Vijaye created Small Basic, based on a challenge to Microsoft that he read in a blog post. Now, a lot of people supported him and helped make it happen, but the core coding and design of the program was driven by Vijaye.

So this article digs deeper to find out why he made Small Basic!

Here are two video interviews...

Expert to Expert: The Basics of SmallBasic

Jan 20, 2009

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Small Basic is a new programming language aimed at beginners. It was created as a side project of Vijaye Raji, a software developer on the Oslo team. SmallBasic is a very limited language with only a handful of keywords and a small set of concepts that should make building an application on Windows very simple for beginners. However, don't let it's simplicity fool you into thinking that you can't build very compelling applications with it on Windows...

Here, programming language designer (and de facto Expert to Expert host) Erik Meijer, Oslo architect Chris Anderson, Vijaye Raji and I discuss the details behind, in between and in front of SmallBasic. Why was it created in the first place? Why the VB-like syntax? What's the goal of the language and runtime, anyway, given that there are already beginning languages out there that run on the Microsoft stack? Why is the language designed in the way that it is? Why is it so popular? How will it evolve? You know, typical Channel 9 questions. We go pretty deep here, but we don't touch bottom. It was a lot of fun taking part in this conversation and I am impressed with SmallBasic and the folks behind it.
Tune in. If you want to know the details behind (and in front of) SmallBasic, then this conversation is for you.

Intro to "Small Basic" with Vijaye Raji

Jul 06, 2010

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There once was a time when computers would boot up straight into a (very rudimentary) programming environment. You learned to write code because, well, that’s what computers were used for. BASIC was king. Gradually, the notion of “operating systems” caught hold, making it easier for non-programmers to use these marvels of technology and to run programs that other people wrote.

Today, Windows no longer includes a programming environment out-of-the-box. Instead, real programmers buy Visual Studio, a “professional” development system. But what if your young son or daughter wants to follow in your footsteps? What if they show an interest in programming? Do you fire up Visual Studio for them and let them play around with interfaces, classes, and services?

After reading "Why Johnny Can't Code," Vijaye Raji, a developer at Microsoft, was pondering the same issue and decided to do something about it. In his spare time, he worked on a small and simple BASIC compiler for Windows, which used .NET and generated Silverlight applications. In this episode of The Knowledge Chamber, we meet Vijaye and discuss with him what Small Basic is, what it is capable of, and how it can hopefully help your kids discover the wonders of programming.

You can read the article that originally inspired Vijaye Raji here:

You can read more about the Small Basic Computer Games book here:

And if you want to see the little turtle sample that Vijaye wrote during this episode, you can find it here:

Go to to download Small Basic for free and learn all about it!   

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