All Articles

Walking in Summer Palace with Anders Hejlsberg

I’ve been to Summer Palace several times, but this time is most impressive.

Apache Road Show 2015 China

2015 Oct 24th and 25th, here in teaching building of Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS) in Beijing, we had the Apache Road Show celebrated successfully. We (OpenCAS, a open-source community of graduate students in CAS) made this happened with KaiYuanShe(a open-source community in Beijing) and Apache Software Foundation. We did have a lot of fun really. Thanks to Brett, David, Niclas, J.Aaron and Julia Pan.

Unexpected visitor

But I’m not gonna talk about that today, I just want to tell the story when I met the great “Unexpected Visitor” - Anders Hejlsberg. Well I was surprised when I saw Anders at the end of Road Show, it doesn’t happen all the time that you can see someone who made the history of computer science, especially for a student. The first time I saw him, he was in a black sweater, with silver hair and looks full of vigour. “Wow, so this is the guy who made C#, Delphi and Typescript”, I thought.

Unexpected schedule

Next day morning, I got a call and several emails from Microsoft, I was told that Anders changed his plan and wanted to go to Summer Palace that afternoon, I was asked if I wanted to go with him as a company. Of course, I accepted without hesitate. That’s how everything get started.

Go for a walk

The driver arrived and picked me up, then we went to hotel to pick Anders up. The driver does not speak English but he is skillful in driving(and also crazy). We arrived at hotel at 1:00 pm, Anders was already there and also in the same black sweater with a jacket, that day is really cold in the morning. He also saw me when I found him at hall, I guess that he was thinking “Isn’t that the guy who always wants to take photos with me?”

We started to talk a lot on the way to Summer Palace, cause I got too many questions. It seemed that it was the first time he came to China and Summer Palace was the first place he wanted to go, then of course The Palace Museum and The Great Wall. And I suggested him to eat as much Chinese food as he could when in Beijing, that’s true.

We all know the story about Anders, Borland and Microsoft, but hardly no one knows what exactly happened behind the story, there was never a better chance to get the first-hand information. ; )

Anders made a compass pascal compiler which was even faster than that made by Borland, then Borland bought it and Anders joined Borland. As we know Borland is a legend, it’s a great company in 80s. Anders met Philippe Kahn in 1986, as he said Philippe was a interesting French guy, they all joined Borland. In Anders’s word “Philippe is a good developer but not a good manager.” Well, he thought Philippe is creative, he always wanted to do everything at a time, and that was not good for a company. As Microsoft was attractive enough at that time, a senior developer of Borland left and joined in Microsoft, then a lot of developers left Borland and joined in Microsoft including Anders. And even Bill Gates called him to invite him. So that’s what happened. Now Anders still participates in development of C# and Typescript in Microsoft.

The great generation

He told me that he started to learn programming since he was 17 in high school at late 70s, as there was nothing but hardware ran under programs and development environment at that times, students who majored in computer science like him had to know about every low-level stuff like driver, assembler language and even machine code.

Well, I think that’s why people in that generation could make the history of computer science, as Anders is the father of Delphi, C# and now Typescript, and Linus who made Linux OS. But now look around, there are new languages, new frameworks, new development tools and new conceptions everyday, it already takes too much time to learn these high-level new technologies, who would know how these things work behind. Our generation use the best programming language, the best IDE, the best framework(for now) to deal with real-world problems but have no idea how these things work.


Typescript is awesome. It’s a super set of Javascript and finally will be compiled into Javascript. With static types in Typescript you can build project that is more reliable and less bug. I was told so…But anyway I decided to try it in my project later.


I did ask some stupid questions like “Why Americans like coffee?” “Why?” Anders said. Then I realized how stupid the question was. Anyway I still don’t think coffee is good for health, not just Americans, many foreigners in my company(Wiredcraft) also drink a lot of coffee all the time. Also I finally get what “shots” means when ordering coffee.