We're all in this together: Maintaining common tools

Raymond Chen

In the Windows division, as with any other product group, there is a common “bag of tools” that people tend to rely on to get through the day. Occasionally, somebody will encounter a problem with one of these tools.

When I run Program Q, I get the message XYZ, and then it appears to get stuck in an infinite loop allocating more and more memory until it finally runs out. Is this a bug?

Just a few hours later, the question is repeated. It seems

Resending. Is anybody else seeing this?

First thing the following morning:

3rd time.

The owner of Program Q, please help.

At this point, I felt compelled to explain how it works, but of course I did it by firing up my thermonuclear social skills.

You own Program Q. The source code is in X\Q. Have fun. Let us know what you find.

Fortunately, one of my colleagues chimed in with an explanation.

Raymond’s point is that many of our tools are supported by whoever pitches in and helps. Don’t be shy.

We’re all in this together. Disclaimer

Although the situation described here is purported to have been real, details of the story not essential to the message may have been altered, removed, or exaggerated in order to make the story more enjoyable. The behavior exhibited in this story does not constitute an official position of Microsoft Corporation.