New role running the VSTS Architecture Edition team

Ok folks, as I mentioned in a previous post, I'd like to discuss a few of the things I've been up to recently.

As some of you know, I came to Microsoft in June of 2005 to build and run the team that created what is now known as Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition. By the end of November of 2006, we shipped that product. I'm very proud of what that team did and continues to do with that product. ( If you haven't been keeping up on the details, please see Gert's blog ). Breaking down the barriers between application developers and the database developers has been a passion of mine for quite some time, and the "Data Dude" product is doing a fantastic job of bridging the gap.

But I actually have another albeit older passion, which is all about using models to help manage the inherent complexity in software development. A long time ago, I was the CTO of a small company called Advanced Software Technologies ( ultimately bought by Embarcadero Tech ) that specialized in a UML design tool that was called GDPro ( "Graphical Designer Professional", later to be re-branded "Describe" after the Embarcadero acquisition ). That tool actually won a Jolt Productivity award in 2001, and a few other things.

Fast forward to 2007, and an opportunity opens up to run the team that builds Visual Studio Team System 2008 Architecture Edition. I couldn't resist, so by November 2007, I was running that team.

It has been a wild ride already, culminating recently into a lot of press around our bits demonstrated in Bill Gate's last TechEd keynote. Brian Harry demo'd some of the new Architecture Edition product, and blogged on it here. ( View the entire BillG keynote for all the details, or zip to around minute 42 to see Brian do his thing. High | Medium | Low bandwidth. )

You'll notice screen shots in Brian's post of the Layer Diagram and Architecture Explorer Diagrams. Those are examples of the new bits my new team is working on. Except for the Layer Diagram, you can test drive those bits by downloading the April Rosario CTP. It's a big download, but check out this post for tips on how to best manage it.

This team is incredibly excited, and can't wait to tell you all about all the new features we have cooking! It has been phenomenal to witness all the press around the new bits ( check this out, and this, oh and this, try this, just to point out a small smattering :) ).

The post marks the start of what I intend to be a fairly steady stream of discussions around this effort. My next post will be a discussion on our UML support and how important DSLs are to our ongoing modeling strategy.

Stay tuned!