Meet The Team: Rob Clarke

Rob joins us from the deep North (Okay, from Manchester). Never seen without his sweet leather jacket, Rob joined us as a software intern and had a baptism of fire working on the .NET Reflector add-in model. Fortunately for him, there wasn’t any actual fire (not like the last time), but there has been a constant hail of nerf darts which he has weathered with good humour and perseverance.

What’s your background?

I’m currently a student at Manchester University, and I’m at Red Gate for a summer software internship. In terms of coding, I’m relatively new – my first degree was biochemistry, which I did for 2 years before switching to Computer Science. Most of our coding at university is done in Java or C, so C# is a great language to learn.

What are you working on at the moment?

Over my 10 weeks here I’m going to be working on a great new feature for Reflector; specifically, implementing debugging support in the desktop version.It’s really exciting to be given major responsibility in my relatively short time here, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.

If you could make one change to the .NET Framework, what would it be?

I would change the version numbers so they directly correspond to different versions of C#/VB.NET – I still find it pretty confusing to remember which is which!

What’s the most interesting/satisfying project you’ve worked on, and why?

This, by far! Before working on the Reflector project I had no experience of a real world codebase, so it’s been eye-opening to see how Red Gate works. Reflector is particularly unique in the way I can use it to debug the code I’m working on, which is itself a debugger!

What do you do to relax?

I’ve been playing the bass guitar now for around 4 years, so I try to keep up with practising every day; though sometimes that’s difficult alongside the heavy student lifestyle!But seriously, I enjoy playing video games, listening to music of all styles and genres, and going to gigs especially (of which there is plenty of choice in Manchester!)

What’s your favourite book (technical and/or non-technical) and why?

Unfortunately I stopped reading for pleasure many years ago – I mostly rely on films and video games nowadays for interesting storylines and narrative. (In case you’re interested, my favourite games are Shenmue and Mass Effect.) Most of the textbooks I’ve read are pretty dry, so I wouldn’t say any of them are my favourite!

Any advice/suggestions for other (aspiring) software engineers?

The best advice I can offer anyone is to never stop learning new things.Talk to as many different people as you can, because everyone has something they can teach you.It doesn’t even necessarily have to be about software or technology.

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About Chris

A background in technical publishing; editing articles on Simple-Talk and SQLServerCentral for 3 years now. When I’ve not been editing articles, I’ve been editing or proofing books covering everything from .NET performance testing to Exchange Server, XML Schema Design, and the SQL Server Query Optimizer. I built a few websites to help pay my way through college, but the less said about them, the better.

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