A New Tool Suite

Today I started a process that I didn’t expect I’d ever choose to start while working as a software engineer

uninstall

It’s time to say goodbye to Visual Studio Enterprise Edition. It’s not something I’ve considered lightly, after all I’ve had a Visual Studio Enterprise (aka MSDN Universal or equivalent) subscription since somewhere around or before 2000. Long ago while working at SAIC as a software engineer primarily focused on Mumps programing and looking to shift my career to Microsoft technologies like C/C++ v7.0, COM and ASP.

My thoughts then mirror my thoughts now – a good craftsman always maintains their own set of tools. Even if a company has a set for you to use – you always have your own tools.

Back in the 90’s, it was an investment in my skills and in making sure I could move beyond my current technology stack, and in my opinion it paid for itself. Having the subscription initially not only helped me grow my skills it allowed me to start my authoring with SQL Server magazine and its family of newsletters and was instrumental in my ability to author Wrox titles.

Over time many of the years I’ve had a subscription were complementary based on having Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award status. In fact, the one request I had as my focus moved to my role as IT executive for Rubio’s was that as I leave the MVP program Microsoft allow me to renew my subscription vs. starting over. Even last year after I moved on from Rubio’s when the renewal came up, I kept my tools. The subscription continued to provide the tools and resources around the skills I was sharpening. While the overall market had shifted, it was for me, still the best option at that time.

However, even then and more-so over the past year working at Hunter Industries I’ve noticed changes not only in the market, but in Microsoft. In reviewing my renewal this year, I was looking at a very large cost to renew when I was only using a subset of the components. After all I wasn’t looking to set up a personal TFS, or a copy of SharePoint.

I itemized the cost of another option to see what it would cost to get the components I wanted

Visual Studio Professional Edition Subscription.

Resharper Ultimate Subscription (for refactoring and test coverage features).

A family subscription to Office Home.

My primary concern were the features in Visual Studio. In reviewing these however (they are available here: https://www.visualstudio.com/vs/compare/, I could see that the core loss in features were outside the scope of my needs – or replaced by the Resharper Ultimate subscription.
Thus, today I uninstalled Visual Studio Enterprise Edition…

The result is that the cost will be about one-third of renewing an enterprise subscription.

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