Many (most?) of the Developer Division folks were given the last three days of this week off to rest and relax from shipping Whidbey (err... Visual Studio 2005). However, I took my three days off earlier this month to visit my son in NH and attend a friend's wedding.

A nice benefit to this is that I'm here at the office, and it's relatively empty around here. No meetings. Just big solid blocks of time to focus and concentrate.

Cool experience as a result: A long time ago I prototyped an idea I had, and it took me several months and a lot of code to pull it together. This week I tackled the problem again, this time with several more years of experience under my belt. This time it only took 2.5 days and my code is much smaller and more elegant.

Prior to writing this post, I noticed that I hadn't blogged since the PDC. What have I been up  to?  Allow me to make small digression about the role of an architect to explain. The architect role comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Different people define it in different ways. I find I'm most effective if I still have my hands in the current day-to-day code, while still actively working on next version features.

Hoewver, in operating this way, my work can get out of phase with the rest of the development team. I can prototype and play and come up with all sorts of interesting stuff, but if the dev team and management teams are heads down on a product, it's hard for me to get their time/resources. Thus, I often end up with a bunch of things "on the shelf", waiting for folks to finally free up after shipping.

Currently the teams are coming down from Whidbey, recharging their batteries, and finally having a spare moment to ponder what the next version will hold. In this lull, I've been busier than ever, building and presenting a compelling vision (I hope) for what we can build in the next release.