The Visual Studio ALM Rangers has been around for quite some time now and I remember my first project very well. My first project was as a developer on the client side user interface for an extension and enhancement to the Visual Studio Database Edition. My Ranger team extended the data generation feature to make it highly scalable. Unfortunately, for me at least, it was not released to the community but used internally by Microsoft Services. We were in our infancy at the time and I am pretty sure this was the first project that actually filled a gap with bits. This as my first Ranger gig and it was so much fun and my first community project. From this first project I have slowly navigated in to a role we refer to as the Ruck Master which is very akin to Scrum Master. Some may refer to me as the Ruck Police and for those days we use this head shot also seen in my Ranger Index introduction page.

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This picture was taken by a customer’s public relations and marketing photographer for use in the company newsletter where many thought I looked like some professional wrestler. As you can see from the Office logo on the shirt it was a while ago. This was back in my Microsoft Consulting days where I actually worked on the customer’s site for a couple of years. So, today the picture is used in jest when I am trying to keep the project leads focused on the target. But, what is Ruck you ask.

Ruck is the Rugby term used to define a “loose Scrum” and we (Willy-Peter came up with the use of the word) felt it was fitting to our Ranger process. Our process is one in which we strive for agility while learning how to overcome the constraints of a Ranger team. In this role I have been assisting and mentoring the Rangers in managing their teams and getting project lead role clarity for several Visual Studio 11 Readiness projects. We have learned allot with this wave of Ranger projects and are applying the learning from our retrospectives to our Ranger process. You can learn more about our process from our MSDN article, Visual Studio ALM Rangers—Reflections on Virtual Teams. I also had the opportunity to work on the MSDN VM Factory article, Visual Studio ALM Rangers: Rise of the VM Factory and an article that was published on Code Project, How the Visual Studio ALM Rangers use Team Foundation Service to Get Ready for Visual Studio 11. We have several more MSDN articles in the pipeline so look for these in forth coming MSDN magazine issues and keep your eyes on Willy-Peter’s blog for the most recent Ranger news.

Speaking of Willy, he is one of the most hard working and passionate Rangers I know. He is a machine that seems to operate non-stop for hours on end. And he is very gracious. He had some t-shirts made for some of the Rangers and it could have been paid for out of his own pocket. Here are pictures of the shirt. So, Willy is a kind hard working machine. Smile Thanks Willy!

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