Thursday, February 26, 2009

OakLeaf Systems Objects to a Red Dog "Skunkworks"

From Roger Jennings' blog:

I don’t believe the skunk works approach is appropriate for Azure. Developers need a full description and timeline for required features. Failure to deliver promised features in a timely manner is what led to A Mid-Course Correction for SQL Data Services.

My reply: As an ex-DEC SE and someone who has also been prodding Global Foundation Services management for Cutler press access and more RD details, I would disagree with you in regard to your skunkworks comment.

First, Cutler only works one way - with a small, expert and tight-knit teams; you never get anything out of him or his team until they're ready to release. Second, if the problem they're addressing - virtualizing and automating a compututational fabric over and across data centers - required a bunch of developer level interactions then they will have essentially failed.

And last, the RD project / team is in no way associated with the typical MS app-stack confusion (especially the lingering cloud of indecision around persistence) - Cutler would have walked before subjecting his team to such vagaries. I also very much doubt they get particularly involved in the Azure / .NET Services app layer sagas and tribulations in more than a passing way.