Welcome to the Visual Studio Team System User Education team blog. Now, there’s a mouthful. Team System? You know what THAT is, but what on earth is “user education?” That’s the question I have to answer all the time when people I meet outside of work ask me what I do for Microsoft.

My team writes the product documentation for Team System. The product documentation is the content you get when you buy software; it explains how to install the software and then what to do with it after you’ve got it installed. Our content is published in MSDN, which means that it can be both online and on disk. Usually product documentation ships with major product releases (CTP, Betas, and so on), but we also publish it to the Web on an as-needed basis. For example, we’ve published walkthroughs this way for about a year now.

So you could think of “user education” as being “Content you need to learn about Team System to do your job.” That’s how we think about it. We want to give you the content you need, when you need it, so you can get your job done.

And that sounds a lot simpler than it is. To do this, we need to understand what your job is, how Team System can help you do it better, what kind of content you’ll need, and when you’ll need that content. But that’s actually a topic for another post (yes, I’m planning to be back). This post is supposed to introduce you to the team and touch on why we created a blog and what we’re planning to do with it.

The Team
I’m Julie MacAller and I’m the boss. I manage three writing teams: one for Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Architects, one for Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Developers and Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Testers, and one for Visual Studio Team Foundation. You can expect to meet team members on this blog in the coming weeks and months.

Why a Team Blog?
We wanted a way to start an informal conversation about content, for one thing. For another thing, several members have information or early content they want to post. We thought that a team blog would be better than several individual blogs, becuase we all know the perils of the stale blog! Oh, and we didn’t want to overload Rob Caron’s blog either, even if he is part of the team. He does a great job keeping his blog updated, but his focus is broader than content and content issues.

Coming Attractions
Some of the posts you can expect to see in the near future include some white papers on server administration issues, some tips and tricks for using the documentation and finding topics, and a survey on what kind of information is most useful to you and when. And please, let us know what information you’d like to see here. Thanks!