Rod Stephens started out as a mathematician, but while studying at MIT, he discovered the joys of programming and has been programming professionally ever since. During his career, he has worked on an eclectic assortment of applications in such fields as telephone switching, billing, repair dispatching, tax processing, wastewater treatment, and training for professional football players. Rod has written 22 books that have been translated into half a dozen different languages, and more than 250 magazine articles covering Visual Basic, Visual Basic for Applications, Delphi, and Java. He currently writes regularly for DevX.com. Rod's popular VB Helper web site receives several million hits per month and contains thousands of pages of tips, tricks, and example code for Visual Basic programmers. His new C# Helper web site contains similar tips, tricks, and examples for C# developers.
Wrox Author: Rod Stephens
Q&A with Rod Stephens
What would the name of your autobiography be?
I've always thought The User: A Necessary Evil would be a good title, but in truth most of my customers have been pretty reasonable.
Do you have any hidden talents?
No. I try to show off all of my talents as often as possible so they're not hidden. But a few that most people don't know about include:
- I'm a decent volleyball player.
- I can write sonnets that scan and draw pictures that actually look like their subjects.
- I'm pretty good at figuring things out and explaining them.
Which super power do you wish you had?
If I had ESP, I could tell exactly what people were thinking, get software specifications right the first time, and thwart evildoers. Of course if I had telekinesis, I could win every golf tournament. Peter Petrelli's power of absorbing other people's powers would be cool, but that assumes other people have powers. Aside from powers such as the ability to drive badly and to believe obvious inconsistencies from politicians, I don't see any evidence of that.
Do you collect anything?
Groo comics. I have a complete collection and much of the merchandise, although I know people who have every conceivable Groo product and collect the comics in several different languages so I know better than to compete.