Tour: Patterns and Practices Lab

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Description

The Microsoft Patterns and Practices team recently renovated their development lab in order to better support their Agile development methodologies. Movable walls you can write on and “escape pods” are just a couple of the featured additions. Join C9 special correspondant Brian Keller and Patterns and Practices dudes Ed Jezierski and Peter Provost for a tour of their new digs. Cool!

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    jsampsonPC

    That is so cool to see how much Microsoft cares about its teams. Many software companies give you a den, a check, and expect you to be happy - Great to see Microsoft going the extra million-dollar mile to keep the teams functioning in the most effective environment.

    I sense an episode of Microsoft Cribs coming up Smiley

  • User profile image
    Cyonix
    That would be a very cool place to work
  • User profile image
    Chadk
    Wow, i would like to work there Expressionless
  • User profile image
    Soviut
    I like the "teams" atmosphere.  Working with a group that's excited and focused on something keeps the momentum of a project going.  This looks like the sort of environment where that kind of thing would thrive.
  • User profile image
    DigitalDud

    I'd say working with as a team is definitely important but so is developer privacy. Considering developers are going to be spending most of their time debugging, I'd say some privacy and the ability to shut off distractions is going to be pretty important. The last thing you want when you're debugging, and going deep into the call stack, is someone coming in and disrupting your concentration.

  • User profile image
    Archer
    Very cool...and I love the ending.Smiley
  • User profile image
    Chadk
    DigitalDud wrote:
    

    I'd say working with as a team is definitely important but so is developer privacy. Considering developers are going to be spending most of their time debugging, I'd say some privacy and the ability to shut off distractions is going to be pretty important. The last thing you want when you're debugging, and going deep into the call stack, is someone coming in and disrupting your concentration.


    But that is why it is so cool. You can the the room, so theres 1 man rooms.
  • User profile image
    Massif

    And to think all I really want is two screens. (And it would be nice if they were bigger than this 17" one too!)

    Have you guys been measuring your output? Are you going to be able to prove one way or another that the new layout provides real benefits?

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew
    Peter Provost is inspiring.

    I'd like to plug a cable in the back of my neck and get a core dump of Agile.

    Write a book about it, P&P.
  • User profile image
    tshak
    DigitalDud wrote:
    

    I'd say working with as a team is definitely important but so is developer privacy. Considering developers are going to be spending most of their time debugging...



    :O I certainly hope not! One of the benefits of Agile practices like TDD is that it replaces the need for debugging sessions. I still use the debugger on occasion but for short periods of time and usually with someone looking over my shoulder.

  • User profile image
    BlackTiger
    Eah... Great place to be and work...


    Unfortunately it's impossible in my company. Also it's impossible for me to work in Microsoft - I'm allergic to C/CPP.
  • User profile image
    Ion Todirel
    BlackTiger wrote:
    Eah... Great place to be and work...


    Unfortunately it's impossible in my company. Also it's impossible for me to work in Microsoft - I'm allergic to C/CPP.
    there are many teams that develop in C# (or more generally .NET).
  • User profile image
    T1Guy
    Wish our office was like that!

    Thanks for giving us a peek at what it's like to work there.
  • User profile image
    PeterProvost
    DigitalDud wrote:
    

    I'd say working with as a team is definitely important but so is developer privacy. Considering developers are going to be spending most of their time debugging, I'd say some privacy and the ability to shut off distractions is going to be pretty important. The last thing you want when you're debugging, and going deep into the call stack, is someone coming in and disrupting your concentration.

    The most interesting thing about the way we work is how little time our developers actually have to spend in the debugger. When you practice things like TDD and pair-programming, you literally spend less than 10% of your time in the debugger.

    I was giving a "agile" presentation to another team here on campus lately and had a few other agile folks from around MSFT with me. I asked the room, "How much time you spend in the debugger?"

    The team I was talking to responded with numbers like 50% or 75%. Then I asked my agile friends and they responded with numbers like 0% or 5%.

    TDD allows you to build the system in a small way so surprises rarely occur. You don't spend very much time in the debugger, because you only added one or two lines of code since you last ran the tests.

    I typically only use the debugger when an API call I'm using doesn't behave the way I expect. But then it is a VERY targeted attack. Step into the one test I'm having problems with, trace through to the API call and inspect the result. Once I've learned better what's going on, I add typically add a new test that explains that behavior better and then I can move on.

    Hopefully that helps explain things a bit better.

    --Peter

  • User profile image
    briankel
    JohnAskew wrote:
    Peter Provost is inspiring.

    I'd like to plug a cable in the back of my neck and get a core dump of Agile.

    Write a book about it, P&P.


    Check out Microsoft Solutions Framework Essentials for a brand new book which addresses this topic. I haven't read it myself yet but it's getting good reviews.

    Brian Keller
  • User profile image
    BlackTiger

    Considering developers are going to be spending most of their time debugging



    50-75%


    Imho, it's FAR TO MUCH. May be it's time to change developers? Or just "update" them. I personally spending up to 5% of my time in debugger. My secret - never jump between areas and see whole picture. But if you have stuff rotation then you will spend alot of time in debugger because of "spaghetti code".
  • User profile image
    BlackTiger
    One more secret - never work with "bcos it's so cool" developers.
    They are nice funny guys but worthless for project because too enthuziastic. Too much energy but wrong directions.
  • User profile image
    Compiled​Monkey
    Is this video available for download anymore???
  • User profile image
    arindam.​mallik
    This is not a working environment ... just heaven!!

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