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Building Software at Scale - How Microsoft builds SQL Server

Speaker:  Conor Cunningham, Principal Software Architect, SQL Server Engine at Microsoft  


This talk will cover how Microsoft develops, releases, and supports SQL Server (an approximately $3.5 Billion/year product).  There are unique challenges to running a software group at the scale of > 1000 people, though many of the challenges are very similar to smaller organizations as well.  The talk will cover:

·       An overview of the SQL Server product (to see the components)

·       How Microsoft organizes its people by roles (Developers, Testers, Program Managers, etc.)

·       The engineering model we use (developed in-house)

·       How individual projects run in our engineering model

·       Project Management Techniques (various Agile Methods) that work in large organization engineering

·       Offshoring portions of a product

·       Testing and Automation

·       Software Process Management + Communicating with Management


About the Speaker

Conor Cunningham has worked at Microsoft for 13 years with a few years outside the company.  His primary interests are building database engines, query processors, and specifically query optimizers.  He also works in distributed systems, algorithms, and in business process management/efficiency strategies.  While outside of Microsoft, Conor worked at Lombardi in Austin (now part of IBM) on Business Process Management (BPM) problems.  Conor has run software projects using a variety of methods from Waterfall to SCRUM/various Agile methods. 


Conor blogs about SQL Server Queries on a blog called “Conor vs. SQL”.  He is the author of a number of peer-reviewed academic papers, has authored 10-20 patents on database engine design, and wrote a chapter for the book “SQL Server 2008 Internals” on how the SQL Server Query Optimizer works.  He lives in Austin, TX with his family.