A limited preview into the new Visual Studio Live was demonstrated at the
Microsoft Connect Conference held in
New York in November.
The conference, which was available via online streaming, gave developers an exclusive sneak peek into a range of interesting new Visual Studio features.
The new programming tool is designed to allow developers to work efficiently as a pair via an effective collaboration platform. This is designed to increase the efficiency and quality of the future collaboration efforts of fellow developers.
During the Microsoft Connect Conference, Scott Guthrie, the Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, performed a demonstration of Visual Studio Live for the audiences. According to Guthrie, during his keynote address at Connect, Microsoft sees the new Visual Studio Live service as a “game changer”, based on how it will transform the way developers work together virtually on a real-time basis.
Pair programming, although not a new concept, has not been widely popular in the programming world over the years. This is because certain programmers are uncomfortable with the transparency involved with the pairing concept, as other developers can observe their work. However, using the Visual Studio Live Share functions, programmers will be able to use their text editors of choice and work within integrated development environments while they pair up to work. Developers can be physically separated across the globe, but remain able to perform bi-directional, simultaneous coding and debugging within their own personalised editors. The tool also allows developers to use the same programming language and collaborate more seamlessly than ever before. This is not merely a matter of the sharing of working screens, but also includes the repo syncing, real-time editing and conducting pair programming on the fly.
Although the Visual Studio Live Code has mainly been optimised for C# and JaveScript/Typescript files, the function of opening and editing of other files will also be made available for the collaborating developers. Software libraries will also be introduced for developers to build their own collaboration systems to be used in different programs. Microsoft is focused on designing the pair-programming tool to let users apply it on coding environments they are familiar with, instead of requiring them to use new applications.
In terms of the improving overall productivity of organisations, the pair programming function can allow teams to keep a smooth workflow even if a staff member leaves or goes on long breaks, as there will always be another person who is already familiar with the piece of work. Mistakes will also be spotted easily as developers can continuously check each other’s codes. Furthermore, the Visual Studio Live tool allows more efficient training of new team members.
Microsoft has not released concrete information regarding the availability date for Visual Studio Live. Moreover, whether the tool will be rolled out as a paid subscription service or in other forms still remains an unknown.
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