Red Echo

April 1, 2008

Time for a job change

I signed on at Real Software seven years ago with a mission to write a shiny new modern compiler for REALbasic. It was two years before we shipped the new compiler, and a few years more before it became something you could call “shiny” or “modern”, but it worked and it took us where we needed to go. I kept on refining the language and improving the compiler, and while my dreams have always outreached Real Software’s resources, the code has come together well over the years and I am proud of what we have built.

It is time to move on. I will start work at Microsoft on April 14th, joining the VB.NET compiler team. I am excited and can hardly wait to start. VB is the most widely used programming language on earth, and I’ve been stealing its ideas for years. My primary responsibility will be compiler architecture – it will be a very similar position to the one I had for most of my time at Real, in fact, but with more resources and far more customers.

There are quite obviously a lot of changes on the way. It’s been seven years since I last worked in an office and almost nine since I had to drive to work. I’ve always been a Mac (and sometimes Unix) guy; I know very little about Windows and have never used it for my daily work. But whatever – I’m ready for something new. This will be a great step forward in my career, there will be tons of smart people around to learn from, and I’m thrilled by the idea that my work will affect millions of people.


  1. Sorry to see this come to pass
    You’ve been a great resource for REAL and the entire community and a lot of fun at REAL World

    Comment by Norman — April 1, 2008 @ 6:23 pm

  2. Wow. Congrats! Sad day for the RB community, but good luck at MS!

    Comment by Brad Rhine — April 1, 2008 @ 6:24 pm

  3. I recall discussing over drinks at a bar several REALWorlds ago and both saying how it has some very interesting and good stuff going on. Sux to not have you on RB anymore, but glad you found a cool place to dig in.

    Comment by stephen — April 1, 2008 @ 7:04 pm

  4. You will be missed. You can be proud of the work that you’ve done on REALbasic. While I wish you were going anywhere but Microsoft I do wish you luck and hope that you stay in touch with us.

    Comment by Bob Keeney — April 2, 2008 @ 5:32 am

  5. Thanks for all your hard work over the years, Mars. Good luck on your new adventure!

    Comment by Joe Strout — April 2, 2008 @ 8:07 am

  6. Gosh, I wish this was an April Fool’s joke.

    I hope you can still keep us updated here.

    Comment by Russ — April 2, 2008 @ 8:09 am

  7. I’m hoping that this is an April Fool’s joke…

    but, if not, thanks for the assistance over the years and good luck with your new challenges.


    Comment by Tim — April 2, 2008 @ 8:23 am

  8. Maybe, just MAYBE you be able to help turn Microsoft around. =)

    Congrats on the new job, I’m sure you’ll do well there.

    Comment by Wayne — April 2, 2008 @ 8:23 am

  9. Mars,

    Thanks for the work you’ve done on REALbasic. Your work here has already helped tens of thousands of students to become better readers and writers. Best of luck to you!


    Comment by Brad Hutchings — April 2, 2008 @ 8:27 am

  10. Your work at Microsoft will impact many more people, but I will always be deeply appreciative of your REALbasic contributions! Thank you Mars.

    Comment by Keith DeLong — April 2, 2008 @ 8:43 am

  11. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out. Oh, and please dump the trash before you leave and remove the gum from under your desk.


    Comment by Al Gore — April 2, 2008 @ 9:02 am

  12. Hi Mars,
    thanks for all your good work you have done for Realbasic and good luck at Microsoft! I feel even better today, since i bought a Visual Studio 2008 license a few months ago ;-)
    Just a note: You are a very good photographer, too!


    Comment by Thomas Kaltschmidt — April 2, 2008 @ 9:15 am

  13. Hum….FutureBasic, RealBasic, VisualBasic…I’m starting to see a pattern here…:-) Thanks for all the help in the past and congrats on the new job!


    Comment by Mel Patrick — April 2, 2008 @ 9:48 am

  14. Mars, best of luck in the future. We RealBasic users appreciate the work you put in. Perhaps you can take some light to the dark side.

    Comment by Jeffrey — April 2, 2008 @ 10:05 am

  15. “…a great disturbance in the [REAL]Force. It was like a million voices crying out in unison, then suddenly silenced.”

    Wow, guess we should have seen this coming. Many blessings to you in your new job (if indeed it wasn’t an April Fools joke).

    – Will B.

    Comment by Will B — April 2, 2008 @ 10:08 am

  16. Hi Mars, I was really hoping this was a cruel April fool’s day joke. I wish you well in your new endeavor, and MS isn’t really the evil empire it presents itself to be. Take care, you were the first person at REAL to welcome me and I will never forget that.

    Comment by Christian Miller — April 2, 2008 @ 10:15 am

  17. Microsoft is being more aggressive about pursuing high class talent, and this acquisition certainly fits into that goal. I have to admit I wondered about this in the back of my mind since Microsoft was never that far away from Mars.

    Good luck to you, Mars. In addition to your direct code contributions, you’ve always been a friendly and intelligent voice in the RB community, and that has been greatly appreciated.

    Comment by Travis Hill — April 2, 2008 @ 10:38 am

  18. Sorry to see you go. Thanks for all the good work on RB. So now, maybe there is hope for the MS side of things.

    Comment by John Snyder — April 2, 2008 @ 10:40 am

  19. Sorry to hear you’re leaving REAL – and best of luck at Microsoft!

    Comment by Dave Addey — April 2, 2008 @ 1:21 pm

  20. Best of luck at MS! Your work on the compiler made a lot of thing possible for REAL Software, REALbasic itself and the RB community. Great work!

    Comment by Joe Nastasi — April 2, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

  21. Thanks for your all your work on RB. Best of luck and success.

    — Charles.

    Comment by Charles Kelley — April 2, 2008 @ 4:35 pm

  22. Wow! That’s a shocker for us all, to be sure. I hear Microsoft can be a great place to work, even if a lot of us (myself included) rag on them a bit.

    Congrats and best of luck!

    Comment by Paul Lefebvre — April 2, 2008 @ 5:27 pm

  23. Hey Mars, good luck. I’m even more glad that I made it to (my first) REAL World this year and so got a chance to meet you in person.

    Please bring back VBA for Mac whilst you’re there :-)

    Comment by Andy Dent — April 2, 2008 @ 7:16 pm

  24. This is going to make the Men of REAL Software pinup calendar a little less exciting.

    Eric in Seattle-ish

    Comment by Eric M. Williams — April 2, 2008 @ 7:21 pm

  25. Wow! you have quite the fan club!
    Congrats on your new job!

    Comment by Joanna — April 3, 2008 @ 3:31 pm