about our service?
There are a number of benefits. The first is reliability – the site has never gone down to my knowledge. Although I have not needed to use support very often, I have always found their responses to be fast and very helpful. Since I try to provide instruction on emerging technologies, I have appreciated the fact that DiscountASP.NET often provides “sandboxes” to experiment with technologies that are not yet released. These accounts are free and really help one get a better understanding of the new technology.
Now that you’re “really” retired, what have you been up to?
My wife and I live on a small island in Washington’s beautiful Puget Sound. I have been volunteering with local organizations that focus on maintaining a healthy ecosystem in Puget Sound.
Thanks for your time and support, William. We really appreciate it!