Office hours are back!
Did you notice that it’s June, too? If you work in the field at Microsoft, you’ve probably been preparing for the last month of our fiscal year by either setting a “1 month” reminder or actually ripping the month right out of your calendar (sorry, you can’t do that in Outlook. Feature request, maybe?).
So this edition of the newsletter is being written in parts at an airport, on a plane, or quietly downstairs in my home office.
I’m officially “in role” in Southern California again (additive to my current areas) alongside William Salazar. If you have development teams in SoCal, give me a shout, as I’d love to see how I can help you get the most bang for your buck out of your Microsoft development products.
This newsletter will probably take a month off in July as I hope to catch up on my “work/life” balance. :)
I receive a lot of email each week from you asking very specific, and valuable questions. It’s my hope that a newsletter like this will help me communicate important announcements, tips/tricks, and other items to help you and your team ultimately be more successful! Whenever I post a new newsletter, I will send email notifications to those of you who would like to be contacted. If you don’t want to receive email notifications, just let me know!
Several of our awesome ALM partners are delivering some terrific webcasts this summer and fall. In this post, I’ve listed upcoming webcasts from Northwest Cadence.
Take a look, and if you see something you like, click on the webcast title to register! See NW Cadence’s events page for additional details, events, or last-minute changes.
Scrum is a process model that promotes highly iterative, value driven development and has been successfully adopted by agile teams world-wide. Kanban, meaning “signboard”, is a concept relation to Lean and focuses on the reduction of work in progress and visual signals to indicate that new work should be started. Both models have proven track records, and in this session Martin Hinshelwood (ALM MVP and Scrum proponent) and Steven Borg (ALM MVP and Kanban fan) will go head to head to discuss their similarities, their differences, and which you should choose for your software development.
Kanban is a Lean-inspired approach to software development. Although the rules of Kanban are simple, they are also remarkably powerful. By simply visualizing work, limiting work in process, and monitoring the flow of work, the team begins a powerful process of discovery and improvement. This has resulted in impressive improvements in nearly all areas of software development time and time again. During this event, we will talk about the five basic principles of Kanban adoption, the benefits of adoption, and the pitfalls along the way.
Scrum is the most adopted agile methodology. Time and again, it has transformed low performing development teams into powerful creators of business value. Scrum does particularly well in environments where requirements shift or change unpredictably and in areas with substantial uncertainty. During this event, we will introduce the three Scrum roles, dive into the basic Scrum processes, and explore the reasons behind Scrum’s power. Although this event is an introduction to Scrum, we will provide several tips and tricks to assist in Scrum adoption.
Visible work has a profound impact on a team. By making work visible, teams can rapidly identify bottlenecks and issues, visualize the amount of work the team has under development, and most importantly understand the “life story” of the features they are working on. At a glance, teams can identify overloaded people, problematic stories, quality problems, and overall development speed. Visualization is one of the key tools in an effective Kanban implementation. During this event, we will discuss how Kanban teams visualize work, where to get started with visualization, and the tools available to help build effective visualizations electronically.
Northwest Cadence delivers deep technical acumen and broad process perspective. After all, technologies alone do not translate into success. Productivity is about clearing bottlenecks and reducing waste while leveling the load wherever possible. It is also about optimizing flow, while preserving quality and minimizing risk. All of this makes for a delicate balance.
Earlier this month, the ALM Rangers team released two newly-completed projects to CodePlex, the Rangers Lab Management Guide and the Rangers Build Customization Guide.
I expect you to find both guides valuable as you further your usage of Team Foundation Server 2010. Below are some details for each project. Selfishly, I’m especially fond of the second one (I was a contributing author):
This project has the primary goal of delivering scenario based and hands-on guidance for the planning, setup, configuration and usage of Visual Studio Lab Management, backed by custom VM Template automation for reference environments.
The content is packaged in 3 separate zip files to give you the choice of selective downloads. The default download is the first of the listed packages:
Guidance, which includes scenario based practical guidance and frequently asked questions.
Hands-on Labs (HOL), which includes the HOL documents that provide walkthroughs of the technology, based on the guidance
HOL Package, which includes a HOL environment setup package which allows you to setup the HOL environment in your own environment
The Epics included in the guidance are:
This project has the primary goal of delivering scenario based and hands-on lab guidance for the customization and deployment of Team Foundation Build 2010 activities such as versioning, code signing, and branching.
The content for this project is provided in individual packages to allow you to be selective in what you get:
For additional information related to this project, check out Willy’s post.
Like what you see? Check out the full list of Rangers projects. Also, be sure to read about who the Rangers are!
[7/15 Update: This post's workaround doesn't apply for Windows Phone 'Mango', just the currently available retail version of WP7. OneNote section groups are fully recognized in 'Mango'.]
I recently came across this issue with Windows Phone 7 (once I got it in late May, thanks Verizon): I maintain a (what I consider to be) highly-organized OneNote 2010 notebook for interactions with my customers. I use a new feature of OneNote 2010: section groups. This allows me to structure my notebook like this:
(you get the picture)
This topology lets me have a full section for each customer. Using section groups to group customers by state is very helpful for me in that it logically organizes my notes based on where I’m traveling for a given week.
And having OneNote on my phone is really slick – I can quickly review notes for a customer before a meeting begins, or take quick notes on my phone to record impromptu tidbits of information. With my notes automatically syncing to SkyDrive, my notebook is always up-to-date, regardless of the device I’m using (phone, 2 laptops, or desktop). Nice!
But I ran into a snag. Remember my love for section groups? That feature isn’t supported in OneNote for WP7. When I open the notebook on WP7 I can only see the Summary section – section groups aren’t recognized – so I can’t see my customer notes!
In doing some searching online, I found this thread on Microsoft Answers in which a workaround was published:
This will open the section group as a notebook on your phone. While not ideal, it does give you access to the contents of your section group. So in my scenario, I emailed myself (in a single email) links to the section group for each state: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and Other. Since each of these section groups have no nested section groups, I’m golden. It’s a little work, but you only have to do it once for each section group.
Now, when I go to OneNote on my phone, I see:
So what does it all boil down to? OneNote on WP7 doesn’t recognize section groups (OneNote 2010), but it can recognize them as “root” notebooks. So email yourself the link to each section group and WP7 will see each section group as a notebook. If you have nested section groups, you’ll need to pick and choose which ones you really want to have available on your phone and do the email/open process for each one.
I hope this helps someone out there!