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Letter to Will VS 2005 help the small group developer?

Sorting through some mail we uncovered a letter worth sharing. A developer working with a small team has a unique perspective on simmering MSDN and VS 2005 pricing issues. The perspective may be unique, but it far from uncommon.

Sorting through some mail and didn't want to overlook this note from J.F. in Ames Iowa. The writer is responding here to Mike Gunderloy's recent commentary on MSDN pricing.

J.F. writes: "First I am very disappointed that VS 2005 is not going to be released till the end of the year. They could have waited with all the Team System stuff so we could have received the new 2.0 framework and all its related upgrades.

"I am really struggling with this license model. We have a small shop with three developers and two testers. With a small group, we wear many hats, sometimes a designer, developer and tester all in the same day. I am not sure I fully understand what is in all the packages yet, but on the surface it looks like there is really not a single package that will solve my needs.v

"In addition to more flexible source control, I was hoping for a set of tools that would assist us in design and that did a good job of tracking requirement changes and bug fixes. When they talked about a version for testers, I was thinking of some sort of simple package that hooked into the requirements and bug tracking for $500. Maybe I only heard what I wanted to hear, but I was hoping Microsoft was going to build a package that would solve my small group development problems and let the large enterprise solutions to other vendors.

"I always felt a lot of those other tools were not very integrated and were overkill for what I needed, especially when considering the cost. It looks like Microsoft is just working on the same problem, instead of really helping the small group developer, which they have been very good at previously."

The staff feels that J.F. hits some important points here. The concept underlying VS 2005 Team System makes sense. It is important to try to link programming with test and other (sometimes overlooked) development disciplines. Such synchronicity across teams is sometimes found in larger shops, ones that Microsoft needs to penetrate more broadly. Smaller shops need to work with better cohesion too, and Microsoft should not overlook their need to bring together team members around collaborative development software.

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