Interview with Ben Hoelting

Posted: September 23, 2008 in Interviews


When I first talked to Julie Yack about hosting the .Net conference I knew that she would have some great speakers there. The people that she knows and works with on a day to day basis are what make her company great. There is no doubt about it when you put all these great minds in one arena there is going to be some awesome results. One of these people is Ben Hoelting. I have not met Ben face to face but I can tell you I am looking forward to it. He did respond to the interview questions that I sent him. Here is a little more info on Ben:

Ben Hoelting – Ben Hoelting: Software Developer, Colorado Technology Consultants, Inc. Graduated from Colorado State University in 1997 with a BS in Computer Information Systems and a Minor in Computer Science. Been in the IT industry since 1996. Worked for the Gates Corporation (formally the Gates Rubber Company) from 2000 – 2005. Left Gates to pursue a consulting career. Currently works for Colorado Technology Consultants, Inc. in Colorado Springs. Most recent projects include a Windows forms Smart Client that requires offline support, an ASP.Net tracking system for the floral industry and Microsoft CRM customizations using ASP.Net.  Ben is also a MCP, certified in both CRM Customizations and .NET Framework Application Development.


1.       Many technology people do many jobs, for example:  I know SQL Server DBA’s that also work with SharePoint.  What is the technology that you prefer and why?

I prefer C#.  Whether I’m doing ASP.NET, Winforms, WPF, Silverlight, class libraries, etc, it’s always behind the scenes to give me the flexibility and power to meet my requirements.

2.       If you were not doing anything with technology what would you be doing, what is your dream job?

This is easy.  I want to be Tiger Woods.  If I could do anything, I would be on tour with the PGA.

3.       Describe your worst day on the Job.

One word, documentation.  I hate writing documentation.  As if my code is not readable enough…

4.       Where do you see yourself going from here, or what do you think you will be doing 5 years from now.

I would like to become a CTO or CIO somewhere.  I’ve been involved with a few companies that have filled these positions with people that have no IT or coding experience.  Bean counters.  It has not gone well and I think I could do a good job.

5.       How did you get started along this career path?

Back in 1993 I started my first year at Colorado State University.  I took the class CI151 “Computers in Business” , which was taught by the head of the Computer Information Systems business college.  At one point he told me I was not smart enough to do computer programming.  That made me mad and I declared my major in Computer Information Systems with a minor in Computer Science the next day.  I had to prove him wrong.

6.       What do you feel has been the biggest accomplishment in your career?

I created a suite of Sales Force Automation tools.  The first CRM type application was built in VB 6.  We then migrated things to .NET as soon as it was available and developed many new features.  The system was used by over 400 sales force personal.

7.       What are you most excited about with the next release or most recent release of the software that you are working with.

To me XAML is the most promising thing coming.  Eventually you will be able to write the UI once and deploy via web or install

8.       In the past there has been a lot of discussion about Microsoft vs. UNIX based systems, now it seems that it is Microsoft is being attacked by Apple.  Where do you sit on this issue?

I agree that companies like Apple and Google are pressing MS in the consumer space but MS still has a huge foothold in the Enterprise space.  Windows, Office, Outlook and IE are still the most used business applications on the planet.  Seeing that replacing these application is very costly, it is not going to change anytime soon.

9.       Do you have a hobby?  If so what is it?

I already mentioned I love Golf.  I also enjoy a wide range of Sports, both watching and playing.  Living in Colorado I also enjoy some of the best fly fishing and snowboarding on the planet.

10.   If you were to be born in any year, what year would it be and why?

I’m not sure what year it will happen.  Perhaps it might still happen before I die, but I would love to experience space travel.  So, I’d like to be born in a year that is close to the commercialization of space travel.

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