One of the most important things I did while I was on vacation was sweeping Guidance Share. Guidance Share is where I consolidate my body of software engineering guidance and test user experiences. I redesigned the home page for simpler browsing and findability. It was more pain than pleasure for me, but if it helps the broader community, that’s my payback.
Here’s a highlight of Guidance Share:
- Browsable nuggets for software performance and security
- Durable, evolvable frames for security and performance (think of these as maps)
- How Tos, Guidelines, Checklists and more
Guidance Share gives me a unique vantage point that I haven’t been able to get any other way. The act of building it and evolving it helps me make gain new insights. It also forces me to find ways to be extremely efficient. I then try to carry these lessons over to MSDN and to help shape patterns & practices information models. I don’t own the MSDN experience, but I can give input. Guidance Share helps me solidify my recommendations with living proof. It’s also let’s me quickly experiment with new user experiences.
My biggest lesson learned is how difficult it is to integrate information and make it useful, even when you own it. It’s one thing to have a snapshot of information that’s useful for a given point in time; it’s another to create a stable backdrop with a firm foundation that can evolve over time. The key is factoring volatile from stable information, and enabling them to play well together.
Note that Guidance Share is under construction and there are some obviously empty areas, but it’s a work in progress. It’s a living knowledge base for software engineering that I periodically sweep to share the best that I’ve learned.