ALT.NET: How can Microsoft Patterns and Practices Help?

That question was raised by a member of Microsoft’s P&P Team earlier.  I wanted to reproduce the correspondence here:

This is a hot topic, but I am here to have an open discussion with a group of peers so I am taking a leap of faith. It’s no secret that I work in patterns & practices on the client team that built CAB (Yes you can blame me). Anyway, since joining the team I’ve seen a rash of criticism come our way particularly around the way we built CAB, Enterprise Library, etc. Much of that criticism has come from a lot of the folks on this list.  In my opinion some of the criticism was fair and warranted, some if was not. Regardless, I have listened to a lot of the concerns and we are actually working to do what we can to address them.

<Shameless plug>

As a team patterns & practices mission is to help developers be successful with the platform. We are not a Microsoft compete with Open Source. Our goal is not to be the next Log4Net, Nhibernate, Castle etc. We may provide some functionality within our guidance that mimics some of those efforts but that’s based on the fact that we are addressing the same concerns those products address, not competing with the product itself. Many of us do have Open Source / Agile backgrounds which is probably why it’s not accidental that we landed in p&p. Lastly, we’re not perfect far from it. We have a lot to learn, and I am sure we can benefit greatly from the shared knowledge of folks like yourselves.

</Shameless plug>

 Anyway, so forgetting about any pre-conceived notions that you about p&p  and our deliverables today. What would p&p 2.0 that you can be proud of look like to you?  I am open to your constructive criticism.



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3 Responses to ALT.NET: How can Microsoft Patterns and Practices Help?

  1. ItWorksOnMyMachine says:

    While I don’t totally agree with everything delivered by the P&P team, I have found some useful and I’ll refer to the previous post as an example. I have inherited teams that had developers that were clearly employed because “the barrier of entry is so low”. Given a team like that, many of the tools that the P&P team provides raise the bar considerably from their current skillset. For instance, the guidance packages provide them with repeatable recipies giving consistency to the codebase. It’s been my experience that they accept them initially without understanding, but slowly begin to raise design questions which leads them to greater understanding with the right leadership. Are they perfect, absolutely not…but the processes are more consistent and repeatable. The reality is we don’t always get to hire the best and brightest so we’re forced to play the hand we’re dealt and while I think there is room for improvement, the P&P Guidance does provide value.

  2. Evan says:


    The only thing from P&P that I personally have seen in wide use was the original Data Access block. I’ve seen lots of people take the use of all static methods and apply that practice liberally afterward. (Ouch). That’s water under the bridge, however.

    I’m not saying the factories, etc aren’t useful. What I am saying is that a bigger push on the basics would have a much bigger impact. If they could ever tip the scale so that a large group of .NETers understood the fundamentals (even if it was only..say 30%), i bet it would naturally spread from there. It would make a lot of our jobs easier.

    And no one has to take my word on any of this stuff. Go talk to the person in your company who does technical interviews. Ask them what percentage of candidates understand the basics.

  3. P&P has lost a lot of respect because of previous released stuff. You are posing as the experts, but all evidence so far has been to the contrary.

    I don’t think that you can recover from that. Sorry.