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ALM User Group Digs Deep into Powershell and Octopus Deploy in November

by Angela 26. October 2015 17:46

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Octopus works with your build server to deploy applications and services into test, staging, and production environments, whether they are in the cloud or on-premises. 

Are you using automated deployment tools yet? No? Why the heck not?!

Are you evaluating all of the deployment tools options and just aren’t sure which one is the best fit? Learn from Ian’s experiences and ask those burning questions you might have!

You may be thinking, “didn’t we already see this one”"?”.  It’s true, but it’s been well over a year since Ian last talked to us about all of the features that Octopus Deploy has to offer, so don’t miss this chance to get caught up on the latest and greatest. The world of DevOps moves fast and the tools are evolving quickly, don’t let it leave you in the dust!

We hope to see you in Downers Grove next week for this one. Please be sure to register soon so I can order the right amount of food and so that the security folks will let you in!

Speaker Bio: Ian is an ASP.NET MVC C# programmer with Avanade. A nocturnal programmer by nature, he’s often working on his own .NET projects in the twilight hours.  He’s often advocating Octopus Deploy. For more information on Octopus Deploy and other related ramblings, you can visit his blog at http://ianpaullin.com or twitter feed at @ianpaullin.

Date: Tuesday November 3rd, 2015

Location:Microsoft-Downers Grove 3025 Highland Pkwy, Ste 300, Downers Grove

Agenda:6:30pm dinner 7:00pm Presentation

RSVP Now to Attend

Tags:

Release Management | DevOps | Deployment | Deployment Planning | Application Lifecycle Management | ALM

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Chicago Visual Studio 2015 Launch Event with Brian Harry–Register before it fills up

by Angela 5. October 2015 09:35

First off let me say that I am so bummed I’ll be traveling for work. it’s not too often that Brian is in town and we get an opportunity to “learn from the master”. Normally the Chicago ALM user group would be meeting this month to celebrate as well, but as previously mentioned I will be traveling and so we will not be meeting in October. While I will not be able to attend this exciting event, I wanted to make sure that all of my followers were aware of this awesome opportunity! Now, onto the important stuff – details!!

 

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Microsoft will be hosting an educational event in Chicago this month that will provide you with an opportunity to learn, experience, and see the new Visual Studio 2015 in action! This impactful event begins with an executive keynote from Brian Harry, Visual Studio Corporate Vice President at Microsoft and hear howVisual Studio with MSDN enables development teams of all sizes to turn ideas into high-quality, scalable business applications and modern enterprise solutions quickly. 

Experience first-hand from Microsoft Experts about the state-of-the art tools and services companies are leveraging to achieve enterprise scale, manage complexity and streamline integration between development and operations teams.

Seating is limited, so reserve your seat soon!

 

Wednesday, October 21st 

9:00am to 4:00pm (Registration starts @ 8:30am)

Complimentary Lunch & Social Mixer

 

Microsoft Corporation
200 E Randolph St | Suite 200 | Chicago Illinois 60601

Event Agenda:  Click Here

Immediately following the event from 4:00pm – 6:00pm, join us for a complimentary social event where you can mix/mingle with your community peers and local Microsoft team.

 

Seriously, GO TO THIS EVENT. I’m bummed that I cannot so I expect to see some live tweeting of the event and maybe even some selfies with Brian posted to my twitter feed Smile

Tags:

ALM | Application Lifecycle Management | Team Foundation Server | TFS | TFS 2015 | Visual Studio | Visual Studio 2015 | Visual Studio Online | VS 2015 | VS Online | VSOnline

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Chicago ALM Meetup - Stopping a Slow Motion Trainwreck: A guide to project recovery with JC Grubbs

by Angela 24. September 2015 09:59

Fall is here already, if you can believe that! Leaves are turning, pumpkin spice is flowing, and soon Christmas decorations will be singing to us mercilessly from the aisles of every store.  Wait, that started happening weeks ago Smile with tongue out  I already have a long list of great speakers slated for the Chicago ALM meetup to finish up the year, and I’m really excited about out September speaker and his topic.

