I mentioned in one of my posts that we had an AppWeek going on in our team recently. What is an AppWeek for a QA team at Microsoft? It is the “Application Week” when all the QA people in a team get to play “Dev”, pretend they are the developer customer and have fun developing real-life applications. Since I started at MS almost 4 years ago I've participated in 3 AppWeeks and they have all been very fun and useful experiences. This is how it works: we split in teams of 4-5 people each having its own lead and develop a mini-project that we demo at the end of the appweek. This way we get to work with areas of the VS.NET product that we don't test on a day-to-day basis, learn about new technologies and use them in a way so they interract with each other just like in a small real life app development scenario. This time around I got to be an AppWeek team captain and my team decided to create a fun interactive web site that would display all the events going on in Seattle right now, based on the logged-in user's preferences, send notifications about these events, let the user create his/her own events and invite other people to attend, create personal appointments etc. We called it GetALife :) We used a lot of the ASP.NET features and although I can't talk about un-released features all I can say is that I am really impressed with how easy it is to create a cool complete web site using the future version of ASP.NET!!!
Other teams developed other cool application from games using DirectX 3D to monitoring tools for managed applications or IM-like messaging applications. I was verry impressed with all the apps and with how much all the teams have accomplished only in one week using Visual Studio .NET, C# and the .NET Frameworks! This Friday we'll also find out which team won the prize for best app (I hope it's gonna be my team but even if it's not, AppWeeks are fun!).