Team Foundation Dogfood
We’re rapidly approaching the time for Whidbey Beta 2. It is the first beta for Team System as a whole. As a part of that, we’ll be using it as our dogfood system. I’m really looking forward to that, as each new dogfood “release” allows us to make more extensive use of features in the system. We also get features that were missing, performance gains from tuning the system, usability improvements, and more robustness.
John Lawrence, one of the Team Foundation dev managers, has posted the statistics for the current dogfood system that Team System uses. Keep in mind that we are using the Dec. CTP release with patches. That’s right — the code base for the system we use every day is essentially from mid-November.
One of the very useful features that was rolled out for the first time with the current dogfood system was shelving. Shelving has been very popular. Developers use it constantly for everything from backups to code reviews. You’ll notice in John’s post that there are 195 shelvesets in the system right now. That’s not counting all of the short-lived shelvesets that people created and deleted before the stat was snapped.
The previous dogfood system we put in place actually remained in service for about six months. That was the Whidbey Beta 1 Refresh with patches. We got a lot of mileage out of that system.
Our very first source control dogfood system (the current dogfood system has all the pieces of Team System) was one we set up over a year ago in one team member’s office. The Hatteras team used and ran that server for all Hatteras development. Even at that early stage, we were able to make good use of it and not lose any data. But we were only using Hatteras at that point.
The current dogfood system is hosted in Redmond. Our office is in Durham, NC. The connection from our office to the corporate network is but a small fraction of what a corporate network provides. That means we get the same experience as our customers with geographically-dispersed teams (we also have users on a couple of other continents). I’m pleased to say that it’s been an overall good experience.
We’ve come a long ways from those earlier dogfood systems. It’s amazing to look back on how much has changed and how much we have learned in the process. The experience has changed the product in significant ways.
We are our customers. Our colleagues are our customers. We all provide feedback on the system, both on what works well and what we find frustrating. It’s made the product better.