Next week we get to hear from someone I have known and admired for many years, JC Grubbs of DevMynd (and now DevWrx!) software. His blog posts are always timely, honest, and full of awesome little nuggets of business wisdom. I was lucky enough to be able to get into his session at ThatConference, and was taking notes like my hands were on fire. He covered a lot of situations that I had found myself in, and had some great advice that I have already been following with success. I immediately invited him to give the talk at the ALM meetup, so I hope you can join us! JC is going to be talking about the dreaded train wreck projects that we all find ourselves living through, and some things we can do to prevent them in the future.

Below are some additional details about the event:

Description: Even in healthy organizations and on functional teams, projects can fail. It could be a lack of visibility, poorly-managed process, integration missteps, or any of a hundred other things. We’re all familiar with the immediate repercussions of failing software projects: lost revenue, delayed schedules, technical debt, etc. But, there are also less understood downstream issues which hamper or prevent full organizational and cultural recovery, even after individual project issues are addressed.

However, with some careful study, it’s possible to identify and prevent many of these cascading failures. We'll examine the entire lifetime of a failing project: we’ll look at the leading indicators of danger so we can identify them sooner, we’ll discuss common root causes and mitigation strategies so we can deal with them more effectively, and we’ll propose some follow up strategies, so we can recover from organizational, technical, and cultural damage as soon as possible.

What will people learn from this presentation?

  • - Ways to detect when software projects are heading towards danger.
  • - Mitigation strategies to prevent and minimize tough situations.
  • - What to do when a project is already in disarray.
  • - What are some of the lingering organizational, technical, and cultural issues that may accompany a failure.

Speaker Bio: JC Grubbs has been designing and writing software for over 15 years. He's worked in tiny consulting shops up to large multi-national conglomerates. Today he leads the team at DevMynd, an agile software studio in Chicago working with JavaScript, Ruby, Clojure, and Node. He is passionate about delivering high quality solutions to customers and doing it with a team that loves what they do and the people they work with.

You can find him on twitter, LinkedIn, GitHub, and at the DevMynd blog. (seriously, subscribe to his blog!)

When: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Where:Microsoft-Chicago 200 E Randolph, 2nd Floor, Chicago

Agenda:6:30 Dinner and networking, 7:00pm Presentation

Be sure to register as this event has limited seating!

 

 

Home

Special thanks goes out to our October sponsor TaskTop for keeping the ALM meetup going! They have some really great tools for integrating your ALM solutions, including tools like Team Foundation Server, HP ALM, and the IBM Rational suite - so check them out.

Tags:

Application Lifecycle Management | ALM | soft skills | personal growth

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SOLVED (Mostly): MTM Hangs When Opening a Shared Step in the Desktop Client

by Angela 1. September 2015 09:57

This was a real head scratcher, and like many others who have run into this, I spent MANY hours digging through trace logs, event logs, dump files trying to figure out what the heck was going on. It ended up being a really obscure issue with Text Display size.

Anyway, let’s back up. The issue I am describing is one where from within the Microsoft Test Manager client you attempt to open a Shared Step – either from a test case or from the Shared Steps Manger. In either scenario, the shared step opens and before the actual steps load MTM greys out, you see the spinning blue circle of doom, and see the dreaded (Not Responding) message in the title bar:

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Somewhere in the distance, a sad trombone plays softly…   I was seeing this issue across multiple versions of MTM, multiple operating systems, and against multiple TFS instances. But not everyone was seeing it. Only certain people with a wide variety of versions, update levels, and OSs. So I dig through the event log, looked at MTM trace logs, dump files from the Task Manager, repair MTM, clear cache files, etc. No change.

Then I turned to the MSDN forums.  After about 45 minutes of reading unrelated posts about various ways to hang up MTM, I finally ran across this. I though “No way! It couldn’t be something that obscure”. But I tried it, and lo and behold MTM stopped hanging. Truth be told I don’t even remember changing the text size, but I must have.  It’s so weird that this is the only thing it seemed to have hosed for me.

In case you’re seeing something similar and like me could not remember where the heck to make that change, right click the desktop and choose Screen Resolution then go to Make Text and Other items Larger or Smaller:
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Make sure you choose smaller - 100%, and perhaps buy some bifocals because now we are going to go blind trying to read tiny, tiny font. Be sure to log off and then log back in like the operating system tells you to.
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Now everything works as expected. I worked from home the next day, and CANNOT reproduce the issue. Making me wonder if it is because at home I do not have a second monitor. But other people running in second monitors cannot repro. Oy.

