Tech Ed Developer 2008, Day 1

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Keynote by Bill Gates and a cast of Microsoft Executives

Guess what? SilverLight, Visual Studio, Unified Communications, surface computing, and robots are going to save the earth. So will WCF.

Brian Harry on TFS Now and Future

This was a great session. I know we are all tired of hearing it, but Rosario really is the release of TFS that will be the ONE. We are all struggling with Work Items and being able to manage our work the way we actually think of our work.

The one question I posed was simply how may an organization manage one single backlog of work within TFS and parse out that work to separate teams? The answer is that for right now, there isn’t a good story here. I will be blogging later in the summer about how I am solving for this in our organization.

Open Q&A on TFS – Jeff Levinson

Jeff is a Team System MVP and trainer and consultant for NW Cadence. He talked people through a lot of the typical questions that get asked soon after you install TFS in your organization.

  1. What source control branching model makes sense for me?
  2. How can I customize my work items?
  3. What’s in the service packs?
  4. How should I deploy for my build environments?

You get the idea. Here are some likeable nuggets I took away from this session.

  • If you are installing TFS into an organization with fewer than 500 active developers, install it all on one box.

    I have installed on one machine for simplicity’s sake and recommend the same model , but I had no idea the scalability of that model went as high as 500. Jeff claims that this kind of load will only flutter the CPU. Bear in mind, though: This is NOT regarding the build machine. Build machines need to be separate and preferably virtual.

  • Microsoft will be paying closer attention to X in Rosario. X can equal any of these things:
    • Project server integration
    • Portfolio server integration
    • Query-able link control in work items
    • Tooling for testers, and that doesn’t mean test tools for developers.

Application Lifecycle Management Panel Discussion

An entire stage of Team System MVPs, discussing Application Lifecycle Management. Rich Hundhausen, Jeff Levinson, Mike Azocar, Steve Borg, Jeff Beehler,  Mickey Gousset, and several others.

This is about ALM which includes all phases of the lifecycle, so how are we helped by rapid delivery.

I only asked one question of the panel. “What’s the view forward for integrating the entire ownership lifecycle? Don’t we really need tooling like support in TFS for System Center to get where you are all talking about?”

Answer: It turns out that MS is solving for different phases of the overall ALM problem at different phases with different tools. TFS for developers, System Center for I.T., Project and Portfolio Server for the business folks. What ties it all together? Nothing yet. Maybe BizTalk will do the trick, eh? Right.

Scrum-tastic Process Template

Presented by, Mike Azocar, the author and project manager of the actual CodePlex project for the Light Weight Scrum Process Template for Team System (whew).

I am particularly interested in this work because of the aforementioned focus I have on customizing the Scrum process template from Conchango.

Nuggets:

  • An interactive system can never be fully specified – Wagner’s Law
  • Scrum is appealing to many organizations because it is:
    • Simple
    • Free
    • Transparent
    • Common sense
  • “No one runs beyond 3 or 4 sprints before changing their out-of-the-box process template.” – Mike

Lastly

Keep a watch on this page, which hosts videos from the Tech Ed floor.

Oh, and I met Richard Campbell of DotNetRocks. I told him it was sort of like meeting Madonna. He asked me not to follow him into the bathroom.