Ever Wonder How We Build Software at Microsoft? Now You Can Read All About It!

I talk to a LOT of customers every year. It might be safe to say I meet with 100+ different companies every year, and have met with several thousand individuals over the past 5 years that I have been at Microsoft. Before that I worked as a consultant and had experience with at least 20 or so different Chicago-land area companies as well. I’m not bragging, just making a point. Gimme a sec, I’ll get to it, promise. My point is that everyone does IT differently. Shocking, I know. I’ll give you a minute to recover from that. A question I often get is how does MICROSOFT do all that “stuff”? You know, source control, code promotion, testing, following agile methodologies when you’re freaking HUGE and complex like we are. And let me say, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit our product teams and see it in action. And it’s impressive. I’m not just saying that because there’s a chance Brian Harry could read this post either.  Wondering who that is? Wait, really, are you? If so you need to move that rock you’re living under. Check out his blog, he’s one of the smartest dudes I’ve ever met. And he’s got a farm in North Carolina not far from where a good chunk of the TFS team is located.  OK, back on track…

There are actually lots of places where you can get information about how we, the developers, project managers, testers, etc. at Microsoft build and deliver the software you are probably using today.  Below are just a few of the places where we have published whitepapers, webcasts and PowerPoint decks outlining just how we manage to do it, and do it well when you consider the size of our apps and teams. If you are evaluating, or even adopting Team Foundation Server with Visual Studio or Eclipse, you should check this out. I guarantee you, you’ll learn a few tips and tricks to make your own implementation more successful, and learn that we are still figuring it out too. No one ever said we were perfect either, for the record Winking smile

Hope you enjoy some of those resources. It truly is astonishing to see how such a large company manages to deliver so many products across the globe on a consistent basis.


I love to include charts like this when people ask – “Are you SURE that TFS can handle an organization this size?”. Uhh, WE use it, do you really have to ask? I will admit, I snicker internally a little when people ask that question.

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