Sorry for the late post, but this is really the first chance I’ve had to post today.
I started today out doing something really fun. I attended the science fair at my son’s school. I was able to attend during the time that he presented this morning. His topic was viscosity. He did a great job doing his experiments and then presenting to his class. I was very proud of him.
I got back to work in time to have a short 1:1 with Steven Lees. He’s the group program manager for VB. My 1:1 meetings are always as mixture of many things – product issues, personnel issues, career discussions, and so forth. Steven and I talked about a couple of things. We didn’t have very much time because I was late. The main things were about nullable support in VB. There are some questions and issues being discussed and Steven gave me an update. Then we talked about a file ownership issue. It turns out that there are several PIAs (primary interop assemblies) that ship in VS whose ownership has become unclear. Sean Drain, a program manager on VB, has proposed that the VB team take on some of these files. I wanted to make sure we were able to do that without adding unnecessary risk to our ability to ship Whidbey on time. It sounded like we were OK.
Next I had a 1:1 with Alan Griver. Alan runs the VSData team. He’s been out of the office for several weeks on a personal trip to Europe followed by some business trips there as well. He and I talked about some of the great work that his team (specifically the FoxPro team) and the VB team have been doing on integrating data support much deeper into the VB language. This is really exciting work. Paul Vick has been heading this up and has been doing an excellent job. I think we’ll be showing some of this off at the PDC, so if you’re there you should definitely take a look. It will blow you away.
Next I had my staff meeting. This is where my senior folks get together once a week to discuss whatever is relevant. Today’s topics included VS7.1 SP1, which I blogged about previously. I wanted some information about work needed for this. We also talked about budget and closed on some open issues around the amount of money we’ll have next year to upgrade our test lab and for contract work. We then talked a little about Orcas and the planning efforts that are underway. As is always the case, when a new product is in the very early stages, everyone wants to be involved yet they know they have a ton of work on the current product: Whidbey in this case. It makes it tough.
I then had lunch with Keith Yedlin. He’s the Product Unit Manager for the .NET Client team (the folks that bring you Windows Forms). He’s been on a dev days trip to South Africa and just got back. We were catching up since he’s been out of the office for a couple weeks. Keith was very excited about his trip and during most of it he gave 3-4 hour demo sessions on Windows Forms. He is very excited about the great work they’ve done in Whidbey (so am I).
Then, back to more 1:1’s. I met with Adam Braden, who is the QA manager for VB. The QA teams are in crazy-mode right now. This is because as we get closer to shipping Whidbey, they are doing a bunch of test passes and other QA work to ensure our quality. They are the teams that are always the busiest toward the end of the product cycle. He and I talked about the PIA issue I mentioned above to make sure we were OK with taking on this extra work. We also discussed the holy grail of getting to 100% automation – where every single test is run by a machine. Our discussion was around how achievable and desirable this was. He believes this is a great goal to shoot for. Not because his team can take the summer off J, but because his team would have more time to do application building and other test work while we have great coverage in the labs. It equates to even better quality. It was a good discussion. Adam has been with the VB team for a very long time and is very passionate about quality and the customer experience.
My next meeting was with John Hamby, who is an architect on the VB team. John is working on future projects right now but in the past has been on the compiler team. John is pretty much responsible for the background compiler in VB, which I think is one of our coolest innovations. He and I talked about the direction of his current project and what the next steps are. He works very closely with Niklas, whom I blogged about earlier in the week. John was the one that started this project (related to distributed computing and concurrency). John is always looking out into the future to make sure we’re ready for what’s coming.
Next up I spent a couple hours with the folks from Artinsoft. They are the folks that created the migration wizard in VB. They have been doing some work on what they call the “companion” to the migration wizard. They’ve done some pretty impressive things. For those of you that have big projects and need more than the built-in tool can provide, you should check it out.
Finally, my last meeting was with Craig (my boss) and some folks on my team that are working on Avalon design time support. This work is for post-Whidbey. We sat down with Craig and reviewed the project, our schedule, resource needs, work done so far, and even gave him a cool demo. It was a good meeting. Craig had some good feedback on our target experiences and also our schedule. We have a similar meeting with Soma next week and this was good preparation. This is another area where we’re looking for some strong people to join the team. If you’re interested in working on a great team that is focused on providing design time and development experiences around Microsoft’s next-generation user interface, let me know.
I then headed back to my office to try to catch up on email. And, I did not adhere to my three-email-reading-times-a-day rule today. It was too crazy and I needed to check in a few time during lull times in meetings.
My son called me a couple times while I was reading email because he was trying to sign up for and download a new game called Maple Story. I don’t know much about it but I was doing my tech support job so he could get it to work.
That was Thursday.