I took part in the Visual Studio 2010 TAP (Technology Adoption Program) back in 2008-2009. That was a fabulous program where MS partners got early access to Visual Studio work-in-progress, plus regular conference calls to provide feedback or ask questions, which would be funneled directly to the development team. It was great!
My interest was specifically in MSBuild C++, which was being introduced in VS2010 as a lock-stock-and-barrel replacement for the VCPROJ format. I saw huge potential there for “normalizing” our build system into something which was just off-the-shelf products from Microsoft, Sony / SN Systems, Nintendo and Xoreax.
I wanted to provide a unique integration test in the form of “build a simple game project”, which would span PC, PS3, XBOX360 and Wii. Which we would then try to “IncrediBuild”. I was grabbing pre-releases of platform support, or just making my own, and ramming the thing together to see what worked and whether the idioms were good enough.
Lots of fun, and I got this stuff to thank me!