Steve Lange @ Work

Steve Lange's thoughts on application lifecycle management, Visual Studio, and Team Foundation Server

March, 2014

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Event: ALM Symposium in San Diego, April 30th 2014


    ALM Symposium

    An All Day Event to Train, Inspire & Connect Teams!

    Microsoft and Northwest Cadence are extremely excited to be partnering together to host the upcoming ALM Symposium in La Jolla, CA! This is a great time to be in the world of software development, and this event will show you why!

    San Diego is the perfect place to be for software engineering. Home of wireless communication technology, bioinformatics, defense technology and investing, San Diego is an epicenter of innovation and creativity. But so often, delivery challenges tend to inhibit the flow of software delivery. Challenges like enabling communication across globally distributed teams, long project backlogs, conflicting priorities, unresolvable bugs and redundant manual efforts can all get in the way of what we enjoy best –delivering innovative technological solutions built on software.

    The good news is that these challenges have been solved! Microsoft’s ALM Solutions are enabling the world’s leading organizations to reduce their project backlogs, respond to business requests more accurately and deliver higher quality applications faster than ever before. Some of the most complex organizations in the world with thousands of team members, strict regulations and ever-pressing deadlines are able to achieve true agility while maintaining the highest levels of quality and security. By attending this event, which will have a special emphasis on improving quality across every part of an application’s lifecycle, you’ll learn how all of the various teams, from project managers, to business analysts, to developers, to testers, to release engineers and operations teams, can come together to streamline and improve your software delivery processes and tools utilization.

    We’re going to have fun! It’s going to be informative and exciting! The raffle prizes are awesome! And we’re looking forward to meeting you there!



    • 8:30am Welcome Time with Coffee & Refreshments
    • 9:00am Keynote Session
    • 9:30am Demonstration of ALM in Action & End-to-End Project Management, Requirements Management, Development, Build, Deploy, Test
    • 10:30am Audience Activity, Customer Testimonies & Q/A Panel
    • 11:30am Break for Complimentary Lunch
    • 12:15pm Breakout Sessions
      • Breakout 1 - IT Leaders, Project Managers, Business Analysts
      • Breakout 2 - Testers & QA Professionals
      • Breakout 3 – Developers
      • Breakout 4 – Release Managers & DevOps
    • 4:00pm Evaluation Submissions and Raffle Giveaways

    Registration is free, but space is limited.


    Wednesday, April 30th

    Hyatt Regency La Jolla

    3777 La Jolla Village Drive

    San Diego, CA 92122

    Space is limited.


  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Denver Event: Professional Scrum Development with Visual Studio


    Professional Scrum Development with Visual Studio

    Delivered by Accentient

    When: Friday, 11 April 2014 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (MDT)


    7595 Technology Way
    Suite 400
    Denver, Colorado 80237


    Scrum is the #1 framework chosen by Agile software development teams. Visual Studio is a leader in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools. The combination of the two is just awesome, and so is the value potential for you and your software development team.
    Join Professional Scrum Trainers Richard Hundhausen and Charles Bradley as they explain why Scrum works and show how Visual Studio can implement it.

    Whether you are an executive, manager, or business-decision maker looking for a new way to manage the ROI of your IT investments and value delivery, or a seasoned Scrum practitioner or Visual Studio expert, this full day event will provide some measure of value to you. Be sure to ask us your hard questions as we show you ways to deliver business value in the form of working software while reducing risk and waste.

    Specifically, we will cover these topics:

    • Why Scrum works
    • Scrum in a nutshell
    • Getting started with Scrum
    • How Visual Studio supports Scrum
    • Setting up a Scrum team project
    • Planning and managing work in Visual Studio

    Complimentary lunch will be provided.

    Be sure to attend and see if your current or next project might benefit from leveraging Scrum, Visual Studio, or any of the principles or practices that we discuss. Contact Richard with any questions.

    Register here:

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Webcasts: MSDN, Meet Azure. Activate your Benefits


    Active Your MSDN Azure Benefit

    I want to make sure you are aware of the below benefit and how you can enter into a drawing for one Acer ICONIA W510-1422 Windows 8 Hybrid Tablet!

    clip_image002Enter for your chance to win an Acer ICONIA Windows 8 Hybrid Tablet!


    Join one of the three Azure DevTest webcasts listed below and your name will automatically be entered into the drawing.

    One winner will be announced June 6th, 2014. Drawing and announcement administered by Northwest Cadence. Prize sponsored by Microsoft.

    Did you realize you, personally, have up to $150 of free credit monthly to spend on Windows Azure for anything you want! Can’t wait for IT to give you a test environment? Go get one now in Azure. Want to test out the latest Microsoft software? Spin up a free machine today! Want to host a blog to share your brilliant development skills with the world? Host one on your own Azure infrastructure today.

    The bottom line is that you have credit to spend on Azure. The $150 monthly credit is “use it or lose it”, but you get a new $150 credit each month. What does $150 buy in Azure? If you have an MSDN subscription, each month you get enough money to run a virtual machine in the cloud for the entire month. You read that right… You can run your own cloud VM 24x7 as long as you have an MSDN subscription.

