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Application Quality Enablement with TFS 2012 and MTM 2012 at SDC Tomorrow

by Angela 14. November 2012 05:00

Not sure if you’ve been to any of the sessions held by the Software Development Community in Chicago but they are always good. This month I get the opportunity to speak there myself and wanted to let folks know.  If you cannot make it to my session tomorrow, I will be presenting the information again at the Visual Studio launch event in Chicago (“The New Era of Work”) later this month as well.  Be sure to sign up for notifications of future SDC meetups, it’s a great group! 

In the meantime, here is the info for my session tomorrow:

When: Thursday, November 15, 2012 -- 5:45

Where:  i.c.s -- 415 N Dearborn, Chicago, IL (map) -- 3rd Floor, Sign will be posted at the door.

Session: Application Quality Enablement with TFS 2012 and MTM 2012 - With the rise of modern apps and the modern data center, we require a modern lifecycle approach that supports the need to increase velocity, deliver continuous value and manage change while enabling quality. See a unique and full lifecycle perspective on quality enablement with rich demos infused along the way to illustrate our the software testing/QA story. Demos will include:
• Product Backlog
• Storyboarding
• Exploratory testing
• Client Feedback

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August Chicago ALM User Group - Announcing Git Integration with TFS

by Angela 16. August 2012 10:43

I know, Microsoft supporting non-.NET developers and non-Windows folks? Inconceivable! ::gasp:: 

OK, so if you’ve been paying attention for the past couple of years, you might already know that this has been happening slowly. But recently there have been some seriously MAJOR developments. First, Microsoft made Entity Framework open source, and now they have added MVC, ASP.NET and more to that list. Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria…and all that.  Then when you thought it couldn’t get crazier, they announced TFS integration with Git!  My head just exploded a little, how about yours?

Come to the Chicago Microsoft office on August 29th and meet one of the TFS product team members, you heard it, ONE OF THE DUDES WHO WRITES CODE FOR TFS ITSELF! Edward Thomson will be discussing how to take advantage of the new git-tf tool to synchronize a local git repository with Team Foundation Server.  This cross platform bridging tool is especially useful for cross-platform developers, such as iOS developers on Xcode.

Edward Thomson is a Software Development Engineer at Microsoft, where he works on cross-platform version control tools for Team Foundation Server.  Before joining Microsoft, Edward worked on numerous source code control tools for Microsoft and Unix platforms.

Register now to make sure you get a spot. Building security also requires it, and it helps me not order gobs of food no one will show up to eat.  So help a girl out huh?

Tags:

ALM | Application Lifecycle Management | MSDN | SDLC | TFS | Team Foundation Server | VS 11 Beta | Visual Studio | Open Source | git | TFS 2012

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An interesting Quest (pun intended)…into Agile testing!

by Angela 9. May 2012 08:57

So there is a fantastic little conference gaining steam in the Midwest called Quest, which is all about Quality Engineered Software.  If you’ve never heard of it, you should seriously check it out next year regardless of your role.  As I have always said, Quality is NOT the sole responsibility of the testers, and this conference has something for everyone.  I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the local QAI chair who runs the conference the first year it ran (2008), which lucky for me also happened to be in my back yard.  I was with Microsoft at the time, and we had opted in as the biggest conference sponsor, cause let’s be real - who on earth in QA ever thought “Yeah, Microsoft has some awesome testing tools”.  ::crickets::  Right.

At the time VSTS (remember THAT brand? Smile with tongue out) was still new-ish, and the testing tools were focused almost entirely on automated testing. Yeah, I know, TECHNICALLY there was that one manual test type but let’s not even go there.  I know a few, like literally 3, customers used the .MHT files to manage manual tests in TFS, but it wasn’t enough. The automated tools were pretty awesome, but what we found was that MOST customers were NOT doing a lot of automation yet. Most everyone was still primarily doing manual testing, and with Word and Excel, maybe SharePoint. We had a great time at Quest talking to testers and learning about what they REALLY need to be happy and productive, we got the word out on VSTS and TFS, and started planning for the next year.  I was able to be part of Quest as a Microsoftie in early 2009 as well, when the 2010 tools (and a REAL manual test tool) were just starting to take shape, and then the conference spent a couple of years in other cities.  Fast-forward to 2012 when Quest returned once again to Chicago.

