About three months ago, we were on the heels of shipping Prism (Composite Application Guidance). At that time, I went to Don Smith my then manager ecstatically and said "Man I just love being in p&p, this is amazing". What I meant is that I love the work we are doing, I love the way we listen to customers, I love our ability to shift our direction based on what we are hearing and I love the environment we operate in to make it happen. Prism was a prime example of that in that we changed a lot of the way we do things, and incorporated a lot of new concepts that were resonating with the community. In many ways we got back to basics. When I made that statement to Don, I imagined I'd be in p&p for years to come.
Lo and behold about two weeks after that conversation, I get an email from Brad Abrams saying we should have lunch and chat about the work going in the MEF team, and how it might be a good place for me. Initially I thought to myself, no way. It had nothing to do with MEF, but there was absolutely NO reason for me to leave, and on top of that I had a fantastic year in p&p. However, because it was Brad asking, I said I need to at least go and hear what this is about. Over the past 18 months, I had worked with Brad on many occasions and have deep respect for him.
Lunch changed everything :) As Brad described MEF, it became very clear to me that the challenges MEF is solving in many was is a framework answer to problems we've been addressing in p&p. Here was an opportunity to take those experiences and the work with the community, and bring it to the platform. Coming to MEF raised several concerns. Can I continue being who I am? Can I continue pushing to try new approaches? Can I keep engaging with the community including our friends from the OSS community? Can I keep being open? Oh and can I keep being Test-Driven?
The answers Brad gave were all YES except to the test-driven part, at least not yet :) Basically he said keep doing what your doing, only do it as a member of the .NET Framework team......Too good to resist. At that moment I decided YES this is right. My wife on the other hand though I was completely nuts. She said, "You are so happy, why leave". I said "honey, you don't understand...THIS IS THE FRAMEWORK! THIS IS SCOTT GU's org." I tried to also explain to her the significance of working with luminaries like Krzysztof, Brad and Blake. Her response "Whatever, I hope you know what you are doing"
So after several informal chats with the team, followed by an interview loop, here I am as a new PM on the MEF team, and have been for the last two weeks. Originally I wasn't planning to post yet, however yesterday I saw Hammett let the cat out of the bag about his joining us, so I thought I shouldn't wait :)
It's been a great start. This is a space I know pretty well and it is a terrific team. Because of both, the ramp up has been smooth. I've been pushing on several areas since joining. One of which is how to get more visibility in what we are doing the community. I am happy to say that as a team we've agreed to push our source to CodePlex and join our friends over in MVC land. We've got buy in on the team, now we just need to clear it with the lawyers :-) Regardless you'll here much more in the near feature on the work we were doing and how you can help us.
As to p&p there will always be a place in my heart. I really have had an amazing experience working with folks there. Forgetting the amazing projects we worked on, it's the people. I can't name all, so I won't name any. All I can say that it's been an amazing wild ride :) They haven't seen the last of me, the very fact that I am working on MEF means we'll be traveling together for a long time :)