I have been working with the MTM product team to try to figure out the root cause, as this has been hard to pin down. I have a number of people who have different OS, MTM, and TFS versions, some of whom also run MTM in a second monitor – and ability to repro is inconsistent ::HEAD DESK::  If you feel like trying to reproduce this issue, leave me a comment and let me know what happened for you, and your OS/MTM/TFS version, if your text size is 100% or not, and if you are using a second monitor. Would love some more data points to throw at the debugging efforts.

Tags:

ALM | Application Lifecycle Management | Microsoft Test Manager | MTM | TFS | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013 | TFS 2012 | TFS 2010 | Test Case Management

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Slick and Easy Integration of TFS with Slack

by Angela 26. August 2015 20:42

Maybe you’ve been lamenting the lack of robust chat functionality in TFS, or maybe you’re just already in love with the chat tools you have, and would love to have a way to make it a more integral part of your TFS experience. With the latest release of TFS, this is easier than you think! If you’ve been using VSO, or if you upgraded to 2015, you can do just that! Now while you can get super fancy and do some integration acrobatics programmatically, you can also do some quick integrations right through the TFS web UI. And I’m all about quick and easy integrations when I can get them.

In my case, I wanted to setup TFS and Slack so that I could receive important notifications from TFS right in my active chat window. It’s not hard, but there was quite a bit of bouncing around so I wanted to share the basic steps and hopefully lead you quickly down the right path to get it set up.  So fire up your TFS instance and follow along, or just grab a cup of tea and take a peek at just how simple it is to get these two great tools talkin’.

Start right here in the TFS admin tools, in the Service Hooks tab:

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When you add a new hook, there are actually quite a few options including Campfire, Jenkins, Slack, and a host of others.Once you select the service, just choose the event that you want to subscribe to, and specify any other filters or options based on the service event you are subscribing to.

Currently you can setup subscriptions for a number of events including:

build completed

code pushed (for Git team projects)

pull request create or updated (for Git team projects)

code checked in (TFVC team projects)

work item created, updated, or commented on

message posted to a team room

In this example, I am just keeping it simple and asking to be notified any time a new work item is created in the team project, at any level. I *could* have narrowed it by work item type, or even area path.

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Next you’ll need to set up an Incoming WebHook for whatever tool you are looking to send messages to from TFS. In Slack, you would go to the Configure Integrations menu to start this process:

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Assuming this is your first integration into Slack, you’d need to setup a channel to post to next. If you do have existing channels, you may select one of them assuming you don’t mind merging multiple streams of information.

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Channels give you a way to tap into a feed of messages within Slack, rather than have information from many sources all jumbled up into a single flow of data. Since it’s super simple to switch between channels in Slack, I just created a separate one for this new stream. 

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Once you have your channel setup, add the incoming WebHooks integration by grabbing the URL that will be used to send the JSON payload to Slack, and paste it into the Service Hooks dialog back in TFS.

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Make sure to hit the TEST button to ensure that everything is working as expected.

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You should see a notification from Slack about the test message (if you’ve enabled notifications), as well as in the Slack channel feed. Rinse and repeat until you’ve setup all the types of integrations you want. It’s that easy!

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Now whenever any of those configured events are triggered, you’ll get notified in Slack!

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Hopefully that quick walkthrough gave you a good idea of the kinds of integrations you can setup between TFS and some other great automation and collaboration tools using just the TFS ServiceHooks available right in the TFS web console.

Have fun and happy integrating!

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Remote Desktop Connection Manager – Making this TFS Admin Smile Every Day

by Angela 3. August 2015 12:49

So I regularly have a handful of RDC sessions open to administer the various servers that make up TFS on-premises instances including the application tier, data tier, build server, test controller, agents, etc. Doing this with the build in Remote Desktop Manager can be a bit cumbersome when you need to have quick and easy access to multiple servers at once. Sure there are lots of little tricks you can do with saved profiles and desktop shortcuts, but I needed something better. A coworker of mine turned me onto a free Microsoft tool called Remote Desktop Connection Manager. Maybe you already knew about it, if so keep reading anyway because I’ve discovered a few configuration settings that were totally necessary for making the tool really useful, particularly with multiple monitors where you can run into wacky issues with resolution.

