No – I don’t quite know how to pronounce the name of this now-famous mountain, but it sure has caused a lot of grief the world over. If all was well I would have been on a flight right now, heading to the Netherlands for the Visual Studio 2010 launch event. But, airports in Europe are still closed and I have had to cancel my trip – it is very disappointing.

This morning, though, I was reflecting upon how similar the current flight disruption in Europe is to situations we face repeatedly in software development teams. A big volcano erupts in Iceland, and completely unwittingly disrupts air travel in rest of Europe. Airline companies not completely sure about which flight routes are affected, and wanting to be completely safe, grounds the entire fleet of aircrafts across continental Europe. There is lack of information and utter confusion – no body knows “when will the situation be normal again?”

Isn’t this exactly what happens in our software projects? How many times does a developer, who does not quite understand the entire complexity of a system, tries to make a targeted change in one area – only to find later, in utter horror, that things downstream have gotten broken and the entire project has come to a halt. How often are test teams in situation where they are not sure of the impact of a change and are forced to run their entire suite of test cases just to be safe – though they know this is clearly very wasteful. And how many times do you feel frustrated that you do not have enough information about the state of a project to be able to to answer the question “when will we be ready to ship?”

Visual Studio 2010 tries to address these very situations in software development, so that you reduce the unhappiness in the system and deliver higher quality software, faster. It helps you understand existing systems so that you can make changes that does not break everything, it lets you quantify the impact of changes, eliminate waste, and drive quality upstream. And it provides you great transparency and actionable insight on information that allows all stakeholders to really participate in the project.

I hope you have been able to attend one of the VS 2010 launch events in your part of the world. I look forward to continue to meet with customer and partners and lea how VS 2010 is making their world better!