I was no longer a Microsoftie, but if you’ve ever met me you know that working a booth and talking to as many people as possible about something I am passionate about is something I rock at, and enjoy! So I attended Quest 2012 again this year, this time as a guest of Microsoft.  I worked the Microsoft booth doing demos and answering questions about both the 2010 tools and the next generation of tools, and WOW did we get some great responses to them.  Particularly the exploratory testing tools.  I am pretty sure the reverse engineering of test cases from ad-hoc exploratory tests, and 1-click rich bug generation that sent ALL THE DATA EVER to developers gave a few spectators the chills. I certainly got a lot of jaws dropping and comments like “THIS is a Microsoft tool?!” and “I wish I had this right now!”. It was pretty great.

I was also fortunate enough to also get to attend a few pre-conference workshops, keynotes and a session or two.  I have to say, WOW, the conference is really expanding, and I was very impressed with the quality of the speakers and breadth of content.  As a born again agilista, I was so pleasantly surprised to see an entire TRACK on Agile with some great topics.  I was able to attend “Transition to Agile Testing” and “Test Assessments: Practical Steps to Assessing the Maturity of your Organization“ and learned quite a bit in both sessions.  One disappointment, there is even more FUD out there in the QA world than what I see in the developer world when it comes to Agile, what it actually means and how it SHOULD be practiced.  I’m not about being a hard core “to the letter” Scrummer or anything, but I also am not about doing it wrong, calling it Agile, and blaming the failure on some fundamental problem with Agile.  There are lots of Agile practices that can be adopted to improve how you build, test and deliver software, without going “all in”, and that was something I kept trying to convey whenever I spoke up.

I heard “Agile is all about documenting as little as possible”, “Agile lacks discipline”, “Agile is about building software faster”, and all of the usual suspects you would expect to hear.  No, it’s about "documenting only as much as is necessary; there is a difference!  Agile requires MORE discipline actually.  People on Agile teams don’t work faster, they just deliver value to the business SOONER than in traditional waterfall models, which sure, can be argued is “faster” in terms of time to market.  The only thing that will make me work faster would be a better laptop and typing lessons.  I still look at the keyboard, I know :: sigh::   I am highly considering doing a session next year on Mythbusting Agile and Scrum, to help people understand both the law and the spirit of Agile practices.  Overall it was great to see that the QA community is also embracing Agile and attempting to collaborate better with the development side of the house. We just need the development side to do the same Winking smile  I also met at least a dozen certified Scrum Masters in my workshops as well, which was great to see! 

One of my favorite parts of the conference was of course getting to catch up and talk tech with Brian Harry.  He was the first keynote presenter of the conference, and spoke on how Microsoft “does Agile”, the failures and successes along the way, and even spent some time talking about his personal experiences as a manager learning to work in an Agile environment. I.LOVED.THIS. Yeah, I’m a bit of a Brian Harry fan-girl, but it really was a fantastic talk, and I had many people approach me in the booth later to comment on how much they enjoyed it. My favorite part was Brian admitting that at first, even HE was uncomfortable with the changes. It FELT like he was losing control of the team, but he eventually saw that he had BETTER visibility and MORE control over the process, and consequently the software teams.  It was brilliant.  So many managers FEAR Agile and Scrum for just those reasons. It’s uncomfortable letting teams self organize, trusting them to deliver value more often without constant and overwhelming oversight by project managers, and living without a 2 year detailed project plan - that in all actuality is outdated and invalid as little as a week into the project.  Wait, WHY is that scary? Sorry, couldn’t let that get by.

And so off I go again, into the software world, inspired to keep trying to get through to the Agile doubters and nay-sayers, and to help teams to adopt Agile practices and tooling to deliver better software, sooner.

Tags:

Agile | ALM | Application Lifecycle Management | TFS 2010 | SDLC | Team Foundation Server | Testing | Test Case Management | User Acceptance Testing | VS 11 Beta | VS 2010 | Visual Studio | development

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May Chicago Visual Studio ALM User Group–Let’s talk about TFS Service, VS 11 and TFS 11

by Angela 27. April 2012 05:39

Due to very popular demand to hold a VS 11 session out the the burbs, we are repeating the session held at the Aon Center in February, and are tweaking it a bit. Topics to be covered will include (but are not excluded to):

  1. ALM Ranger Guidance
  2. TFS Service Preview, a.k.a. TFS in the Cloud – what is it all about?
  3. New Agile Planning Tools
  4. Client Feedback Tool
  5. Story Boarding tool
  6. Team Explorer Changes (the code review feature is pretty hot!)

