//BUILD/: What a great conference -celebrating this new era by starting a new ALM Team blog


 

Must admit I have a very cool job here at Microsoft…at the most basic level my role is to make sure your experience working with our developer tools is as good of an experience as possible!  …And today my job just got easier!   Hopefully you saw today how Windows 8 will be changing the way we do development – and changing the look and feel of the applications we will be writing.  

So is my job done?

No, but now that BUILD is happening I can focus on other areas that need attention.  One area that you have been saying that needs attention is our documentation and content.

As far the documentation the next version of Visual Studio will see the documentation built in an entirely new way!  Rather than looking at all the new features/api/interfaces etc and documenting them stepwise with little concern as to how they fit together we are documenting all our new features and experiences in terms of tasks people are trying to solve.   We have kicked off the project this week to identify the primary developments tasks you are trying to solve and narrow them down. This is fundamental shift in how documentation is typically written and should help tremendously!

The other area I will be looking at, is making our blogging content easier to find.  Good friend of mine Beth Massi has shown one of the easiest ways to clean up and increase discoverability of your blogs is getting your team mates to use a team blog.  

Not above stealing somebody else’s great ideas when they help customers that is exactly have I have done be creating/repurposing a new ALM Team blog:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudioalm/

You will notice that this new blog even already has content!  This content comes from the developer guidance and documentation teams I have been working with in setting up the new blog.  This integration with the documentation team should really help integrate the appropriate blog posts into our larger content efforts!

 

Hope you enjoy the rest of /BUILD!

Comments (2)

  1. Richard Cox says:

    > Rather than looking at all the new features/api/interfaces etc and documenting them stepwise with little concern as to how they fit together we are documenting all our new features and experiences in terms of tasks people are trying to solve.

    Please don't reduce the core reference docs to do this. Once one knows the right type/member/overload the details of the reference are more important.

  2. Yeah, you still need reference docs, but better high-level documentation is needed as well.  Personally I find Microsoft's documentation maddening.  Sometimes it's the lack of high-level concepts, and sometimes it's just the little things.  Like for example, I might be sitting at a breakpoint in the debugger and looking at an error code.  The debugger gives me the numeric value.  The documentation gives me the error codes based on their named constants from the header file, but not the actual numeric value.  So you have to go load the header file, search for the value, get the name of the constant, and then go back to the documentation to figure out what the error code means (which usually isn't very helpful anyways).