First thing I did was create a profile, only this profile can save all of the settings for all of the servers you need to connect to for a given client. Need to switch clients, no problem, just choose a new profile and suddenly the view refreshes and the tree view has a whole new set of servers at your fingertips. Below is an example of my current client environment, complete with AT/DT, build, test controllers, and both automated and manual lab environment machines.

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Each server has its own settings including things like logon credentials, display settings, encryption, etc. Your best bet is to set most of these things at the root level, which then applies those same settings to all servers beneath it. HUGE for things like AD credentials where *generally* you are always logging in as you. Nice thing is, there’s a checkbox on every settings tab where you can turn inheritance on or off, in the cases where you may want to save a server profile with alternate credentials.

This does happen to me when I am troubleshooting controllers and agents, and need to login with a different level of permissions. In that case, I may have the same server in the tree multiple times, but each one uses different credentials to connect. And my alternate login profile will NOT inherit Login Credentials from the root. Super convenient, just double-click and you’re in!

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A few other handy things that I recently learned are how to get it to ACTUALLY full screen. Again I set this at the root and inherit because I want all of my servers to act the same. Because I have a second monitor that is unfortunately not capable of the same resolution as my laptop, with the default settings I can’t really ever full screen mode the remote server, AND if I drag the remote viewer from one monitor to the other it freaks out. To prevent this, and keep the server window docked at full screen in whatever monitor it is in, setup your Display Settings like the following (the first two settings need to be checked):

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The other thing I was constantly struggling with was navigating Servers running Win 8.0clients + or Server 2012. I use a track pad, and getting those charms to pop up and switching between the desktop and the tiles when you can’t just use the native keyboard windows key or charms menu could be really frustrating. If you want to make your life easier, make sure keystrokes are always sent to the remote computer. So in this case go to Local Resources, and make sure that Windows Key combos is set to “on the remote computer”.

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I need to bring some donuts to my friendly local sysadmin for that nugget. I’m sure it’s well documented somewhere, but I had missed this one and it made a big difference for me!

 

That’s it. Hope that makes your life easier, whether you are a TFS admin or not Smile

Tags:

Application Lifecycle Management | ALM | TFS | TFS 2008 | TFS 2010 | TFS 2012 | TFS 2013 | TFS 2015 | TFS Administration | Team Foundation Server | Productivity

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Chicago ALM Meetup Deep Dives on Team Foundation Server 2015 and TFS Git with Ed Thomson in July

by Angela 7. July 2015 08:22

We are continuing our SUMMER OF VS 2015 with a special visit from the TFS product team this month! Yeah, I know right? It’s good to know people Smile 

So what are we talking about in July? Visual Studio 2015 and Team Foundation Server 2015 have arrived and with them come many new version control features and enhancements to existing features.  Code search, branch and gated build policies, branch history, CodeLens, and much much more.  We’ll take a lap through some of what’s new in 2015 plus talk about what to look forward to in some of the 2015 Updates.

Don't forget, VS 2015 and all the awesomeness that goes with it (TFS, MTM, RM...) release for general availability on July 20th! TFS 2015 will come soon after, for more details on why see Brian Harry’s blog post. But the good news is that all of the 2015 IDEs will work just fine with TFS 2013.

Hope you can join us to dig in deep on TFS version control.

 

Join Us Thursday, July 16, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Location:Microsoft-Chicago 200 E Randolph, 2nd Floor, Chicago

Agenda:6:30pm dinner 7:00pm Presentation

You *must* register to attend due to Aon Center security policies: http://chicagoalmug.org/

And please don't overpay for parking. SpotHero has some great parking very near to the Aon Center for as little as $10, I use them and I love the service!

Speaker Bio:

Edward Thomson is a Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft, where he develops version control integration for Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server.  Edward is a core contributor to the libgit2 and LibGit2Sharp projects, which are the open source Git libraries used by Microsoft tools (and many others).  Edward is a contributing author to Professional Team Foundation Server 2013 blogs about version control at http://www.edwardthomson.com/ and tweets at @ethomson.

