Nigel (seen here cradling “Hannah”, his modified-to-fire-18-darts-per-second Nerf cannon – affectionately known as “The Destroyer”) is a hero: his wife gave birth to his second child just two weeks ago, and he’s already back in the office and chomping at the bit. His is the most ostentatious desk in the team, laden with 3 monitors, the shiniest office chair he lay his avaricious little paws on, and never less than 2 nerf guns. He’s also brought a satisfyingly broad set of skills and experience to the Reflector team, both in terms of development and office warfare.
What’s your background?
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve started working on making more .NET Reflector features, such as the object browser, available in visual studio. Keep an eye on our EAP channel over the next few weeks to see what we’ve been cooking up.
If you could make one change to the .NET Framework, what would it be?
Not sure if you’d call this the Framework or the C# language, but more support for C++ style destructor semantics – i.e. having a way to make the “dispose” method called when something leaves scope. It’s about the only thing I miss from C++ as a way of making sure resources are released. I find the “using…” syntax unsatisfactory, as it introduces a new scope and you have to nest them sometimes.
That and making .NET available on Android natively 🙂
What’s the most interesting / satisfying project you’ve worked on, and why?
Probably sounds a bit cliché, but… The first down tools week project at Red Gate. This was a week of quite intensive coding, but was a bit different from the norm because the designer came up with a somewhat different UI that was just quite fun to write – we were a small team working very intensely for a week and we actually did start from scratch and ship the tool within a week so we were quite proud of that (very sad, but coding something like that gets my adrenaline going and gets me very excited – the older and more cynical I get the less it happens so it was quite nice to capture that again).
What do you do to relax?
Having (now 2) children I don’t get that much free time any more. I used to play World of Warcraft but I think I’ve finally tired of that. Sometimes I code at home for fun (though I do that less the older I get!), or play other games. I also like to play a lot of 5-a-side football (or soccer for the USA readers) when I can. Plus several other hobbies, all of which I’d like to do more of (probably not till I retire though!)
What’s your favourite book (technical and / or non-technical), and why?
Excession by Iain M Banks – it was the first of his books that I read and I think the best (all others before worked up to it – and the ones past it aren’t so good). I couldn’t tell you why, maybe it’s just quite good at revealing stuff not too fast and not too slow – plus there’s a nice twist to one of the charactoers / space-ships (for want of a better word) in it. Been a while since I read it, as I think someone borrowed it – really wish there was a way to get the Kindle edition if you already have the book!
Do you have any advice / suggestions / questions for other developers?
Live long and prosper? May the force be with you? Something like that. I couldn’t think of anything more profound or intellectual today… sorry.