If you have not been following Microsoft’s Engineering Windows 7 blog, I’d encourage you to do so. Steven Sinofsky, the head honcho on Windows 7, and his team are posting some fascinating articles on User Access Control, Desktop Search, and much more. Background info geeks like us love to read. I’ve really enjoyed this inside look at the team building Windows 7. Their latest article is by Larry Osterman, who has been with Microsoft since the mid-1980’s and, according to Sinofsky, is one of the most experienced developers on the team.
Larry offers a unique look at what has gone in to building Windows 7 and how that process is different from Vista. I think you’ll enjoy the read.
For Windows 7, management decided to alter the engineering structure of the Windows organization, especially in the WEX [Windows Experience] division where I work. Instead of being fairly hierarchical, Steven has 3 direct reports, each representing a particular discipline: Development, Test and Program Management. Under each of the discipline leads, there are 6 development/test/program management managers, one for each of the major groups in WEX. Those 2nd level managers in turn have a half a dozen or so leads, each one with between 5 and 15 direct reports. This reporting structure has been somewhat controversial, but so far IMHO it’s been remarkably successful.
The other major change is the introduction of the concept of a ““triadÃ¢â‚¬Â. A ““triadÃ¢â‚¬Â is a collection of representatives from each of the disciplines Ã¢â‚¬” Dev, Test and PM. Essentially all work is now organized by triads.