Chris Dias

Hi! I am the Group Program Manager for the Developer Division Release Team. I started at Microsoft a little more than 10 years ago doing product support (answering the phones) for Visual Basic 3.0, with a little 1.0, 2.0, and VBDOS thrown in for fun. I did Beta support for VB4 and moved over to the product team as a program manager for VB5. I eventually became the Group Program Manager for the Visual Basic team 3 or 4 years ago. I stepped into the Release Management role about 6 months ago and my goal now is to ship a successful Whidbey which delivers the right set of high quality features on an aggressive but achievable schedule.

I’ve been struggling trying to describe my current role in Microsoft and the Developer Division. A Group Program Manager is a manager of program managers, so it was easy to say "I’m the GPM of Visual Basic" because everyone knows what VB is. I am GPM of the Release team, but what is the Release Team? As you can see by the other entries, this team makes all the pieces of this big engine run. Without this team, the Developer Division could not operate. So, I manage the great people who make it all happen. In addition, my role requires me to drive the Division to meet their schedules and goals. I raise, facilitate, and resolve division wide issues. I do whatever I can to remove obstacles to people being successful producing and delivering Whidbey. I think the most important thing I do though is communicate. The more everyone knows what is going on around them the less chaos there is in their world, which means they can focus on the important task at hand – building and shipping Whidbey – instead of worrying about the unknown. You’ll see weekly status mail from me posted on in the near future which is one example of that communication. The contents of each message are important, but so is the frequency and consistency in which they are produced. My goal then for this team blog is to communicate to the world a view inside Microsoft of the people and activities behind the scenes which make the production of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework possible.

I think you’ll find this slice of Microsoft to be very interesting, especially when we get into the end game around milestones. Let us know what you are interested in seeing, and especially if you have similar jobs or responsibilities to ours.