MSDN Poll: What type of software development work are you currently doing?

Poll question for the UK MSDN Flash for the 21st of January. Thanks in advance for taking part.


Comments (9)

  1. Alan E says:

    I couldn’t find the option poor quality!

  2. Mark Rendle says:

    I’m porting an application from a 10-year-old, unsupported, partly-16-bit development environment to .NET 3.5 SP1.

    At the moment I’m doing lots of framework-style stuff, and I’m loving it.

  3. Craig Douglas says:

    Really doing lots of redevelopment plus lots of new stuff too

  4. Dave Biggins says:

    Ha.  Spot the big-company questionnaire…

    Those of us in small businesses occasionally have to cast our nets wider…

    Currently I am:

    Developing a new product for one client.

    Specifying another new product.

    Enhancing websites for three clients (legacy ASP, no chance of migration this year)

    Maintaining an existing app (adding a couple of minor features, changing cosmetics) for another client.

    Creating a new website for another…

    Adding a new e-Commerce section to a website for another (ASP.Net)

    Looking at adding some silverlight facilities to another…

    The idea that you substantially do one or two things beginning to end reflects perhaps more of the realities in larger companies,  and worse, underpins some of the design (and product bundling) decisions that make life harder than it needs to be for us little guys.

  5. Hi Dave, honestly its not a big company questionnaire. What you describe is not unique to being in a small company. I know many devs in large companies who could do equally long lists. BUT.. I think we all know what we are primarily doing right now. Hence I asked "What type of software development are you primarily doing at the moment?"

    Best of luck with all those.

  6. Rich says:

    Agree with Dave Biggins – am creating a new application, maintaining an old one, developing a new version of another, plus adding new facilities/modules.

    We need checkboxes!  😎

  7. Dave Biggins says:

    I know what you mean, but really and honestly,  having worked in bigger companies and small ones, there is a serious and qualitative difference; and one that sometimes requires different ways of working.

    Now of the things I listed, PROBABLY the largest is the new development – but that is more a question of how long the project will last;  but figure in questions of cash flow, which clients will pay faster, and so on, and in terms of what proportion of each day things get, the split is much finer, and no, I really couldn’t answer a “what are you primarily doing at the moment” question with a single answer.

    And nor could most of the small businesses I know, except those that have a single client representing the majority of their business – a situation that post-IR35, is declining somewhat.

    Just as one example, MS occasionally design development tools where the performance when accessing source/projects/files over even a private gigabit net can be…   less than exciting.  Discuss it with MS, and the answers tend to be “we don’t recommend that way of working”.   Reason being that every MS developer tends to have relatively high-end development kit, with comparatively large disks, and copying those projects around to development PCs is not an issue.

    Compare that with a small developer, where there are serious practical advantages in putting the big disk in a server and accessing the files from the server over the net, in terms of reducing the source control hassle, cost, convenience, etc…

    I’m not trying to bitch;  every couple of years, on principle, I try out competing development tools and environments, and promptly return to the MS fold rather more grateful for what I’ve got.  

    But I really do think that the MS mindset increasingly focuses on the bigger outfits.

    Take for example the Microsoft Visual Studio stuff.   It might make sense for MS’ profit to bring out different editions for designers, developers, testers, whatever…

    For those of us who’d lashed out on high-end MSDN subs, to suddenly find that we were going to have to choose to be one thing or another (and sod the requirements of meeting our customer needs), it was pretty annoying.

    And now you’re repeating the trick with Expression – it took quite some time before you bundled expression Web into MSDN,  and when you did….   Expression Web, yes,  Expression Blend, yes…  Expression Design…  no.  

    And you go to the expression design pages…   and you can’t buy it alone – only as part of a $700 expression studio product that includes the VS2008, Expression Web and Expression Blend tools that we’ve already got.

    Big companies might just shrug and say it’s only a few hundred dollars – smaller outfits can’t justify splashing out on duplicate licences that should not be necessary.

  8. Thanks Dave for taking the time to post that Dave. All fine points – and I suspect I could easily add to your list other examples just as "wrong". I can say that in the 13 years I have been here I have seen many great examples of my team fighting hard internally to get such things fixed (and other tech teams in the "field"). A great example would be reporting services and the SQL Express – we fought hard to get that one in at the 11th hour.

    I will take a longer look at your individual points next week. Tx again.

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