From the "perhaps this might be interesting" file...

Since the end of the HealthVault Solution Providers confererence in early June - and the subsequent required recharging - I've been spending the bulk of my time working on HealthVault data types, along with one of the PMs on the partner team. It interesting work - there's a little bit of schema design (all our data types are stored in XML on the server), a little bit of data architecture (is this one data type, or four?), a fair amount of domain-specific learning (how many ways are there to measure body fat percentage?), a bit of working directly with partners (exactly what is this type for?), a lot of word-smithing (should this element be "category", "type", or "area"?), and other things thrown in now and then (utility writing, class design, etc.).

It's a lot like the time I spent on the C# design team - we do all the design work sitting in my office (using whiteboard/web/XMLSpy), and we often end up with fairly large designs before we scope them back to cover the scenarios that we care about. Our flow is somewhat different in that we have external touch points where we block - the most important of which is an external review where we talk about our design and ask for feedback.

Since I'm more a generalist by preference, this suits me pretty well - I get to do a variety of different things and learn a variety of useful items (did you know that you can get the body fat percentage of your left arm measured?).

Plus, I learn cool terms like "air displacement plethysmography"