Right before I left CodePlex, I filmed my last Iteration Planning Meeting with the team to give you a bird’s eye view into the day in the life of an Agile Program Manager. I did this because last year at the MVP 09 Summit, I invited MVPs to sit in on our IPM. They said they greatly enjoyed watching how we did agile, so I’ve always wanted to video on of our IPMs and put it on the web. Fortunately, I was able to film my last IPM. Better late than never!
The IPM is where we review the weekly work with the team and make any necessary adjustments. For this specific IPM, we were starting an I3 week, which means we reviewed the completed feature work of I2 and would only do bug fixes and other tweaks in I3. (See above link for explanation of I2 and I3 weeks).
I separated our IPM into two parts (videos below):
Review of the work for the week – mostly bug fixes
Review of work that was finished in the previous week – demos
I had been wanting to do this sync’ing of change sets and releases tabs for literally years, so it was only fitting that i did it as my final deployment on the team. The idea behind this feature is that you will never again see “No Source Code” in the Source Code tab if the project owner checked his/her sources into the Releases tab. Instead, we carry over the source code from the Releases tab into the Source Code tab. (IMO, the Source Code tab should have always been Source Control *or* we force people to upload source code there, but I digress since this is a moot point now).
Part 1 – Review of work for I3 – In the video below, note we’re just doing bug fixes and tweaks. And note that we’re using the CodePlex software internally to keep track of our work items.
I was very happy with the turnout, considering the construction, the Krewe of Thor parade, a fatality accident on I-10 East, and the Saints parade being the night before. I talked for 2 hours on CodePlex and Visual Studio. A glass of Purple Haze Abita Beer (a New Orleans classic brew) never tasted so good afterwards.
In keeping with my tradition of taking the CodePlex banner with me wherever I go, a few of us Who Dats got together afterwards to do a Saints chat.
I’m sitting here in the Memphis airport at the terminal gate for New Orleans. Having gone 17 weeks without seeing a single Saints fan, you’d think each person wearing a Fleur de Lis football jersey was a long lost family member of mine, as I run up to them hugging them screaming Who Dat as if it were some Cajun form of “Hello, I wish you well.” In fact, it is precisely that.
To discuss my last day on CodePlex, I chatted with Dan Fernandez on Channel 9 and introduced him to the Who Dat Nation. Dan has known me for years, so he wasn’t surprised when he saw me putting on my Mardi Gras gear in the parking lot.
In January 2006, nearly 4 years ago to the day, I created my first account on CodePlex, when the site was still in internal-only alpha preview. A the time, I was the Program Manager for the Visual Studio Power Toys, where my team created the 5th, 6th, and 9th projects on CodePlex before it went live. I recall sending the CodePlex team a 15 page document on all the UI suggestions I had. They were very receptive of my feedback and always treated me like a virtual member of the CodePlex team since the very beginning.
I officially joined the team in October 2007. The CodePlex site had approximately 2800 projects at that time. Now, we have exactly 13,505 projects. It’s been an absolute privilege to watch 11,000 open source projects get created on a site run by Microsoft. I can’t thank the CodePlex community enough for the support they’ve given us and me personally over the years. It’s just been incredible.
So what’s next?
I’ve accepted a position to be a Developer Evangelist for Microsoft in the Silicon Valley area in California. In other words, I’m moving from the product groups to “the field.” Needless to say, this won’t be the last you’ll hear of me doing open source. Remember, I jumped off a building for open source at Microsoft, so you’re not getting rid of me that easily!
Again, I cannot thank the community enough for such a tremendous couple of years. To quote the immortal words of the 9th Doctor Who (Christopher Eccleston) right before his regeneration, “You were fantastic! And so was I!”
I didn’t realize how special last week was until we Microsofties went out to dinner on the last night. As we discussed how much interest there was in the guitar hero competition, someone commented how we (Microsoft) were invited to participate to play. It was Ubuntu’s idea to put together the competition. We provided the guitars and the venue. When I first heard my coworker’s comment, I nearly rolled my eyes thinking I was listening to classic PR/marketing talk (yes, I’m obviously a proud female developer), but then the significance of the statement hit me.
