Coffee with the Windows for Developers Team

Coffee with the Windows for Developers Team

Recently I read about an opportunity on Twitter from Kayla Cinnamon saying that they were workshopping more ideas for developer features on Windows and would love to get some opinions and could sign up for a slot to chat with them called Coffee with the Windows for Developers Team. Something I have learned is to take opportunities like this when they come up! I have been a software developer for over three decades and two decades professionally with most of that using Microsoft platforms and technologies, but I have never had the chance to shape ideas directly in this way. I had recently participated in a session at Microsoft Build 2023 where they asked for ideas about widgets in Dev Home and comments on existing features, but this opportunity to give feedback on brand-new ideas couldn't be missed, although as a brit I'd prefer tea rather than coffee!

So, last week I would get my chance to participate in the coffee with the Windows for Developer team with a late-night slot for me here in the United Kingdom to join this discussion group. I didn't mind it being late as around that time I am usually reading the tech websites and news around that time, so it was good to be able to do something more productive that evening. Also, to be able to do anything with developers from Microsoft was something as a developer using Microsoft platforms and technologies, I couldn't believe I would be a part of no matter the time!

When my time for the session came, I joined the conversation and found to my surprise and delight that I was the only participant! I was greeted by the first two people there who wanted to know little a bit about me as a developer as part of the research of what was going to be discussed later. This included asking me about the applications I used as a developer. I gave them an idea of what I used professionally and personally including Visual Studio 2022 or Visual Studio Code, Microsoft Edge for web related stuff and Notepad++ along with using Audacity and Microsoft Word when working on my podcast. It was interesting to answer their questions which was part of the research phase to get a better understanding of my usage of Windows as a developer, which then lead the next phase of the session where I would get to chat with one of the Windows for Developers team!

It was incredible to see that in the session I would be chatting one-on-one with Kayla Cinnamon who is a product manager at Microsoft for Dev Home and Microsoft PowerToys as part of the Windows for Developers Team. I had seen them present at Microsoft Build 2023 just a few weeks previously where they had unveiled Dev Home for the first time - which I downloaded shortly after that announcement!

The session then continued with talking with Kayla about a brand-new feature they were investigating, I can't say what the brand-new feature was but can explain how the rest of the session went. It started with a scenario, then they talked about the value proposition they had for this brand-new feature along with the benefits of the concept they had in mind. I could see right away this brand-new was something that would be useful to me as a developer and that I would make use of both professionally and personally!

During the session we discussed how the brand-new feature might be implemented, including how it would work, how it would be accessed and used along with some specific ways it could be more useful including some ideas I suggested myself! It was amazing to bounce ideas around with someone from Microsoft like that, I'd not expected the session to be like that and appreciated how well received any feedback and suggestions I gave were. I had to rank between 1 and 5 for what I thought about the brand-new feature that was being discussed, including how it would be used and integrated including comparing different options.

The session was so easy to go through and I was genuinely interested in this new-feature and had many ideas and suggestions. I had no idea what to expect from the session going in thinking it would be a group session to it being an amazing one-to-one session where I could give direct feedback and suggestions about a brand-new feature! However, as with all software development there is no guarantee that this brand-new feature that was being discussed would make it as a final product, but I hope it does! I think this brand-new feature would add a lot of value to developers and general users alike and should the brand-new feature ever appear then not only will I make use of it, but I will also be personally proud of the small part I played in the development of it!

I'm so pleased I decided to participate in this session with those in the session including Kayla. It was amazing to be part of the process of the planning and development of a brand-new feature and appreciate the time they gave to allow me to be part of that! Should something like this ever come up again then I would do it, and if anyone else out there sees an opportunity like this in the future then go ahead and signup and hopefully make your mark on a brand-new feature from Microsoft!