Some history and clarification on our Team Foundation dogfood statistics

I’ve been really bad at reviewing comments on my blog lately – sorry. (I’m sure you’d rather I was focusing on shipping TFS though…)

I just came across this comment from Tim Rowe who was wondering how we reached 600 dogfood users for our November stats.

When it says ‘Team foundation’, is that 600 people working on JUST the Team Foundation server portion of VS?

That’s a massive teams for such a… uh… well, I wouldn’t exactly call it a massive project. Nothing I’d expect to see 600 people on anyway.

It would be interesting to know how many of them are actually programmers, and how many have ‘other’ jobs – eg, testers, architects, managers etc who are commiting ‘non-code’ files.

Clearly some absolutely crazy restructuring happened here between the weeks of 24/6 and 24/10 (from ~70,000 files up to 600,000 files… on that alone maybe I can retract my first statement).

600 users is not just Team Foundation. We do have a fairly large team working on TFS – but certainly not that big. We share a dogfood server with a number of other teams product groups. Over the past couple of years we’ve been steadily increasing the number of people, teams and Team Projects hosted on the server.

Way back in the very early days of development, the Work Item Tracking team (“Currituck”) were dogfooding work item tracking on their own server, and the Source Control folks in North Carolina (“Hatteras”) were dogfooding version control.

We then moved onto a shared dogfood server, and when it was working tolerably well we expanded the use to include other members of the VSTS suite (folks from the Team Architect, Developer and Tester organizations).

Over time we added more teams from across Microsoft. Gutsy folks, who wanted to be at the bleeding edge of software project management tools… Some of these were small projects – others much bigger. All of these added more and more folks to the number of users in the system.

In fact the number of users of the server is higher – the count of 600 is the number of folks with assigned work items – there are more users who connect and run queries, look at bugs – without having them assigned to them.

To address another comment from Tim:

Clearly some absolutely crazy restructuring happened here between the weeks of 24/6 and 24/10 (from ~70,000 files up to 600,000 files… on that alone maybe I can retract my first statement).

Every team also brought more code with them – some smaller code bases, others significantly bigger. However, one of the sources that has boosted the total number of files in the system has been when we’ve brought in more of the entire developer division source tree into our dogfood server. Sometimes this has happened when we pull in a new branch of large portions of the code base.

Another earlier example of file growth was when Brian first decided he wanted to pull in all of the .Net Framework code into our dogfood server for the first time (to start with we just had the VSTS code on the server). This made a big difference to our file count. Brian called me me up to tell me he was doing it one afternoon during a dry run of a presentation Doug Neumann was going to be giving at PDC. I remember watching the server through the session, initially nervously, but later very happily as I realized we really were going to be able to handle all the checkins…

It’s been a great journey – and I’m very grateful to everyone who’s been prepared to eat our dogfood for us. It’s been painful for them at times, but ultimately we’ve ended up with a much better product in the end. Dogfooders – thankyou!


Comments (3)

  1. John Lawrence (of Dogfood Statistics fame) notes that the User Admin Power Tool for TFS has…

  2. John Lawrence gives us some history and clarification on their Team Foundation dogfood statistics.  He…