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Developer Faceoff: Scott Hanselman vs. Phil Haack

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Welcome to the first Ultimate Developer Faceoff!

Developer Faceoff will be a monthly spotlight where 2 well known developers will answer some quick questions side-by-side, and the readers get to pick the winner!

For the first faceoff, I can’t think of two more visible developers: Scott Hanselman vs. Phil Haack – The Battle of the .NET Bloggers.

Scott Hansleman has been on the forefront of technology and blogging for many years. Before recently joining Microsoft, Scott is most famous for his blog Computer Zen, where he releases famed “Ultimate Tool” lists, and primary driving force behind the Das Blog project. His recent adventure is trying his hand at podcasting which can be found at Hanselminutes.

Phil Haack is most known for his blog Haacked. Rarely off-topic, he flexes his mature .NET development skills with in-depth examples and anecdotes. By day, he is a Sr. Program Manager at Microsoft – by night, he is the lead of Subtext an open source blog engine.

I can’t think of a more evenly matched faceoff. Here we go!

Scott Hanselman
Scott Hanselman
Phil Haack
Phil Haack
1. How long have you been developing? For money? 16 years this next Feb. For fun? Since COMPUTE! Magazine circa 1985? As a human? For 32 years. As a programmer? 24 years. As a professional programmer? 10 years.
2. What is your favorite language to date? Zulu English, then C#, followed very closely by Ruby.
3. What is your favorite pattern/architecture? Factory is a nice classic pattern. Also anything with queues. My favorite pattern is the one that elegantly solves whatever problem I happen to be facing, but not wanting to be a wet blanket, I choose Decorator.
4. Is formal academic education necessary for development? It can’t hurt. If you mean CS, I sure hope not. I was a math major. In general, I think a formal academic education can help a lot, but is not necessary.
5. Are software developers – engineers or artists? Cat-herders Don’t take this as a cop-out, but a little of both. I see it more as craftsmanship.
6. Do you blog? If so how long and how many subscribers? 5+ years ~22,000 subscribers ~6 years, but for almost 4 – 6700 subscribers
7. If you could read only one blog, which one would you pick? CodingHorror CodingHorror
8. What is the biggest mistake you made along the way? Not paying attention in database class. I hadn’t done a good job of testing a password reset feature for a large music community site. The person to catch the bug was the child of a VP (or an investor, I can’t remember).
9. Anyone in the software community you are star struck around? Fortune 1000 CTOs. Anders Hejlsberg – that guy is crazy smart. Once during a one-on-one conversation with him I kept telling myself “Don’t sound stupid. Don’t sound stupid.”
10. What is the secret of your success, expressed in one word? Sticktoitiveness Fun

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25 Responses to “Developer Faceoff: Scott Hanselman vs. Phil Haack”

  1. Russell Ball on December 21st, 2007 7:53 am

    Great idea for a post!

    +1 to Hanselman for picking Zulu as his language and fessing up to not paying attention in database class.
    +1 to Haack for Anders Hejlsberg bragging rights.
    -1 to both for not picking Codesqueeze or CaffeinatedCoder as their favorite blog.

  2. Max Pool on December 21st, 2007 8:01 am

    +1 Russ for pointing out the “obvious” mistake on the blog question 😉

    Scott did ask if he gets extra credit for returning the questionnaire via smart phone…

  3. Arjan Zuidhof on December 21st, 2007 8:46 am

    Hi Max, the poll doesn’t work here with Firefox (2.0.11), but does with IE7. Is it Firefox or just me with my bunch of plugins standing in the way
    Nice idea though, the faceoff!

  4. Max Pool on December 21st, 2007 9:45 am

    @Arjan – JavaScript enabled? The poll is provided by PollDaddy so it should work regardless of browser!

  5. Buddy Lindsey on December 21st, 2007 11:10 am

    I say Hanselman won that one. I mean Sticktoitiveness just rocks.

  6. you've been HAACKED on December 21st, 2007 11:30 am

    Faceoff Haack vs Hanselman It Gets Real

    Faceoff Haack vs Hanselman It Gets Real

  7. Keith Rull on December 21st, 2007 11:31 am

    Haacked won this faceoff. I think Scott didn’t put alot of effort to his answers…

  8. Scott Hanselman on December 21st, 2007 11:44 am

    Effort?! I wrote them on a Smartphone!


  9. Darren Kopp on December 21st, 2007 11:56 am

    I had a hard time picking, but i picked phil because his blog following is so small compared to the hanselmater 😉

  10. Keith Rull on December 21st, 2007 12:10 pm

    Developer Celebrity Deathmatch: Scott Hanselman vs. Phil Haack

  11. Ryan Smith on December 21st, 2007 12:13 pm

    I think I’ll give this one to Hanselman just for the cat-herders comment.

  12. Josh Stodola on December 21st, 2007 12:15 pm

    I was going to vote for Haack, but then I seen Scott’s last comment. LMAO!

    That comment plus “sticktoitiveness” cannot statistically be less than worthy of a vote from me.

  13. Ian Suttle on December 21st, 2007 12:50 pm

    I love this idea… well done.

  14. Haacked on December 21st, 2007 1:28 pm

    “Sticktoitiveness”!??? That’s not even a WORD people. It’s like 3 words crammed together! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.


    Honestly, I think we need to get Websters and Oxford to add that word to their respective dictionaries. Scott gets +1 for his neologist tendencies.

  15. Scott Hanselman on December 21st, 2007 1:34 pm

    Neologist? That’s not even a word, Haack!

    I don’t need facts man, I just look the truth up in my gut. THAT’S a fact.


  16. PWills on December 21st, 2007 2:37 pm

    >>”As a human? For 32 years.”
    Well played, sir. My vote to haacked.

  17. Bil Simser on December 21st, 2007 5:07 pm

    Cool idea. Can’t wait to see the next matchup. +subscribed!

  18. Jeremy N on December 21st, 2007 7:44 pm

    Anyone that can write enough interesting stuff to keep 22,000 people subscribed to their blog has my vote. Plus Hanselman did build the kick ass development machine for around what the wife allowance would allow.

  19. Scott Hanselman on December 22nd, 2007 4:02 am

    Dude, I’m getting my ass handed to me on this poll. Time to send in the minions! 😉

  20. Haacked on December 22nd, 2007 11:23 am

    So when does the poll close, anyways? 😉

  21. Wöchentliche Rundablage: ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET 3.5, ADO.NET Data Services "Astoria", ASP.NET AJAX, Silverlight… | Code-Inside Blog on December 24th, 2007 5:53 am

    […] Developer Faceoff: Scott Hanselman vs. Phil Haack (dazu der original Blogeintrag von Phil) […]

  22. Rydal on December 24th, 2007 11:51 am

    Nice one. I can’t vote, since I like ’em both. It will only hurt me. Maybe we should have a “both” option. 🙂

  23. Max Pool on December 25th, 2007 8:36 pm

    @Haacked –

    Never thought that through… New rule to UDF – the polls are open for 1 week…

    If you haven’t voted, 3 days left!

  24. Cattp on December 27th, 2007 11:16 am

    Hey Now,
    Great post. Displays the importance of Coding Horror & password resets.

  25. you've been HAACKED on December 31st, 2007 12:12 pm

    Haacking 2007

    Haacking 2007

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