We may add some more items to that list, or refine it a bit, so be sure to check back closer to the meeting for more specifics.  And certainly let me know if you have any special requests!

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

When: Wednesday May 23rd, 6:30PM dinner followed by presentations and demos

Register here!  Please do register, as the security desk REQUIRES a list of folks to allow into the building at least 24 hours in advance.   And do keep in mind that we do our best to order food based on the number of attendees. IOW, if you need to cancel PLEASE let us know so we can adjust the food order so as not to waste our limited funding, well and of course food. Let’s NOT be wasting food.

Speakers

Prasanna Ramkumar is a Senior Consultant for Magenic Technologies and a VS ALM Ranger. He has extensive experience in implementing custom solutions using Microsoft development technologies for Magenic’s clients and provides ALM consulting to them using TFS. He has led and mentored several client projects using Scrum and is well versed in Agile methodologies. As a Ranger, Prasanna has been creating the hands on labs for the upcoming TFS11 Project Guidance and is actively reviewing other projects guidance.

Jim Szubryt is the TFS Product Manager and ALM Team Manager for the Enterprise Workforce at Accenture in Chicago. Jim’s TFS Team supports 1,300 developers in the global development centers. The ALM Team provides ALM guidance and assessments of the internally developed applications. Jim is also in the VS ALM Rangers program and has worked on the CodedUI guidance, TFS11 Upgrade guidance and TFS11 guidance on Teams. Prior to Accenture Jim worked at Magenic Technologies where he implemented TFS for clients and worked on a wide range of development projects.

Angela Dugan is the ALM Practice Manager for Polaris Solutions. Prior to joining Polaris, Angela Dugan was a technology evangelist with Microsoft focusing on Visual Studio and TFS group for over 5 years, and a software developer and architect for a small consulting firm in the western suburbs of Chicago for 8 years before that.

Tags:

ALM | Agile | Application Lifecycle Management | SDLC | TFS | Team Foundation Server | Test Case Management | User Acceptance Testing | VS 11 Beta | Visual Studio | Testing | Work Item Tracking | development | TFS Rangers

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Sneak Peek of Visual Studio 11 - Coming to a City Near You!

by Angela 24. April 2012 06:34

You may have noticed a little hoopla lately around the coming version of Microsoft Visual Studio’s ALM product line. I’ve been using it for a few months now, and it’s pretty rad! I came across a great set of events coming soon to several cities across the Midwest, to give you a sneak peek at the new ALM capabilities in Visual Studio 11 and Team Foundation Server 11.

This half-day event of presentations and demos will be delivered by your local Microsoft Technical Specialist. In case you are thinking, “my Microsoft whosit?”, 6 months ago this would have been me, so maybe that helps if you knew me before I was a Polarisian, Polarisite, uhhh, I’ll work on that one.  Click below for the city schedule in your area and to view full session descriptions for each event:

Date

Location

Registration URL

5/9/2012

Indianapolis

AM Session - Visual Studio 11

5/11/2012

Chicago

AM Session - Visual Studio 11

5/15/2012

Milwaukee

AM Session - Visual Studio 11

5/17/2012

Downers Grove

AM Session - Visual Studio 11

LOOKING TO EXPERIENCE WINDOWS AZURE? Join us in the afternoon at the same location for a BONUS event. Who doesn’t like a bonus?!  After each ALM event noted above, a Hands-On Experience with Windows Azure will also be happening, where Microsoft will explore how to leverage the Windows Azure platform for your own applications. Microsoft experts will show off the platform's powerful features, walk through tools to get started, and guide you in building and deploying your first cloud based application. The great news for MSDN subscribers is that you get Windows Azure cloud computing benefits for free every month with your subscription. Click below to register for the afternoon session!

Date

Location

Registration URL

5/9/2012

Indianapolis

PM Session - Hands On with Windows Azure

5/11/2012

Chicago

PM Session - Hands On with Windows Azure

5/15/2012

Milwaukee

PM Session - Hands On with Windows Azure

5/17/2012

Downers Grove

PM Session - Hands On with Windows Azure

Visual Studio 11 Beta!