 

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Tags:

ALM | Application Lifecycle Management | TFS | TFS 2015 | Team Foundation Server | Visual Studio Online | Visual Studio | Visual Studio 2015 | development | SCM | Source control management

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The Chicago ALM User Group is Ready for the VS 2015 Launch. Are you?

by Angela 3. June 2015 10:59

Hey, did you hear that there is another version of Visual Studio coming out? There is already a supported Release Candidate (so go download it RIGHT NOW) and it’s going to be generally available soon. And no, I don’t know EXACTLY when and even if I did I would not tell you. Sorry. But believe me, the time to start getting ready for this one is now! Join the Chicago ALM user group this summer for a handful of sessions sure to get you as excited as we are about what the Visual Studio ALM product team has been doing. And of course the easiest way to see what’s coming is just to go setup a free VSO account today.

 

June Meeting: What’s New for Visual Studio 2015

========================================================

Visual Studio is a .Net Developer’s main life blood.  It’s where you live on a day to day basis, and it’s constantly evolving, changing, and growing; gaining new capabilities with every release!  Check in to see some of the hot/fun/cool/awesome features found in the latest version.  Some new enhancements like the Rosyln complier, and what that means for your daily activities, to updates to debugging experience, or enhancements to existing things like CodeLens.  Come see what’s up with the newest tools.

Speaker Bio: Jeff Przylucki is a consultant at Polaris Solutions. Jeff has primarily worked in Microsoft technologies since 1995, filling roles including Developer, Tech-lead, Lead Developer, and Architect working from VB4 through Classic ASP, and now .Net technologies.

Jeff is currently focusing on ALM tools with Microsoft TFS and Visual Studio, and is certified as MCSD – Application Lifecycle Management. You can find Jeff through his blog, and on Twitter.

Join Us Tuesday, June 30, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Microsoft-Downers Grove 3025 Highland Pkwy, Ste 300, Downers Grove

 

And yes, you DID see that correctly.  I have moved our meetings to Tuesdays for the time being. I am training for an 8K and a 10K and my training runs with my coach are on Mondays and Wednesdays, and it’s too expensive to blow off. So please make note and don’t show up on Wednesdays, unless you want to join me and my running group  Smile

Be sure to register soon, hope to see you June 30th! http://chicagoalmug.org/

Tags:

VS 2015 | TFS 2015 | ALM | Application Lifecycle Management | Team Foundation Server | VSOnline | Visual Studio

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It’s THAT Time Again! ThatConference Call for Speakers is Open for Just 2 Weeks

by Angela 31. March 2015 08:30

I can’t believe it is going to be our 4th year. Seriously. Craziness.

I still remember that fateful day almost 6 years ago. I was driving out to Detroit for a conference and I get a call from my buddy Clark. He’s telling me about this crazy idea to create a conference for everyone. It would have family stuff, include all kinds of technology, and it would be in a freaking water park in Wisconsin! What was not to love? And most importantly, did I want to help?? I had over a year at that point before the the kickoff of the inaugural ThatConference. It seemed like a lifetime away, and yet here we are. Every year I flop down on my bed after the last session and think GOD THAT WAS A LOT OF WORK, and then volunteer for next year because I can’t imagine NOT being involved in something this great. On to my point before I start getting all misty eyed. WHAT?

Call for speakers has just opened for ThatConference 2015. We’re going to be bigger, awesomer, geekier, and yes awesomer is a word because I said so! Smile We need great speakers. We need you. We need your KIDS to submit. I know, who knew? Last year we had an astounding number of geeklets presenting, leading open spaces, and coming up with some amazing ideas for this coming year. I am personally so stoked to see what the kids have ins store for US this year. No technology is off the table. No talk related to anything that anyone in the tech community would be interested in is off the table. Personally I plan to submit talks around not just TFS, and agile, but around fear and how many of us battle imposter syndrome. So be creative.

Next, please, check out our conference site, check out speakers and sessions from previous years, and then submit something that moves you. Here is a preview of our speaker submission “rules of the road”:

 

Tips for making your abstract epic:

  • Counselors have roughly 60 minutes to teach their fellow campers.
  • Descriptive and edgy titles are best. Bonus points for Summer Camp Geek references.
  • Make sure your abstract description contains enough detail so we know what you're going to talk about. Don’t worry if you make any mistakes we will have the opportunity to fix it later.
  • Try not to pull any switch-a-roos last minute and talk about something completely unrelated. Campers don't like that. If something changes, please work with That Conference.
  • We can't make too many promises but if there are issues with the final speaker schedule we will do our very best to accommodate you.

