At Microsoft’s Remix08 in Brighton last month, a developer asked about Visual Studio Team System during a panel discussion. What interested me was not so much the question itself, but that after the session she was surrounded by other delegates advising her not to use it. These were people who had tried it, or were using it, but found it frustrating. The general proposal was to use open-source tools instead – things like Subversion and CruiseControl.NET.
I was surprised by the strength of feeling. I’ve looked in some detail at Team System and been reasonably impressed by what it does – but that’s not the same as using it in anger, of course. I admit, for my own work I do use Subversion, just because it is lightweight, works well cross-platform, and runs on my Linux web space as well as locally; but I am not part of a team of developers working on Microsoft platform projects, which is where Team System ought to make sense.
For the sake of balance, I’ll add that I met a developer at the airport on the way to Remix Las Vegas earlier this year, who loves Team System and told me that it is Microsoft’s best product.
I’d love to hear in more detail what users think of Team System. Is it broken, or does it depend on how it is set up and maintained? What are the key things that Microsoft needs to fix? Or is it just great, and those complainers in Brighton atypical?