Prepare for the next generation of development. You can’t predict the future, but you can get there first! TRY the Visual Studio 11 Beta Today!

Tags:

ALM | Agile | Application Lifecycle Management | MSDN | TFS | SDLC | Team Foundation Server | Testing | User Acceptance Testing | VS 11 Beta | Visual Studio | Work Item Tracking | Azure | Cloud Computing

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Chicago Visual Studio ALM User Group VS 11 Beta Load Fest this Wednesday at the Aon Center!

by Angela 12. March 2012 11:49

If you are joining us in Chicago this Wednesday for the VS 11 load fest, I am assuming your plan is to install the bits and get your hands dirty as quickly as possible. We will have a few external hard drives that we can pass around to make getting the bits on to your machine fast and easy, but if you don’t want to wait that long you can also get the bits in a number of places on-line.

If you don’t have the luxury of a PC you can install the Beta bits on, there is also the option of using great Hyper-V image that Brian Keller posted to his blog a couple of weeks ago. It includes VS 11 Ultimate Beta, TFS 11 Beta and Test Pro 11. It even includes some great Hands on Labs to walk you through some of the new capabilities. If you have Windows 8 or Windows Server running, this is by far the fastest and easiest way to get your hands on it.

If you don’t have MSDN, you are in luck because the VS 11 Beta became publically available on February 29th.  All freely available VS 11 Beta Tools can be found here.  The list of available bits can be overwhelming so at a minimum I would install:

· One of the server versions:

· One of the Visual Studio IDEs

· One of the Team Explorer Clients

· If you want to get crazy, here are 2 other great tools to try out:

If you do have an MSDN subscription, you have a slightly wider range of bits available to you.  Login to your MSDN subscription here and go to Subscriber Downloads where you will have access to all of the bits for the various products.  If you don’t have an MSDN subscription or are wondering “why on earth would I want one?”, I spent a little time on my blog today waxing philosophical on that point for you J

Looking forward to seeing you Wednesday, and please don’t forget to email me if you need to back out so we can adjust the food order! And if you haven’t RSVPd yet, what are you waiting for? Winking smile

Tags:

ALM | Application Lifecycle Management | MSDN | TFS | Team Foundation Server | VS 11 Beta | Visual Studio | development

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Hey, are you letting you MSDN benefits go to waste? I bet you are…

by Angela 12. March 2012 11:25

WARNING: This is a bit of a rehash but since I lost access to my old Microsoft blog, I thought it was worth a refresher. 

I have always been passionate about being thrifty. I’m by no means an extreme couponer, cause let’s be clear, I am also LAZY. But some things are just no brainers…  Like using your MSDN benefits. I know, it sounds weird, but don’t run off just yet, I promise it’ll be worth a few minutes of your time.

First caveat I am going to issue is this: I am not a Microsoft sales or licensing expert so I cannot sell this product to you, or tell you what you own today, or how much it would cost to buy it.  I CAN however, connect you to someone who can help you find out that kind of information so feel free to ask if you have questions.  As a technologist who regularly leverages MSDN as an end user, I CAN tell you that it is chock full of awesome.  So, on to the post…

I used to work for Microsoft, and I had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of customers, which means thousands of developers.  Most, if not all of the customers that I spoke to had MSDN and were simply not using it.  Sometimes they simply didn’t know they had it, in other cases they didn’t realize how much value it had to a developer and just never got around to setting up access, and in a few cases the company was just so big that they didn’t feel they had the bandwidth to roll it out and manage it.  Every one of these companies is actively in a mode to save money and “do more with less” which almost always translates to no training, no tech support, nothing new and shiny for the folks in IT.   And yet they are NOT using the MSDN they already paid for.  This is where my head explodes a little O.o

As a developer I simply couldn’t function in a truly productive way without using my MSDN benefits.  I am on the forums and using my support and training on a regular basis, sometimes daily depending on the project.  Financially it’s also quite a deal when you look at what is rolled into it!  In the past few weeks I’ve downloaded SQL, several operating systems and all of my developer tools.  All included, no extra charge.  And in some cases you get bonus downloads that other folks don’t have access to!

