How my team and I fit into Windows 7
This afternoon Steven made his second post on the blog, discussing the Windows 7 engineering organization. He describes the rough dimensions of the various feature teams, including a pretty complete list of the teams and an idea of their approximate size (ballpark estimate being 40 developers, 40 testers, and 20 PMs).
If you look at his list you can spot my team, which goes by the name Find and Organize. So who are we? Well, as you might guess and Steven describes, we own the end-to-end Search features of Windows (the “find”) as well as the browsing and data management experience (the “organize”). We often abbreviate this as “FnO” and many people pronounce it as “fff-no” (rhymes with “snow”), though I am not one of them.
Some examples of things we own:
- The Windows Search indexer
- The indexing configuration UI and the built-in filters / handlers
- The Windows Explorer UI, including things like:
- The navigation pane
- Address / Breadcrumb bar
- Search box
- Window frame
- The Filesystem data source
- The default Shell View (DefView), default Context Menu (DefCM), etc.
- The Explorer data source APIs (IShellFolder and friends)
- Known folders and APIs (”Documents” and such), recycle bin, shortcuts
- The common file dialogs
- Some shared ownership of certain Windows “common controls”
- Search in the Start menu
Whew, I often forget just how much stuff we own. And my feature isn’t even on the list! 🙂 Oh yeah, did I mention we also owned the entire Windows Search 4.0 release?
We also aren’t the only team that “owns” the Explorer. The Core User Experience team owns other pieces of Explorer like the taskbar and the rest of the Start menu. You’ll often hear people from both teams refer to themselves as the “shell team,” or others refer to both teams collectively by that name.
So who makes up the FnO team? Well, as I said, there are quite a few of us. I’m certainly not the only one of us who blogs or has an online presence:
Jonas Barklund has a blog, he’s a developer whose focus is generally on query parsing.
Thayn Moore has a blog and is also a developer, and works on a bunch of stuff including, among other things, mail indexing.
Ben Karas has a blog and is a lead developer for most of the explorer UI.
I’m sure there are others I don’t know about. So if you work on my team and have a blog, let me know.
As for me, well, you know where my blog is. As for what I do every day… we’ll talk more about that soon enough.
Update: I saw a comment on Channel 9 ask about how we function with 40 developers on one team. Well, the truth is these “feature teams” are actually divided into smaller teams that focus on closely related components. So no, there isn’t really one manager with 40 developers reporting directly to him or her.