This is a strange post in many ways. First, I didn't post for a looong time at p&p. Second, I moved on and went to a group where it was too early to blog about what we were dong. And third, now I'm not even a Microsoft employee.
My new blog address is http://edjez.instedd.org.
I left patterns & practices in 2007. After having started its .NET efforts, started and grew the "bluebricks" program that allowed us to ship all the 'guidance' (what a fluffy word!) as source code you could take into production, which eventually evolved into the Application Blocks, EntLib, GAT/GAX, Software Factories, etc... Of course it went many iterations in the very able hands of the amazing people that are at, or passed through, patterns & practices. The people that worked at p&p and the user communities with which we built close ties are the fondest memories of that time.
When I left p&p I went to an internal group near Ray Ozzie, doing prototyping and putting together approaches for 'innovation' at Microsoft. You won't see much about it yet but I hope they eventually get an external identity, because it was the coolest thing to hit Microsoft in my almost 9 years there. There's just random tidbits leaked over the web, and I couldn't blog at all about what was going on, but even like that it was worth it. It was a dynamic and energetic team led by people who know what they are doing but also crazy enough to break the molds that don't work.
But there was something constantly tugging at my heartstrings and I left Microsoft on October 2007 to join a technology non-profit called InSTEDD. We do advanced technologies for disaster response and global health. Using and doing Open Source. From SMS-based applications for data sharing to visualization and data mining. Although I had a great time at Microsoft, i am having a blast every day working with Google, Facebook, Linux, SalesForce.com, Sun, (...and Microsoft) taking technology as the means, not the end - and it is fulfilling to be working directly with communities where technology holds so much potential.
And you know what? It's challenging all my assumptions of architecture, design, and the economics of software development and use. In a way, I feel like I've jumped some years into the future, and now I am living every day what I felt a glimpse of some years ago (see my 2006 blog post - Forerunners of tomorrow's enterprise architectures ). There's a lot of patterns to be mined here. I hope I do a good job of communicating them.
InSTEDD is inherently cross-platform, but for some fluke reason we have a lot of .NET stuff going on right now, so you might want to check it out (http://www.instedd.org). Of course, we'll make the right chunks run on Mono.
My new blog : http://edjez.instedd.org. This is my last post here.
My new 'customers' live very different lives, but I think there is something to be learnt from every one. To Microsoft and patterns & practices chaps - thanks. Please forward folks to my new blog if you think there's value.
To all customers I've ever worked with - I hope what I've done has been of good use - and it's been a privilege working with you. And if you have a Corporate Social Responsibility angle or have an aching need to donate to what probably is the only humanitarian NGO doing TDD on the planet, you know where to find me.