So let me start by explaining what MSDN is, because no, I do not simply mean the general MSDN library that you probably hit every day to look at documentation, knowledgebase articles, etc.  The Microsoft Developer Network Subscription serviceis what I am referring to.  It is a bundle of software and services that may get purchased along with Visual Studio by you or your employer.  It includes a number of VERY valuable resources and products such as:

 

Picture1

 

MSDN

 

Just to call out a few of my favoritest (it’s a word!) features:

  • TFS Server and CAL for development, test and production use.  That’s right, you heard it. You can use TFS for production use with your MSDN subscription at NO EXTRA COST.  Want to know more about TFS, check out our website, then email me for more information and to setup a demonstration. It’s what I do.
  • Production rights to Office Ultimate, if you have MSDN with Visual Studio Premium or Ultimate.  Having Office OneNote alone makes it worth MSDN, for real. It’s the Ultimate Planner and note taking tool that I was introduced to back in my Business Analysis/Requirements gathering days.  I couldn’t survive without OneNote. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend giving it a test run.  You’ll never use Notepad for note-taking again.
  • Support incidences – as in you can CALL SUPPORT if you get hung up on something in development or test environments. Don’t sit in forums all day, tearing your hair out trying to solve issues you encounter with our tools or programming languages anymore. USE your benefits.
  • E-Learning – FREE training. You’re always looking for free training aren’t you? No more excuses, here it is! New courses are being added fairly regularly, and you will find a wide variety of topics are covered including Windows Security Essentials, SharePoint Services .NET Framework, Visual Studio 2010 Testing Tools, Active Directory and more…
  • Unlimited priority support in the MSDN forums. That’s right, the place you probably go anyway. You get special treatment. It’s like having a Flash Pass at Six Flags only WAY cooler.  And now that I no longer work for Microsoft and can’t just call up Brian Harry and say “Yo, why am I having issues with TFS branching?”, cause you know I totally did that, OK I didn’t but still. I have already used this feature a LOT as a consultant in the field. It’s worth its weight in gold-pressed latinum.
  • And remember - many benefits, like eLearning and support incidences regenerate every year you have MSDN, but they do not rollover. Azure benefits are reset every MONTH!  So you snooze, you lose.

There is a lot more to MSDN, I’m really just enticing you with some of my favorite features. Feel free to check out the rest of the benefits you may be passing by on the MSDN Subscriber benefits site.  And hey, if you’re not impressed then maybe you know everything already, and you never encounter issues with Visual Studio, Office, .NET or any of the other tools you use day to day to get your job done. Right, I thought so.  Check it you, and if you suspect you *might* be entitled to it, find out for sure and then get signed up.  You won’t regret it. 

While many new changes are coming with the new product line in Beta right now, this slide deck should be MOSTLY accurate if you want a step-by-step walkthrough of how to take advantage of your various MSDN benefits: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=e796c9484df4baa3#!/view.aspx?cid=E796C9484DF4BAA3&resid=E796C9484DF4BAA3!2136

Tags:

Application Lifecycle Management | MSDN | TFS | Team Foundation Server | VS 11 Beta | Visual Studio | development

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I’m Back in the Blogosphere

by Angela 1. March 2012 15:00

So as you may know I left Microsoft DPE back in December of 2011.  Don’t worry, it was not a bad departure, I simply chose a new path in life…  It was actually a surprisingly smooth transition and I am still deeply connected to DPE.  Which is good, because I’m already suffering some withdrawal symptoms, having to wait like everyone else for Beta software bits was brutal. Seriously, how do y’all stand it!?

Not much else has changed. I still love to rant and rave about TFS and Visual Studio on Twitter, I now run the ALM practice for an ALM partner in Chicago, I am still running the Chicago Visual Studio ALM user groupand even have a March event on the books as of right now, and have also signed on for some other great events including ThatConference - which is being run by some awesome dudes, including Clark Sell.  Speaking of, keep ThatConference on your radar. Speaker submission opens soon, and tickets will be available in May. I imagine it will sell out quickly and it promises to be fairly spectacular!

This post is a bit light on content, but I have a lot to get my arms around before I start blogging full force again.  Also, I’m a billable code-slinger again so that certainly gets in the way occasionally Smile  As a matter of fact this week I implemented TFS for a customer in Wisconsin, and migrated our internal TPC to new hardware for Polaris. W00t!

More to come, stay tuned…

Tags:

Team Foundation Server | Visual Studio | TFS | VS 11 Beta | MSDN | Windows 8 | development | ALM | Application Lifecycle Management | Agile

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