In a post entitled A Plea to Microsoft Architects, Michael Earls writes

This post in in response to a post by Harry Pierson over at DevHawk...

It is abundantly frustrating to be keeping up with you guys right now.  We out here in the real world do not use Longhorn, do not have access to Longhorn (not in a way we can trust for production), and we cannot even begin to test out these great new technologies until version 1.0 (or 2.0 for those that wish to stay sane)...My job is to work on the architecture team as well as implement solutions for a large-scale commercial website using .NET.  I use this stuff all day every day, but I use the  1.1 release bits.

Here's my point, enough with the "this Whidbey, Longhorn, XAML is so cool you should stop whatever it is you are doing and use it".  Small problem, we can't.  Please help us by remembering that we're still using the release bits, not the latest technology... Oh yeah, we need more samples of current bits and less of XAML.

Remember, we're your customers and we love this new technology, but we need more of you to focus CURRENT topics on CURRENT RELEASE bits.  I don't want to read about how you used XAML and SOA to write a new version of the RSS wheel.  The RSS I have now is fine (short of the namespace that Harry mentions).  Leave it alone.

The only folks at Microsoft with Architect in their job title that blog I can think of are Don, Chris Anderson and Chris Brumme so I assume Michael is complaining about one or more of these three although they may be other software architect bloggers at Microsoft that I am unaware of. The first point I'd note is that most people that blog at Microsoft do so without any official direction so they blog about what interests them and what they are working on not what MSDN, PSS or our documentation folks thinks we need more public documentation and guidance around. That said, architects at Microsoft usually work on next generation technologies since their job is to guide and supervise their design so it is to be expected that when they blog about what they are working on it will be about next generation stuff. The people who work on current technologies and are most knowledgeable about them are the Program Managers, Developers and Testers responsible for the technology not the architects that oversee and advise their design.

My advice to Michael would be that he should broaden his blog horizons and consider reading some of the other hundreds of Microsoft bloggers many of whom blog about current technologies instead of focusing on those folks who are designing stuff that'll be shipping in two or more years and complaining when they blog about said technologies.

This isn't to say I disagree with Michael's feedback and in fact being a firm believer in Joel Spolsky's  Mouth Wide Shut principle I agree with most of it  (except for the weird bit about the fact that blogging about next generation stuff increases the perception that Microsoft is a monopoly). However he and others like him should remember that most of us blogging are just talking about we're working on not trying to give people "version envy" because we get to run the next version of the .NET Framework or Windows years before they ship.  

I have no idea how Chris Anderson, Don Box and other Microsoft architect bloggers will react to Michael's feedback but I hope they take some of it to heart.

[Update: Just noticed another Microsoft blogger with "architect" in his job title, Herb Sutter. Unsurprisingly he also blogs about the next release of the product he works on not current technology.]

Categories: Life in the B0rg Cube
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