    Getting started is easy! Simply visit here and click on “activate”. Once logged in with your Microsoft ID (aka Live ID), you can explore your new account portal here.

    It’s that easy!  But if you get stuck, visit this blog post for the full scoop.

    Now, use it!

    If you’re not going to host your own server, I recommend using your benefits to create your own test environment. To learn more, check out the Azure DevTest webcast that Northwest Cadence is hosting on the following dates:

    Everyone who attends one of the three webcasts above will be eligible to enter into a drawing for one Acer ICONIA W510-1422 Windows 8 Hybrid Tablet!

    Creating a DevTest sandbox on Azure takes literally just minutes. Drive a configuration-as-code strategy, automate infrastructure, and most importantly, start turning around lightning-fast feedback between developers, testers, and operations to make your code production-ready faster (and better) than ever before.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio Online (VSO): Owning Multiple VSO Accounts


    NOTE: This is not official guidance, nor may it be even officially a supported “feature” in the near future (my guess is that it’s not a directly intended capability.  It’s simply a short-term workaround that assisted a few of my customers that I thought I’d share.

    Visual Studio Online by default only allows a Microsoft account to create a single VSO account.  When you create a VSO account, the system records who the owner (creator) is, and the next time that user comes back, they cannot create additional VSO accounts.

    I have customers who currently maintain several VSO accounts (for various reasons), and have done so by creating multiple Microsoft accounts, one for each VSO account.

    With the May 7th date of ending the “Early Adopter” program for VSO, I have customers in this situation asking what to do about this moving forward.

    There’s a slightly indirect, but perfectly doable way around this: a way to let a single Microsoft account “own” multiple VSO accounts.  You need two (2) Microsoft accounts (but only for VSO account creation purposes), but only two.

    For this example, I’m going to create 2 sample Microsoft accounts, one primary and one secondary (both which I’ll delete after this post – I hate stale/dummy accounts!) and show you how to create three (3) VSO accounts owned by the primary Microsoft account.

    First, I create the primary Microsoft account:

    Here’s this account’s profile page:


    Note that this account neither owns any VSO accounts nor is a member of any VSO accounts.

    Using this Microsoft account, I create a new VSO account:

    Next, I sign out of Microsoft and create my secondary Microsoft account:

    And the resulting profile page:


    Like the first account, this account neither owns any VSO accounts nor is a member of any VSO accounts.

    Using this secondary account, I create a second VSO account:

    Next, while still logged in as the secondary account, I go to the Users page.


    Once there, I click “Add” and add the primary account (the first account I created) to this VSO account as a user, assigning a “Basic” license.


    Now that the primary account is recognized as a user, I set that account to be the owner of this VSO account.  (The same below steps are described here.)

    I click on the "gear” icon at the top-right, which takes me to the Admin area.


    Next, I click on the Settings tab, and for Account Owner, select my primary account from the drop-down list, and click the Save button.


    NOTEWARNING: If you follow my steps to the letter, you may have the unintended consequence of removing the secondary Microsoft account’s access from all the VSO accounts.  If this is truly a “dummy” account, then it’s probably no big deal.  But if you’re using a Microsoft account you with to keep using in VSO, you’ll want to make sure you add that account as a valid member of a group in the VSO account. In this walkthrough, I added the secondary account back into the VSO as an administrator.

    So let’s see what’s happened.  Sign out, and then sign in as the primary Microsoft account.  Here’s the updated profile page for the primary account:


    Notice that now this account “owns” both VSO accounts (primary and secondary).  Cool?

    Now let’s own a third VSO account.  Sign out, then back in as the secondary Microsoft account.  Here’s the secondary account’s profile page:


    This should be expected now, because this account no longer owns the secondary VSO account.

    I click the link to “Create a free account now”, and create a third VSO account:

    Like before, I go to the Users page, add the primary Microsoft account as a valid (Basic) user, then specify in the Administrators area that I want my primary Microsoft account to be the owner (and per the above note/warning, I add the secondary account back in). Be sure to click the “Save” button throughout!



    Once that’s all set, I sign out, then back in as the primary Microsoft account:


    Now my primary Microsoft account owns three (3) VSO account. Sweet!

    See the pattern?

    • As a Microsoft account that doesn’t own a VSO account, create a VSO account.
    • Transfer ownership of that account to the Microsoft account you actually want to own the VSO account.
    • Sign back in as the “dummy” Microsoft account, rinse and repeat as needed.

    As an added FYI, if you have an Azure Subscription (not the same thing as Azure MSDN Benefits, by the way), you can link you Azure account to each of the VSO accounts you own, and distribute your Azure resources (users, build minutes, load testing, etc.) across each of them.

    Here’s a big disclaimer: I’m still not clear if this is intended behavior, mainly because there’s no obvious link to create additional VSO accounts while logged in as a Microsoft account that already owns one.

    Hey, but for now, this works!

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