Willy's Reflections

| Willy-Peter Schaub | Visual Studio ALM Rangers | In search of IT simplicity, quality and tranquility |

VSTS Rangers … positioning the rangers and projects

VSTS Rangers … positioning the rangers and projects

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What are VSTS Rangers and their objectives?

The rangers exist in many product groups, focused on key and strategic technologies. In our case we work closely with the Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) product group, Microsoft Consulting services (MCS) and customer support services (CSS), with an obvious core focus on Team Foundation  Server (TFS) and Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) at this stage.

As outlined in my previous post, the core objectives of the VSTS Rangers include:

  • VSTS Rangers are responsible for the creation of reusable “out of band” solutions for missing functionality in the TFS and VSTS family of products.
  • VSTS Rangers are striving for active community readiness knowledge sharing.
  • VSTS Rangers can and are influencing VSTS.vNext … the next generation of the tools.

What are my personal objectives as a VSTS Ranger?

As a greenhorn VSTS Ranger, still trying to get rid of my pre-Microsoft era baggage and trying to get to grips with the immensely dynamic environment at Microsoft, my objectives are currently very simple:

  1. Get to grips with the current VSTS Ranger projects and participate in new ranger initiatives and projects.   
  2. Promote the notion of TFS and VSTS guidance and awareness being available and promoted before the relevant technologies ship. This is primarily to ensure that we can improve the overall adoption experience for all stakeholders and invest the energy in adoption, not problem resolution.
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  3. Promote the concept of a ranger community, which is not an exclusive club, bit embraces the energy, the passion and the knowledge of the communities at large, the VSTS MVPs, the dynamic Extended Rangers, the Core Rangers and the small, but permanent VSTS Ranger team.
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    • Huh, what is a Core Ranger? Any ranger who has successfully managed and implemented a ranger project, is promoted to the prestigious Core Ranger.
    • Huh, what is an Extended Ranger? Any person, including Microsoft employees, MVP and community members, who have joined and are contributing to a ranger project, are promoted to the invaluable Extended Ranger team.

How dynamic and overwhelming is my new home? Well, I was once told that it could be compared to trying to grab onto an out of control fire hose and then taking a sip. I have managed to grab hold of the hose a few times, but still have a long way to go, before I can take a sip q;-)

What are the VSTS Ranger projects, which we will be covering in this series all about?

The VSTS Ranger projects consist of a mix of internal Microsoft and community based projects. The latter projects are the more growing rapidly making an appearance as part of the VSTS Power Tools and as Codeplex projects. When reviewing potential project candidates, we use the following guidelines:
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  1. Project should have a wide window of opportunity, preferably gap-fillers until Rosario and beyond.
  2. Project should preferably be standalone, loosely-coupled and introduce minimal dependencies.
  3. Project should preferably have a small scope, in other words the effort should range from weeks to months, not years.
  4. Project should ideally address issues that are very painful to you and your customers, hampering TFS|VSTS adoption.

The projects I am expecting to cover in this series of posts include:

  • TFS Branching Guide II
  • WCF Load Test Tool
  • TFS Operations Guide
  • Load test report generator
  • Load test report generator HOL
  • VSTS and WSS 3.0 Interoperability How-To
  • Project Server 2007 and VSTS Connector
  • … plus the forthcoming attractions … watch the space.

Next time we will start exploring the projects listed above. See you soon …

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