Not long ago I had a question about some accessories for my telescope
I called up Tele Vue, one of the premier makers
of eyepieces and telescopes in the amateur astronomy market.  I told the lady
who answered the phone that I had some questions, and she routed me to someone in
the back office.  He answered my question, but something he said made me realize
I was probably talking with Al
, the founder, owner, & optical designer for Tele Vue.  I asked
and he confirmed it was indeed him.

After I thanked him and hung up the phone, it occurred to me that you would never
be able to call Microsoft and talk to Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer if you had a question
about or a problem with a Microsoft product.  Of course, Microsoft is a huge
company, but then again you can't exactly just call up the development team for a
product if you have an issue either -- you can get through to us via the website,
calling PSS, etc. but historically the access between the product teams & customers
(especially individual customers as opposed to big corporations) is nothing like my
experience calling up "Uncle Al" at Tele Vue.  My blog probably won't change
that, but hopefully I can do a little to help users of Visual Studio learn more about
the solution & project systems and hopefully learn a lot myself about the issues
people run into.  (We do of course work closely with PSS to understand customer
issues but it's never the same as direct contact.)

I'm what's called a "development lead" on the Visual Studio Core team, which
in Microsoft lingo means I manage a team of programmers.  (If I was really a
bigwig I'd have "manager" someplace in my title.)  Among the things our team
owns are the parts of Visual Studio that deal with solutions (the code that manages
those .sln and .suo files) as well as key pieces of the project systems for VB, VC#,
and VJ# (it's actually more complicated than that, but that's the general idea). 
We're also working on some really cool "secret projects" that I'll tell you about
later on when the time is right.

Alas, I'm now leaving for a week-long vacation in Minnesota, so you'll not hear from
me until after the 4th.

Thanks for stopping by, and clear skies. -Chris

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