Just after I joined Microsoft, nearly 4 years ago, I had the opportunity to learn about a super exciting brand new(at least to me) concept called Software Factories. At the time I was fortunate to be working in a group that enabled me to spend a small portion of my time digging in to the factories concept. In October 2004 I got the chance to work on a full-day OOPSLA tutorial with Jack Greenfield and Keith Short who, along with Steve Cook and Stuart Kent, wrote the definitive book on the subject, and found that while there was a strong theoretical foundation there was very little implementation. After OOPSLA I started a small "skunk works" project to try to build something concrete but then put that on hold when I moved to Seattle in March of 2005.
For the past 3 years I have been on the Platform Evangelism Team as a Technical Evangelist and have been on-point for an interesting stream of technologies and audiences:
- VSTA - Visual Studio Tools for Applications (the C#/VB next gen app scripting engine)
- VSTS - Visual Studio Team System
- Compilers targeted at the CLR
- Shareware/MicroISV developers
- Software-plus-Services Blueprints
as well as on-going work as part of the Channel9 team doing audio and video podcasting.
As part of the work I did as the MicroISV evangelist I created Project "Glidepath", a lightweight Software Factory system which delivered guidance, code and tools helping developers move their applications to Windows Vista. While this was a fun thing to do, building Software Factories wasn't really part of my job description!
A year ago I got the opportunity to lead an effort to create something we eventually named Software-plus-Services Blueprints. For this I adapted the Project "Glidepath" engine to enable a rich UX for delivery of the blueprint contents, essentially creating a branded collection of Software Factories helping people build S+S applications.
Now, due to a fortunate series of serendipitous events, (including Jack moving to the Platform Architecture Team, an unexpected re-org, etc.), this week I moved to the Platform Architecture Team and will finally be working directly with Jack responsible for both S+S Blueprints and Software Factories!
Final note, I am still the guy on-point for MicroISVs. I'll see everyone, as I have for the past 3 years, at the Software Industry Conference in Boston this July and at the European Software Conference in Berlin come November.