New Job, New Challenges

Today we announced that I will be moving from the .NET team to run Visual Studio.  I'm really excited about this!  The VS and .NET teams are sister teams under Soma which means I will continue to work very closely with ScottGu

The products on my team include Mobile (VSD and NETCF), Phoenix, C++, C#, VB, Javascript, the DLR (with IronRuby and IronPython), Office Tools (VSTO/VSTA), the core VS IDE platform, Popfly, and several groups doing some advanced work we aren't yet talking about (<g>).  As you can imagine, there are some really phenomenal people working on these products.

VS2008 is wrapping up now and is a really great product.  One of my first tasks is now to work with the team on planning the next version of VS after that.  So please send me your feedback on what you'd like to see in that release!

Comments (24)
  1. Hi Jason,

    Congratulation on the new job.

    If I could ask for one thing to be added to vsNext it would be a difficult one to create but essential in the post-multi-core development environment of the future – that is some kind of decent multi-threaded debugging experience. It would also have to work in something like an Ajax development environment as well.

    I’m not sure how you’d do it – but I’d be very grateful if your team found a way…


  2. Trygve Valøy says:

    Hi Jason,

    Good luck in your new job.

    One thing I would like to see support for in VS is merging of solution-files. Another neat feature is something Borland (now CodeGear) has in their Delphi and C# Builder IDE: history of local changes. This means that you can track the changes done to a file locally (without checking the file in to source control) with compare.



  3. Jason Zander says:

    thanks for the suggestions!

    Andrew – We are indeed working on several things related to more cores, stay tuned…

    Trygve – these sound like useful changes in the editor, I’ll pass them along


  4. msalias says:

    Hey, Jason. Congratulations!

    A few wishes:

    * Keep adding static analysis features, even on-the-fly hints.

    * Work with the Open Source tools community to avoid incompatibilities or completely killing OS projects.

    * I’m still waiting for a full online IDE. With Silverlight and the DLR available, one should be able to code and debug right into the browser. Think Popfly Pro!  😎

    Best luck!

    Martin Salias

    Enterprise Architect

    Microsoft South Cone

  5. Good luck with your new role.

    I love working with VS and miss it when I work with other languages and IDEs. In my opinion it really is one of the best IDEs available for any environment.

    The main change I would like to see is for functionality beyond the core text editing to be implemented as plugins, rather than fixed in the core product. I would like to see lots of small extension components covering functionality such as designers, refactoring, unit test runners, code analysis, profilers, searching, code completion, etc.

    Most developers would never notice the change in structure, but for those of us who like to configure our environments with a multitude of extension plugins it would make life much easier for several reasons:

    1) It would encourage plugin developers to provide small specialised plugins rather than big tools with multitudes of functionality. I think this happens because they almost feel they are compteting against VS and need to provide lots of stuff to justify spending the money on the plugin.

    2) It would enable developers to substitute third party plugins for Microsoft functionality if we desired without having confusing menus showing both sets of options. This happens when you add a plugin but can’t easily turn off the Microsoft functionality.

    3) It would create a level playing field for third party tool vendors to compete with Microsoft. I think there would be more plugins available for VS if vendors didn’t fear that Microsoft would just introduce equivalent functionality into the base system. If they knew that any Microsoft equivalent was also a plugin that they could compete directly against they would be happier.

    I think the VS 2008 Shell is a great step in the right direction and would love to see a future system where that is the starting point and you can just select from a list of options to configure your environment. There is even a potential revenue stream to include third-party vendor plugins as part of the basic in the box selection pack.


    Ian Chamberlain

  6. Jason Zander says:

    thanks Martin & Ian, great feedback!

  7. Jared says:

    1. Bookmark window.

  8. Congratulations,

    What is happening with FoxPro and will VS be adding ever again.

  9. Clyde Stoker says:

    Congratulations on the new job.

    I would like to see VS always provide the ability to convert from the previous release to the new release without making any manual changes.  This would make it easier as well as encourage enterprises to stay current with their application systems.  I am not saying to support older versions but at least make it so they can open the solutions in the next version and successfully build and deploy them.

    Thanks,  Clyde

  10. Justin says:

    I would love to see Visual Studio ported to Linux operating system.  Do you have any plans on bring any version of Visual Studio to other operation system?



  11. Bill Glosser says:

    A couple of things I’d like to see in VS:

    (1) A ribbon-like Toolbox. The present Toolbox is hard to find stuff in, particularly if you 3rd party controls.

