Inside Microsoft, there are many great people you can learn from. For example, we all learned from Bing team which is the best service team in our Company. So If you wonder how learned the most? It was Bing team itself. I has been thought about this question for a couple of days. Here is what I am thinking:
Best practice and lesson learns usually does not result into good results. The reason is simple, when you share your experience, it is you are learning, not others. People can only learn from their own mistake, and people can only learn from doing.
Having say that, I knew all of what others said is in the right direction, but sometime, we are ahead of others, and find out it is hard to convince people. So what we can do? We don’t need a vision document, we just let them learning from building service, from Livesite, and from themselves.
In my case, I learned a lot about what and why we should testing in production, and how to make data driven decision thought doing monitoring production clusters. I did not convince anyone in our team, but my behavior and my data lead our team members knew that it is such a big deal of having production data to help them making decision.
I have observed that some of our ICs and Managers can jump into a complex services in very quickly, but also observed that people (and sometime managers) did not get it for years. So my take is that how we can quickly grow people and make the group healthy and can work on any challenge problem. All the problem will finally come to human problem. If you are manager/lead, the most important thing is not learning how to build a service, it is how to build a better team.
Another areas is that how can we reduce people learn curve/time? I would see the best way is that we stand on other’s shoulder, we take advantage of people’s idea, code, service and grow own expertise. Examples are if everyone who involve BigData or Data analytic help each other, our life will be much easy now. Again, I think selecting the right technique to support your service is also crucial.