March 19, 2010 5:36 PM
by Ed Blankenship
Once of the nice things about having moved to Charleston, SC is being relatively around the corner from half of the Team Foundation Server team in Raleigh, North Carolina. I get plenty of opportunities to talk with the TFS product team in Redmond, WA but rarely get the opportunity to talk with the side that’s in Raleigh. It’s good being close now.
Yesterday, I had the privilege and honor of talking at the TFS Product Team’s All Hands meeting at the Microsoft Office in Raleigh, North Carolina. Each quarter, the entire team split between Redmond, WA and Raleigh, NC get together to talk about different topics to review the last quarter and looking forward to the future about work they want to do. It’s very similar to some “All Hands” meetings that each of our companies put together. They have had a tradition in the past to invite a customer in to talk about how they have used TFS in their daily work and I imagine that gives the entire team some insight into how people outside of Microsoft are actually using the products they spend every day creating. I was invited to be that customer for this quarter.
They also really like for you to spend some time talking about what your feature requests are for the product. I had the opportunity to discuss some of my personal areas that I’d like to see some investment made. Normally when going to events like the Microsoft MVP Summit or providing other private feedback, I take the approach of being objective and provide feedback on behalf of the people I took to and the customers that I help. I rarely bring up anything that I personally would like to see since some of the things I want are things that most people would never even touch or appreciate. However, this was my one time that I didn’t feel bad about being totally subjective and asking for my personal feature desires :)
I also had some time to spend talking with the Build team and Version Control team about problems areas that I think people will run into when TFS 2010 launches next month as well as discussing some of those things that some people really hate about TFS version control. You know who you are on Twitter :) It was a really great conversation about the problem scenarios really are that people face before arriving to frustration with the product.
I’ve said this before but I really admire and appreciate the team for the amount of effort they put into listening and acting on feedback. I promise and can tell you that they’re listening. There are plenty of features and changes even coming out in TFS 2010 that were things that I know that one of the MVPs, customers, or I had originally suggested. That means they’re not only listening but they are doing something about it.
Anyhow, it was a very productive day and really enjoyed the time. I’m so glad to be an MVP that is tied to such a great product group.
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Ed Blankenship is a Product Manager at Microsoft for Visual Studio Online. I am an author of a few books, former Microsoft MVP of the Year, and former ALM consultant. I hold Office Hours each week if you are interested in chatting.
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