Community is about focusing on what we have in common, while putting aside what makes us different. The Community Leadership Summit and the Guitar Hero competition gave everyone common ground to come together and talk. I’ve done community for Visual Studio and for CodePlex my entire 8 years at Microsoft, but I’ve always wanted to engage with the open source community to say “Hey ya’ll. This is what I do at Microsoft. Come teach me your expertise, and I’ll share what life is like promoting OSS within Microsoft.” For a total of 7 days, I was given this opportunity, which was truly one of the greatest weeks of my career at Microsoft.
When I grow up, I want to be like Jono Bacon, the Community manager for Ubuntu. I want to be cool enough to organize an event like the Community Leadership Summit. I cannot wait for his Art of Community book to come out. @JonoBacon I know you hate me for beating you in the guitar hero finale =) but please sign my copy of your book when it comes out.
"Don’t cut people off before they have a chance to grow.” This comment from the CLS had the biggest impact to me personally.
Empower people by asking them “what do you like doing? what do you do best?” This comment from the CLS had the biggest impact to me as a program manager / community manager.
Larry Rosenremembered me! I attended a talk by Larry Rosen a few years ago on the Microsoft campus. I was surprised that he had remembered me from such a brief introduction years ago. But then again, there are not many 5’1 women on crutches hobbling around declaring how they are going to tame the Microsoft Legal department. (don’t ask me how that’s going.)
I learned a lot outside the Microsoft platform bubble. Working in Redmond day in and day out, I’m not really exposed to much going on in the outside world. I had a great time visiting the various booths to learn what’s out there. Oh yeah, and there really is an OSS version of Guitar Hero called Frets of Fire. Who’d a known?
The guitar hero competition. I will *never* forget when, right as Jono and I were about to play in the finale, someone screams “JONO! THE FUTURE OF OPEN SOURCE DEPENDS ON YOU” OMG, that was a top 5 moment of my career right there.
Best Opposing t-shirt photo op
New friends from CLS
Little Kid rockers
Putting together guitar hero bracket
First comes denial in who won the guitar hero competition
Jono Bacon, the community manager for the global Ubuntu community, organized the first Community Leadership Summit for community managers to come together and share ideas. I loved the fact it was run as an unconference or open space. I get so much more high quality information from open spaces than I do from traditional style conferences. The saying that the room knows more than the speaker is very true. Just attended an unconference for proof.
It’s been a long time since I’ve attended a conference where all we talked about was community. It was a totally re-energizing experience (as if i needed more energy). Pictures at bottom of blog post.
I hope folks from #cls will swing by the Microsoft booth at OSCON on Weds and Thurs to say hi as i wear my CodePlex banner as a cape. I’m jealous of the Brazilian flag guy. (you had to be there for it.)
“Understanding community is about understanding the human condition.”
"Everybody deserves to have a great community."
"Don’t cut people off before they have a chance to grow.”
"It takes a village to build a program."
"It’s amazing what people will do to get a badge on a forum site. If it worked in kindergarten, it will work forever."
"Marketing should not be allowed to use the word ‘community.’ They should especially be banned from using the phrase ‘join our community."
"In today’s online world we speak glob-ish as our default language"
"People like people who help them."
We need to design a reputation system that goes beyond just what the person does online. We need a way to track offline events, like running user groups, public speaking events, etc.
Similar to design personas, we need personas for members who participates in our online communities so we know how best to engage and empower them.
You have to assign tasks to community members to make them feel inclusive. Otherwise saying "look at the list" will cause them to leave.
People don’t want to take surveys when they are upset with your product. It’s like pouting. You got to make the feedback channel personal.
Empower people by asking them “what do you like doing? what do you do best?” The example used here was in a user group meeting, an attendee who wasn’t technical turned out to be a professional meeting organizer. They were significantly more productive in that meeting because of her help.