I've just returned from the Office Triage session, which was an interesting experience. As Office gets closer to shipping, changes to the products have to go through the Triage process before they can make it onto the eventual DVD. 2007 Office has shipped just about everywhere, but not Portugal yet. There's a bug in the Portugal Portuguese version of SharePoint Designer (not to be confused with the Brazil Portuguese version) where parts of the UI show up in English instead of Portuguese. The bug wasn't my fault, but it affected my features most, so I fixed it a while ago when I found out about it. I won't go into the gritty details of the process after that, but it ends in a representative of the product team going in front of Triage to argue the fix.
Their goal is simple: to make product teams fight to get their fixes into the product. It's sort of like a trial, condensed into a few minutes, and they're the Supreme Court. They make sure that the fix has been extensively tested, and that I've done all of the little "process" things I need to in order to get the build lab to produce official Office patches for me. It keeps people from taking shortcuts that might result in unintended side-effects down the road. Unless something incredibly bad pops up very soon, my small change is the last change that will happen to Portuguese SharePoint Designer 2007 before it ships. They're not taking any chances.
There, I'm an outsider. I'm the spiky-haired guy in the long black coat riding a Segway through a building where I don't belong, looking for a room full of people who get paid way more than I do, really hoping that I find it on time, hoping that I filled out the forms properly before I left my office.
It was sort of a neat experience to go through, and I'll most likely be able to say that I made the final change to the product before they burned the discs. I was the last one to virtually "touch" them before they went out to thousands of customers.
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