Interview with a Wiki Ninja, MVP, and Visual Basic Guru Winner – Paul Ishak

Welcome to our Monday series, Interview with a Wiki Ninja!

Today's next interview is with...

Paul Ishak's avatar 

Paul Ishak

Paul's Wiki stats:

  • 23 articles!
  • 100 article edits!
  • 57 Wiki comments
  • 7-time TechNet Guru award winner!

Here are some popular Wiki articles from Paul:


And now, to the interview!

Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies? 

Paul Ishak, born in june of 1976, live in Las Vegas, I work in the Computer/Audio/Visual Field. I have been programming with "basic" syntaxed languages since I was 7 years old. I started on a commodore 64 and worked my way through a variety of different similar basic languages until the late 90's where I finally got my first exposure to Visual Basic. I feel sorry for AOL at that time... nuff said.



What is TechNet Wiki for? Who is it for?

A place where information collides and creates new ideas or exposes people to old topics for the first time. To me, TechNet is for everyone, learning is for everyone, expert or newbie.


What is it about TechNet Wiki that interests you?

Information from minds that are willing to share for free is appealing to me because it comes from a genuinely interested mind.


 What are your favorite Wiki articles you’ve contributed?

I am really liking my recent contribution(braille code). Mainly because I have fun tinkering around with GDI. I also like my not-so-recent article about converting System.Decimal datatype to an array of bytes. I enjoy working with binary/bytes just as much as GDI! See Drawing Braille Characters with GDI.



What are the top areas that need more attention and development on TechNet Wiki?

Visual Basic needs more attention period. 


What could we do differently on TechNet Wiki?

Have TechNet-generated hit counters and statistics.

Integrate TechNet Wiki with the forums, and add a feature to "convert forum thread" to technet article.

I might also suggest a "nominate forum thread" for Wiki conversion option as well, where if enough people make a nomination...


Who has impressed you in the Wiki community, and why?

For my area of interest, I would have to say that I never skip the reading of an article by Reed Kimble. Reed always has a deep insight to the topic at hand.


What does success look like for TechNet Wiki?

 I think TechNet Wiki is already successful, so just take a look at TechNet Wiki and you will see what success looks like!



Do you have any tips for new Wiki authors?

Take your time, make it worth reading...

Save your article's HTML source to a text file, that way you don't have to rush to finish in one day.

Take the time to draw illustrations if it helps clarify your topic

Take the time to create commented source code

Read and re-read what you have written

Clarity is key to expressing an idea

Create an example project in the MSDN gallery, link to it from your TechNet Wiki article!


Thank you to Paul for all your contributions (and for being patient with me publishing this)!

Please join me in thanking Paul for all his incredibly fun and creative contributions about Visual Basic!

    - Ninja Ed

Comments (20)
  1. Hey, Paul, are all those photos from the Las Vegas area?

  2. Pete Laker says:

    Nice to meet you Paul

  3. Paul Ishak says:

    They are Red Rock, and also downtown at the Freemont St. Experience. I suggest checking it out

  4. Paul, you were programming with Basic since you were 7??? How did you get started?

    Have you seen Small Basic?

  5. Nice to meet you Paul! Great photos!

  6. Paul Ishak says:

    Thanks Alan!
    Ed – I started with commodore 64 and trying to change how many lives I had in different games, back when you had to use the compiler to “Load” a program. So naturally, since it was video game related, I wanted to change things such as free lives and whatnot… Over the years, I learned more and more as I needed to fulfill a programming goal, I would learn something new. There is always more to learn, or you invent it.

  7. Saeid Hasani says:

    Great to know you Paul! Have a relax drive with your MUSTANG! My favorite quote: “TechNet is for everyone, learning is for everyone, expert or newbie” … Thanks Ed for such interview 🙂

  8. Durval Ramos says:

    Nice to meet you Paul. I also started programming in Basic in 19….
    I activated the K7, loaded the compiler, only after I wrote the source code and a few minutes appeared to “Hello World” message colored. Good memories… =^]

  9. I like your advice Paul. Good interview.

  10. Paul, that’s pretty crazy! Even at 7, you were trying to hack your games! =^)

    Have you seen Small Basic?

  11. Paul Ishak says:

    Lol Ed, you might think this is funny, but I recall looking at Small Basic a few years ago, I retreated back to Visual Basic, maybe time for a re-look?

  12. Paul Ishak says:

    Thanks to everyone for your kind words 🙂

  13. Paul, take a look at it, especially if you have any kids, nephews, nieces, or friends’ kids, age 8 and up! Here are 47 8-13 year olds who learned how to program with Small Basic (we’re at a 100% success rate across hundreds of thousands of kids):

  14. I like the “nominate forum thread” idea! What would happen after you nominate it? Would it ping the post author and ask them to convert it?


  15. Cool Pictures! 🙂

  16. Anonymous says:

    Welcome back for another analysis of contributions to TechNet Wiki over the last week.

    First up, the

  17. Anonymous says:

    Welcome back for another analysis of contributions to TechNet Wiki over the last week, after a week off

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