Sipping from the Microsoft Firehose

“Sipping from the Firehose” is Microspeak for, 'I have 111 documentation issues (ahem, bugs) to fix, program managers from three feature teams knocking down my door, seventy topics in tech review, another fifty in the queue, 950 topics from which I must remove authoring notes for a community drop of Visual Studio by the end of the day, an important presentation that needs to be refined, a pregnant wife on hold, two IM conversations going, one hungry cat and one neurotic cat, and one hundred thirty-two unread emails in my Inbox.'

At times like this, I feel like Lt. Dan, strapped to the mast of Forrest Gump's shrimping boat in the middle of Hurricane Carmen.  “Come on! You call this a storm?“

For those of you who have emailed me offline over the last couple of weeks requesting more information about this, that, or the other thing, I apologize for not responding to your requests as immediately or as thoroughly as I normally do.  I see blue skies on the horizon.  Interacting with the developer community on a day to day basis is like going to Disneyland with a group of ten year olds: it's energizing to a point, exhausting after a few hours, and worth every darn second. 

If you have a question about SourceSafe or source control integration in Visual Studio, or some other subject that you'd like to see me address in a detailed, feature length blog post, please feel free to email me offline.  However, if you have a quick question that relates to an existing post (for examples, see VSS Tips and Tricks, Source Control, Social Computing, or Documentation), I usually respond to those more quickly.  Alternatively, you can email your question to

Comments (5)

  1. Wallym says:

    I thought that was Lt. Dan? 😉

  2. Yes, Left-enant Dan. 😉

  3. I miss that feeling. Don’t have that at my new job. Maybe some day.

  4. mike says:

    I always thought "drinking from the firehose" was not "a whole lot to do," but rather "a whole lot to learn all at once." Thus, for example, someone new to the team might be ramping up and reading specs, etc. and trying to learn the entire product ASAP. Such a one might be said to be drinking from the firehose. Anyway, that’s the way I’ve heard it used.

  5. Yes, I have adulterated MicroSpeak. In the broadest sense, "sipping from the firehose" is the feeling of being overwhelmed by incoming data and the inability to consume it all efficiently. Email bloat, multiple ongoing conversations, gobs of incoming tech review comments, and way too many bugs–are manifestations of the problem, not the problem itself.

    In its purest, unadulterated sense, "sipping from the firehose" is attempting to assimilate an impossibly large amount of _force fed_ data in a short period of time.

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