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Why Automated Builds Are Absolutely Essential

By All Posts, Application Development, Application Lifecycle Management, Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio

A couple of weeks ago I was doing a roadshow where I showed some demos of TFS 2012 and its capabilities. I did a 4 hour demo that shows an end-to-end scenario, showing capabilities such as requirements management and elicitation, work management, developer tools, quality tools, testing tools, automated builds, lab management and reporting all using TFS. I visited 9 different companies, and most of them asked, “Why should we do builds?” This is something…

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Frequent Status Updates – What They Really Mean

By Agile, All Posts, Application Lifecycle Management, Productivity

Are you (as a developer) inundated with frequent status updates? Requests like: “How far are you?” “What did you do today?” “Where are we?” Or are you a project manager that requests frequent status updates? Then this post is for you. Let’s start by defining frequent – I think this is going to be different for different teams, and will vary with the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) maturity within the team. I would go so…

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Getting Results from Backlog Overview Report in TFS 2013 Preview

By Agile, All Posts, Application Lifecycle Management, Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio

One of my favorite reports in Microsoft TFS is the Backlog Overview Report (Scrum) or User Story Overview Report (Agile). So after installing and playing with TFS 2013 Preview, I went to see what the report looks like. What I found wasn’t pretty. Although I could verify that there was data in the warehouse, the report stubbornly refused to show any data. I thought that something was broken with my warehouse, so I dug into…

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Monitoring Web Applications – Continuous IntelliTrace

By All Posts, Application Development, Application Lifecycle Management, Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio No Comments

If you have Visual Studio Ultimate and are not using IntelliTrace in production, you should be drawn and quartered. This is arguably the best feature of Visual Studio Ultimate, and in my opinion this feature alone justifies the pricing (never mind Web Performance and Load testing, Code Maps, Code Lens, UML diagrams and Layer diagrams). The standalone IntelliTrace collector is amazing, and will run anywhere. It’s especially useful for diagnosing problems in Web Applications running…

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Using Visual Studio Layer Diagrams for Fun and Profit

By All Posts, Application Lifecycle Management, Enterprise Architecture, Visual Studio

One of my favorite and most underused features introduced in Visual Studio 2010 was Visual Studio Layer Diagrams.  It’s a really simple tool to learn and use, but amazingly powerful. It’s a diagramming tool that allows you to draw a diagram consisting of boxes and arrows, where the boxes are meant to represent your layers/components, and the arrows represent dependencies.  If you’ve ever been asked to whiteboard out the architecture/layers of your application, you probably…

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Why You Should Use a Single TFS Team Project

By All Posts, Application Lifecycle Management, Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio 4 Comments

I seem to be spending a lot of time lately trying to convince clients that a single TFS Team Project for the entire Enterprise is the way to go.  To most people this seems counter-intuitive.  They tend to create Team Projects for each actual Project and/or Team within their Enterprise.  That just makes sense right?  Indeed, if you look at most books on TFS they will usually have a section with guidance on Scoping Team…

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How MSDN and TFS Licensing Works

By All Posts, Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio

As most of you know it’s probably easier to understand Rocket Science than it is Microsoft Licensing.  Unfortunately, I’ve had to deal with it enough over my career that I have a pretty good grasp of at least how MSDN, Visual Studio and TFS Licensing works.  The best resource for attempting to decipher how it works is the MSDN Licensing White Paper. However, there are several gotchas with the way licensing works.  These are things…

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Introduction to Kanban

By All Posts, Application Lifecycle Management, Kanban, Team Foundation Server, Videos, Visual Studio, Webinars

Kanban was originally created as a scheduling system to help manufacturing organizations determine what to produce, when to produce it, and how much to produce.  Although this may not sound like software development, these Lean principles can be successfully applied to development teams to improve the delivery of value through better visibility and limits on work in process. This video will provide an overview of the Kanban method, including the history and motivation, the core…

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Microsoft Certifications Distilled

By All Posts, Training

Navigating Microsoft’s offerings with respect to certifications can be a daunting task. Microsoft has a multitude of certifications available in general, for their various technologies and platforms, and at different levels. I hope to simplify this navigation for professionals who wish to attain Microsoft certifications, and explain the new certifications available. These new certifications override their previous counterparts and I’d like to elaborate what that actually means to you as a professional who is new…

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Managing Test Labs Without the Headaches

By All Posts, Application Lifecycle Management, Team Foundation Server, Testing, Videos, Visual Studio, Webinars

In 2010, Microsoft released a bold new features to support management of virtual test environments. “Lab Management” provided the ability to easily spin up test environments, perform automated build and deployments, run automated tests, and collect diagnostic data. Unfortunately, many teams were discouraged by the infrastructure requirements. Now, with Visual Studio 2012 and standard environments, even small teams or groups that can’t use Microsoft’s Hyper-V can still benefit from Lab Management. This session will demonstrate…

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