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AppWeek in the Visual C# QA team

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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!).

Comments
  • Any chance that the outside world might see some of the AppWeek apps?

  • Do you mean the finished work or the source code? I doubt we can publish the source code because it uses features of VS.NET and .NET Frameworks that are not released yet but if you are interested in seeing the apps working we might be able to do that...

  • Yes because IM like applications have NEVER been done before.

  • Yes because anybody can knock out shit in a week. Doing a quality, robust and secure application takes a little more than a week.

  • First of all, as QA people working for Microsoft we are interested in the quality of our work whether is in testing our own feature areas or AppWeek project or anything else we are working on. People were staying here till late at night to work on these projects because they were passionate about their work, because they wanted to create something cool and functional and because they wanted their app to win the contest. We are pretty competitive in this team and that keeps us from "knocking out shit".
    Second of all, maybe I should've been more clear about the goals of the AppWeek. We are not shipping these applications. The main purpose for having an AppWeek is for us to get a better feel of the product in general, not only from our feature area testing perspective, to find problems that we wouldn't find otherwise in our day-to-day testing and to learn about new technologies that can be used to create an interesting application written in C#.
    Again, I don't think we can publish any of the code at this time but maybe we could get some of these apps turned into samples...

  • Well if theyre doing IM like applications, they wont win an award for creativity. They are just reimplementing the wheel. I am aware of the purpose of appweek and the apps wont be shipped, maybe stuck on toolbox though if theyre useful but I doubt an MSN clone would be considdering the infrastructure is already inplace for IM via OTGs exchange servers.

    Yes because an IM application is an "interesting application"

  • Sounds cool. You could ask what the AppWeek "manager" thinks of a short MSDN TV style session where each of them is showd a bit in a desktop fullscreen video recording (I suppose the samples use too new bits to work on March CTP build). You could publish the link to the desktop recording in Channel 9 as it's probably not appropriate for MSDN TV itself.

  • Please help me with the questions below :