Four years ago, Microsoft’s Bing development team decided to make some changes to speed up their “idea velocity.” The group working on the search engine switched to agile software development methods. They found that “when we began to make the leap to Continuous Delivery we not only changed the way our developers write code – we fundamentally altered the way our business operates,” wrote Dr. Jan Pedersen, Microsoft’s chief scientist for Bing and Information Platform R&D.
The group went from monthly updates to daily updates and scaled from 100 engineers to 600. “To accelerate feature deployment and innovation, we have invested much effort in overcoming software engineering challenges,” added Pedersen. “The monthly deployment cadence has been gone for some time, taking with it both the old culture and most of the infrastructure. In its place, a highly distributed, parallelized and agile system has risen, and this system has been a game-changer for both developers working on Bing features and the live site users. Bing Engineering has spearheaded this effort, and has produced a world-class ideation, development, validation, and experimentation system.”