Sorry for the light blogging lately. It’s been busy the past couple of weeks and it’s not looking like it will be less so until after the holidays. I spent two weeks in Europe in late Nov visiting customers, partners and attending Tech Ed. It was a terrific trip and a great opportunity to understand the challenges people are facing and share some of the work we are doing. It was the first road show I’ve done where I spent a lot of time talking about the VSTS 2010 (codenamed Rosario) release. It was also crazy with visits to multiple cities every day and plan flights every night. I came back exhausted.
The biggest learning I have from all of those Rosario conversations is that it is a BIG release. When you work on a product team all you see day in and day out is all of the stuff that you wish you could do but can’t or that you wish you could do better. It’s actually kind of depressing some days There’s nothing like an opportunity to get out and talk to people who haven’t heard anything about the work you’ve been doing to really begin to see what’s there. Most of my customer meetings ranged from 1.5-2.5 hours. What I found is that in 2 hours of non-stop talking with an occasional demo it was impossible to cover all of the Rosario feature set – even at a pretty high level. I should have realized it because I’ve sat through detailed demo walk throughs internally where is can take 8 hours or more to get a pretty good view of all of the new stuff. But it didn’t really hit home until I watched the “deer in the headlights” look on people’s faces as I raced through feature area after feature area.
The good news is that there is something in there for everyone. It was interesting to watch what feature areas different people picked up on. It was definitely not the same for everyone. For some the new test tools were really interesting, for some it was lab management, or historical debugging, or architectural tools, or branch/merge visualization, or gated checkin, or, or, or, … There were some themes but one of my other learnings from this is that as our customer base broadens beyond the core developers we have always worked closely with, we are going to have to create different views of the product for different constituencies.
Anyway, it was an exciting and exhausting trip. I’m glad to be back home. I’ll try to get a few more blog posts out this year but it’s probably going to be a bit light. I hope you are all having a great holiday season (for those of you who celebrate it :)).