Inside out

One thing i absolutely love about work is being able to debate and exchange ideas with a large number of brilliant and experienced software people.  These discussions range from simple watercooler talk to out and out debates involving varied opinions from extremely vocal members from all around the company.  I had a chance to be involved in such a discussion and it was, in a manner of speaking, exhilirating.   The topic was about the Runtime and how much work it should be doing for the user as computers increase in power year after year.  Many sides weighed in discussing everything from; the historical perspective on the problem, the current research being done in this area, the mistakes other companies have made trying to go down the same route, the mistakes we might be making by choosing to do or not do work in this area, the different approaches different languages and systems took on this and their own strengths and weaknesses, etc. etc.

Normally these conversations are internal only and are never seen by anyone else, but some crazy people decided "hey, what the heck, is there really any harm in seeing just a small glimpse of what is discussed amongst the devs at MS?"   Hopefully they'll help show that rarely is a decision made without an incredible amount of thought and conversation going into it.   Instead a vast amount of different opinions come together and try to figure what the best thing to do is.  Maybe, if we're lucky this act produces a better outcome than any of the original inputs into it.

If you've ever asked yourself "why the heck did they do it this way instead of that"" or "wouldn't it be great/simple/nifty if they'd done Foo?" or "how could they not think about Bar?" then hopefully this will provide some comfort when i say that chances are that those ideas were discussed (in extreme depth) and some combination of forces led to the current result.  Probably not a large comfort, but perhaps better than thinking that they hadn't been considered at all.

If you want, go to and check it out. 

I'm AnonI.  I missed the post that said it was going online and would i like my name included, but i'm working on changing that.

Unfortunately you're only getting a tiny glimpse of a thread that was hundreds of posts long and spanned many days and many interesting topics.  This is the problem when the thread invariable discusses new technology and ideas that need to sstay private.  Hopefully in the future it'll be possible to get an even more detailed glimpse at what gets talked about.

Comments (15)
  1. "If you’ve ever asked yourself "why the heck did they do it this way instead of that"" or "wouldn’t it be great/simple/nifty if they’d done Foo?" or "how could they not think about Bar?" "

    Too many times. But in the real-world there is no is.



  2. This is fascinating stuff. It’s great to get this kind of look inside what goes on at MS.

    BTW, I’m still waiting with bated breath for the series on creating a language plugin for VS.NET. Any ETA on when that will start?

  3. DrPizza says:

    In which we conclude the destructors rule.

  4. Stuart: I’m on vacation right now, hopefully i’ll have an intro into it when i get back 🙂

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