    (2) This is more on the lines of design philosophy. There are two types of development; systems development and applications development. Systems developers are concerned with the nitty-gritty of developing controls, compilers and such. Applications developers are concerned with producing solutions for line of business applications. The VB and C# are too labor intensive for RAD development. For instance there are literally hundreds, maybe thousands, of choices in the namespaces, intellisence syntax. Auto-selection of style design (look and feel), auto-generation of standard app scenarios (eg starter kits) and Acropolis are steps in the right direction. But the basic point is design of programming tools should diverge into two camps; systems and applications. And no, Access and Foxtrot do not do it.

    And (3) while I am on my high-horse the present state of documentation is simply terrible. Everything under the sun is crammed together onto MSDN DVDs. Try to look up a simple syntax question for VS 2005. It simply sucks. Documentation for each new release should come on its own CD and knowledge base should be kept separate.

    Onward and upward! -BG

  12. Fritz N. Francis says:

    Hello Jason,

    One thing that I would like to have in Visual Studio is the ability to attach documents that describe within the code editor, similar to how you can embed images, tables, and visio diagrams within MS Word. Just the other day I had a complex non-UML diagram that I wanted to appear when someone opened the code.

    For now I have been placing the files as part of the project. Good luck!



  13. Dan says:

    Hi Jason,

    3 Very usefull features would be:

    – A Decent Line Counting Tool inside the IDE

    – The ability to extract an XML Help File from a web site (without having to convert it to a web application)

    – At the moment you can customize the colors of your editor and some other windows. It would be really great if you could skin or color all the windows and toolbars in VS to give a complete look.

  14. salih sreekaryam says:

    More memmory leaking analyzer in the c++ module.

  15. Rüdiger Brünner says:

    Hi Jason,

    one of my biggest wishes for the Orcas+1 release is support for C++0x. It would be great if Visual Studio were one of the early adopters of the updated C++ spec.

    VC++ devs had a very bad experience when it took until VS2003 (FIVE years after formal standardization!) to get a reasonably conforming compiler. This should never ever happen again.

    Best regards

  16. Ionescu Victor says:

    Take a look at the Eclipse IDE. If VS will do what Eclipe does in terms of code editing and refactory, you can call it an IDE.

  17. Scott Dorman says:

    New lead for the Visual Studio team

  18. IronRuby says:


    Congrats for joining this team.

    We are expecting much in IronRuby support.

    We are looking for a special IDE for DLR. just the way VS2008 works today for Vb and C#.

    The tool IDE can be given a name such as DLR Express, which comes strictly for DLR languages, such as IronRuby, IronPython, IronLisp, VB Dynamic etc..

    It would be great if you could study few great IDE like (1) Komodo (2) 3rdrail (3) NetBeans (4)E-text etc.

    The popularity for DLR languages is totally dependent on Great IDE specially built for them.

    MS and Your Team should take a serious note of this and perhaps create a poll or feedback to know more reviews.



  19. Finn Ellermann says:

    Hi Jason

    Congrats with the new job

    I would like to have the opertunity to change colour and Font in all windows.


  20. David Boss says:


    Congrats! I hope you enjoy.  I am a big fan of VS and TFS/Team Suite. Are you going to be working in the TFS area as well or is that a different group?  If TFS is part of your domain, please consider better Outlook to TFS integration between Tasks and Work Items. Also, OneNote integration would be nice as well.  



  21. Amrat Nandlal says:

    Hi Jason,

    Congrats for new great job!!

    One major thing, which i would like to have in .net is transforming of ASP.NET Application to Windows based and vice versa.

    This would be fantastic if we have this feature available in Next Big Version.

    Hope your team work on it.


    Amrat Nandlal

  22. Hi,

    Congratulation on the new job.

    A couple of things I’d like to see in VS:

    1. The auto-generated code uses the "int" keyword instead of "Int32", or "bool" instead of "Boolean"… It’d be amazing, however, if the programmer could specify which pattern the auto-generated code engine should follow.

    2. When renaming a formal parameter of a method in C#, the comments of the mentioned method (if any) should reflect the changes too.

    Good luck,

    Mehdi Mousavi [ ]

  23. Jason Zander says:

    thanks everyone for the great feedback.  I see a few themes:

    * Increased extensibility in the IDE. We are working on this, including introducing ways to write new VSIP plug-ins using managed code.

    * Navigation, discoverability, and productivity increases (fonts, windows, toolbox, etc)

    * Questions around platform coverage.

     – We have not planned changes around FoxPro

     – We’re not planning to take VS off Windows. However we did add cross debugging support for the Mac for Silverlight 1.1.

    * Better tools for systems developers (threading, code focused, etc)

    * DLR specific questions. I’ve been building dynamic langauges support in the CLR for quite a while so I have a lot of passion around this one as well.

    Thanks for all the great feedback!  I’m going to use my blog to cover both great new things in VS2008 and when the time is right, the next version for feature feedback.



  24. I recently switched from managing a large group (VB, VC#, VC++, and Phoenix product units) to working

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