Everything you want to know about Visual Studio ALM and Farming
Brian Harry is a Microsoft Technical Fellow working as the Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server. Learn more about Brian.
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Sam Guckenheimer and Neno Loje have updated their book on Visual Studio and TFS and it is in print and shippingwith our launch this week.
You can preview and order the book from any of these suppliers:
Safari Books Online
This is an end-to-end guide to applying Agile software engineering practices across the lifecycle using 2012. Here’s my foreword:
Sam and I met in 2003 over a storyboard. We were on this new team with a mission to take Visual Studio – the world’s leading individual development environment – and turn it into the world’s leading team development environment. He had just joined Microsoft and wanted to convince me that we would succeed not just by building the best tools, but by creating the best end-to-end integration, and he used a storyboard to show the ideas. He convinced me and the rest of the team.
He also persuaded us that we should think of enabling agile process flow from the beginning. A key idea was to that we minimize time spent in transitions. We would build our tools to make all their data transparent and squeeze as much waste and overhead as possible out of the software process. That way the team could focus on delivering a flow of value to its customers.
That vision, which we now call the Agile Consensus, informed the first versions of Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio Team System, as our product line was called in 2005. The first edition of this book was the explanation of the reasons we made the leap.
Neno was one of our first customers and consultants. He quickly became one of our strongest advocates and critics, seizing the vision and identifying the gaps that we would need fill release after release. His is now one of the clear experts in the product line, knowing as much about how our customers use the Visual Studio product line as just about anyone.
Since we released v1, we’ve also been on our own journey of agile transformation across Microsoft Developer Division. Our products have helped make that change possible. First, in the wave to VS 2008, we set out to apply Agile software engineering practices at scale. You’ll recognize these in our product capabilities today like unit testing, gated check-in, parallel development and test lab management. These helped us reduce waste and create trustworthy transparency. Once we achieved those goals, we could set out to really increase the flow of customer value, in the second wave leading to VS2010. And most recently, with VS 2012, we have really addressed our cycle time. The clearest example of this is the hosted Team Foundation Service, which is now deploying to customers every three weeks. Chapter 9 tells this story well.
Together, Sam and Neno have written the why book for modern software practices and their embodiment in the Visual Studio product line. This book does not attempt to replace the product documentation by telling you which button to click. Rather, it covers your software lifecycle holistically, from the backlog of requirements to deployment, and shows examples of how to apply modern best practices to develop the right thing.
If you are an executive whose business depends on software, then you’ll want to read this book. If you’re a team lead trying to improve your team’s velocity or the fit of your software to your customers’ needs, read this book. If you’re a developer or tester, and you want to work better, with more time on task, and have more fun, read this book.
Brian Harry June 2012
 In VS 2012, we made storyboarding a part of the product too.