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Episode 21: Talking Software Performance with Rico Mariani

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About This Episode

In this episode Keith and Woody sit down with Mr. Performance, Rico Mariani, the Chief Architect for Visual Studio at Microsoft.  Rico has been at Microsoft for 20 years.  Before taking on his role as Chief Architect, he spent 5 years working on performance in one capacity or another.  He is a legend when it comes to performance and has an analogy for everything.


Thanks to our guest this episode


Rico Mariani is a Chief Architect for Visual Studio at Microsoft. Rico began his career at Microsoft in 1988, working on language products beginning with Microsoft® C version 6.0, and contributed there until the release of the Microsoft Visual C++® version 5.0 development system. In 1995, Rico became development manager for what was to become the "Sidewalk" project, which started his 7 years of platform work on various MSN technologies. In the summer of 2002, Rico returned to the Developer Division to take a position as Performance Architect on the CLR team. Rico's interests include compilers and language theory, databases, 3-D art, and good fiction.

Rico’s blog is


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#1 Kevin Gregg on 12.03.2008 at 6:21 AM

I wrote this for fun a while back after listening to the guy from Duke get joked around by the guys here. It's just entertainment, not very structured, and ended up not having much of a point. I did think it was funny that 3 days after I wrote it MSFT trashed Live OneCare. I tried not to feel grandiose while cackling inside. I managed. I always do!

Sometimes I just feel that logic gets so skewed in the skillet that people's idea of correcting things is to throw money at the problems; take Microsoft--there's so many holes, you could throw a ton of money at it. It eventually makes no sense and looks like a cisco model upside down with a moat of the newest core routers surrounding the bottom of the triangle, with copper connecting the switches.

I just don't see why things weren't scrapped and re-written between 1985 and the attempts I see now.

I have nothing against Microsoft. They were just the brand I used as an example.. no harm no foul. Went to school with one of these guys. They're both stand up. I'm a Microsoft partner. I just feel that open discussion and any joking around is all fair game on this forum. Please let me know if I'm out of line, and I will retard all replies. Just having fun with the gang and frying some eggs in some grease myself. Boy Hidey Ho! *smears some extra mortar around the MSFT bricks so the framework doesn't fall on me while I'm walking away from the web site! ;)

Kudos on focusing on lean code. That saves us all a heck of a lot of time wiping industry butt when guys like me walk into a failing infrastructure that someone developed in VS like they were shooting code out of MSFT T shirt guns. No matter what you design a solution to control, operate, or enhance the functionality of, smart programmers test their code on the "Minimum Hardware" that it says on the back of the development resource CD that they wrote it for, and it still produces at a reasonable pace.

I think there's more than enough room for every brand of proprietary hardware, industry brand, BI/Data Analytics, on all hardware and software, whether it's a restricted source code, GNU, GPLx, or BSD licensing. I just like to see people recognize value in cost analysis and not dismiss the savings. Think how much money the industry made (and passed on the cost) to fix the code they wrote on faster software.... how many years could they have seen a Y2K patching issue in COBOL coming before applications like Progress had to step through every Fortune 100 company's millions of lines of code, making it right. Just seems like there's been too many coincidences at this point to neglect the fact that all new hardware manufactured by every company is rushed to get the driver on the newest Windows CD before it prints, so they have good sales during the patching of that retail beta release. QA the SDLC when you sell an Operating System for massive profits. That's all we respectfully ask of corporations. Otherwise say it's not done yet, and give it away free, and let everyone collaborate and don't sell the collaboration programs to waste a year repairing what you might should not have purchased in the first place. Everything past Dos 3.3 comes to mind; I'm only 34 years old though. I think Dos 6.22 was a solid product. I think Windows 3.1 was great. I think WFW 3.11 was great. I think Windows 95a blew chunks. I think 95b was solid. I think 95c screwed it up again. I think Windows 98 was fairly pitiful. I think 98 2nd edition was nice and stable to pay for. I think Windows ME was the biggest disgrace I've ever seen sold for that much money. Windows 2000 and up have been greatly improved, and if only people weren't so jaded on MSFT Security to see the improvements in Vista, the sales of Vista would have been to every company just like the rest

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