I’ve been a “client guy” for my entire time here at Microsoft. Windows Forms, WFC, the designers, all client code, most of it Win32 based.
The new team I’ve started is in the overall Frameworks organization (.NET Client, ASP.NET, the CLR, etc.) run by Scott Guthrie, and it’s called The Agility Team. Why the Agility Team? It’s not because we use Agile Software Developement, but we might try it out sometime. It’s because I want the team to stay fast, light, and agile, to be able to address needs as they come up and focus on new technologies coming out of Microsoft.
I blogged a little bit about it at my last work post on my (now personal) other blog, but in a nutshell the team’s main function is to focus on new technologies, and to use them to build things that are similar to what our customers are going to build. We’re going to do it early so we have a chance to really drive deep feedback into the group building the technology, and we’re going to do it transparently so users have a chance to see what we’re up to and how we’re using things.
At the end of the day, it’s about increasing product quality and driving adoption of the technologies, two things that are definitely related.
So I hired a great dev from MSN, and have a college hire on the way. The first project that we’ve been working on is a set of ASP.NET “Atlas” sample controls and control extenders and a toolkit of helper classes that make writing those controls and extenders super-duper-easy. With this set of classes and samples, the idea is to really help people get into using some of the great features Atlas provides and start cranking out some really cool controls and extenders. It’s turned into something pretty cool that I’m rather excited about, so it will be great when people get a chance to play with it.
We’re still working on the nuts-and-bolts of exactly how this is going to work but keep an eye out for an announcement and bits next week at the Mix 06 Conference in Vegas. I’ll post details here too!