Do:

  • Be passionate about your chosen topic.
  • Feel free to submit more than one abstract. We have to maintain a balance across all of the tracks and their topics. It will just help us and potentially you.
  • Consider how your presentation is relevant to all technologists, but don’t feel constrained to avoiding a talk on one specific programming language, platform or technology.
  • Consider what discussions could be sparked by your presentation. That Conference is all about meeting people and discussing ideas; consider what people will talk about after your presentation.
  • Explain what benefit your presentation will bring to the audience.
  • Tell a story.
  • Show real world examples, especially your own experiences, to support your ideas. Show code samples or demonstrate product capabilities only where appropriate.
  • Make sure you can keep the documented session time limit.
  • Stay near the stage or podium after your presentation, encourage the audience to come up and discuss the presentation with you.
  • Please invite the audience to discuss your talk with you face to face rather than just at the end. Better yet, continue the conversation in our Open Spaces.
  • Respect our anti-harassment policy.

Don’t:

  • Use your presentation to specifically promote the superiority of one platform, language or technology over all others. Instead talk about pros and cons of the demonstrated subject, and invite the audience to share their own experiences related to your discussion.
  • See your presentation as a platform to market your company or product.
  • Include unnecessary animation or sound effects in your presentation that will distract from your content.

 

So seriously, don’t wait! Submit your talk, or talks, TODAY and don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of something truly awesome: https://www.thatconference.com/

Tags:

Agile | ALM | Application Lifecycle Management | personal growth | technology | development | Windows Phone | Visual Studio | ThatConference | Team Foundation Server | Scrum | SQL Server | Mobile development | Cloud Computing

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ALM User Groups Welcome Gary Pedretti Back as a Presenter Next Month

by Angela 26. March 2015 13:23

On April 8th, we’ll be welcoming Gary Pedretti back to the ALM user group! Trust me on this, Gary’s presentations are NEVER to be missed. I hope you can make this one. RSVP Now to Attend

 

Session details:

King Tut Architecture: Pyramids, Patterns, and Tests

Mike Cohn introduced the Testing Pyramid in his 2009 book, Succeeding with Agile, as a model for thinking about tests and test automation - focus, ROI, TCO, etc. - when developing a software product.  It’s been a powerful visual for guiding teams to craft test suites that are sustainable and effective, regardless of whether they automate or not.

But what if we thought about it as application design or architectural guidance? Building a product that is well covered by tests, in the ratios described in the Testing Pyramid, requires specific designs and architecture.

In this talk we'll cover modern techniques and patterns that allow for architecture and development to be guided by the Testing Pyramid. We’ll also address the “Am I only doing this for testability, not for value delivered?” question.  The audience will leave with new ways to think about the Testing Pyramid, new patterns for developing a well-tested application, and new ways for architects, testers, and coders to work in a cross-functional manner.

Speaker Bio

With over sixteen years of experience, Gary works closely with companies nationwide to help them achieve their goals in delivering business value through software. He is an agile software development trainer, coach, and practitioner, as well as a curriculum developer, application architect, and software craftsman.

Gary is a strong believer in the “see one, do one, teach one” road to craft and mastery, which led him to become a Professional Scrum Trainer for Scrum.org. Over the past five years he has trained thousands of students on Scrum - coders, testers, UX specialists, BAs, DBAs, PMs, managers, and C-suite executives - using experiential, immersive courses.

Gary's technical skills and experience include enterprise and application architecture, ALM, build and deployment automation, web development, database modeling and development, and test automation.

You can find Gary at www.GaryPedretti.com and on Twitter @GaryPedretti

 

Location:Microsoft-Chicago 200 E Randolph, 2nd Floor, Chicago

Agenda:6:30pm Dinner, 7:00pm Presentation

You are not currently registered to attend. RSVP Now to Attend

Tags:

ALM | Agile | Application Lifecycle Management | Automated Testing | Scrum | Architecture

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