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
Tracked by: [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback] [Pingback]

Wednesday, December 24, 2003 3:36:42 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I couldn't agree more with Michael. Most companies won't let us get near first releases of MS stuff. We can't even use .NET yet in our company, because it is not deemed mature or stable enough. I subscribe to MSJ but what's the point of reading about technologies that you won't get to touch for 2 years at least. 80% of MS clients are years behind what's being discussed in these blogs and in MSJ and in all the marketing material.

Of course why shouldn't the blogger write about whatever they want to? Don't have a problem with that. But it is dispiriting that everytime one works with MS technology it is already out-of-date.

This is not a complaint, just an observation. Nothing can be done about it. Its the nature of the beast.
Wednesday, December 24, 2003 3:38:53 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I find the current trend of people bitching about others' blogs disturbing. There are already thousands of blogs out there with the number increasing like crazy every day. One of the great things about the variety is that you can pick and choose to follow those that have share your interests. As you mentioned, there are a bunch of great Microsoft blogs that keep things in the realm of current technology. MSDN has a wealth of information and it keeps growing; info about current products certainly isn't lacking.

I think the thing that has made blogging so popular is that the posts are generally interesting because the bloggers post what _they_ find interesting. They aren't forced into an agenda. I hope things stay as they are.
Wednesday, December 24, 2003 4:12:06 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
You make very good points, Dare. I've responded on my weblog. Thanks for the to-the-point style.

Jeff, please understand that I was not "bitching" about other people's blogs. I was making a plea. I totally agree with you. If I don't like a weblog, I can stop reading it.

This entry clarifies my position.
Saturday, December 27, 2003 5:56:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I think Harry Pierson has Architect in his title... not sure though.
Comments are closed.