Willy's Reflections

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

Rangers March 2011 Flash

Rangers March 2011 Flash

  • Comments 4

Projects News

  • The CodedUI (VSCUG) project is finishing off the first sprint, which was focused on defining the scope of the project and also designing the Word Extension for CodedUI testing.
  • The Word4TFS (TFSWP) project has started up in full swing, with the first user story released for test case definition, design and development. We are looking for Rangers who are interested in taking ownership of test cases and helping us produce a quality product.
  • The Lab Management Guide (AHE-TFSLM) project will be entering the final BETA review phase within hours. Huge THANK YOU from Willy-Peter to the team, which “rocks”!
  • The Build Customization Guide (ATE-VSBCG) project entered the final BETA review phase on Monday and the product group is currently reviewing the guidance. Once approved, we will be posting the BETA 1 to Codeplex for a “silent” review by Visual Studio ALM Rangers and ALM Champs. Will this project ship before the AHE project? Huge THANK YOU from Willy-Peter to the team, which “rocks”!
  • The TFS Iteration Automation (AFE-TFSIA) project … the team has had the first kick-off meeting and is now busy with the release 1.0 design.
  • The Architecture Guidance (TFSAG) project will see the new release 2 of the Visual Studio Extension soon, which includes automation of the guidance and hands-on labs in the Visual Studio Extension, as well as a number of informative videos. A phenomenal effort by Francisco!

Community News

Visual Studio ALM Rangers Ecosystem

  • The Rangers Process and Requirements dog fooding is entering an analysis and documentation phase, with two projects that used Ruck as part of our dog fooding coming to an end. The findings will be published in the third or fourth Rangers MSDN article.
  • In February, we finished 5 years of Rangers program which is quite an achievement, thanks to your great community work. Stay tuned for the 5-year report!

Closing Humour

For more information refer to: Rangers Website | Rangers Solutions | Rangers Blog

  • Willy, these projects sound really interesting. B

    ut I'm very concerned with all the self congratulations such as “rocks”.

    I've yet to see any of these projects publically reviewed (are they available somewhere...Google and Bing don't find anything) by the wider community (forget MVPs for a moment they aren't exactly nonbiased), and I get the eriee feeling that these projects are going to ship and never be updated/maintained until 3 years from now. One of the greatest, if not THE GREATEST ranger's project has been the Branching and Merging guidance because one of your rangers, Bill Hey's is CONSTANTLY answering questions on the codeplex forum and he's blogging his answers and dialoging with the community about their questions/solutions. See here: tfsbranchingguideiii.codeplex.com/discussions.

    If you do "SHIP" these ranger projects...please follow the Google model and ship them as Beta and then engage with the community for 6-9 months and then do a RTM. I'd like to see 2 week SCRUM releases for each of these projects once they go BETA and the Rangers have time to fix errors/add improvements.

    You may call them Released...but I would call them NON Reviewed....

    I've burned by 2 ranger projects and I want the projects to get better. See 1) The TFS Integration Platform - see here: blogs.msdn.com/.../tfs-integration-platform-updated-mar-11.aspx 2) The database guide ranger project and the lack of continued effort from that ranger project: vsdatabaseguide.codeplex.com/.../224731

  • Thank you for your candid feedback, which we appreciate and need to be in a position to improve the Rangers program.  Let me tackle your feedback piece by piece, with the hope that you will revert if there is anything you need further clarity on or wish to discuss further.

    “Rocks” … we have started the monthly news flash to ensure that the community has a fairly transparent view and understanding of what is going on behind the scenes. In the past you would probably only have heard about a project when it shipped, whereas we are now actively sharing the state-of-the-nation and frequently inviting the community to actively engage with the Rangers. Is the complete transparency an issue, for example, does it create false expectations or ambiguity, in your opinion?

    Both the Lab Management Guidance (AHE) and the Build Customization Guidance (ATE) projects have entered the internal final review phase, which is a key milestone for any Ranger project. Based on what I have personally reviewed and seen, plus the feedback received from reviewers including Microsoft Services, Product Group, User Education (UE), Microsoft Most Valued Professionals (MVP) and community leads, I strongly believe that the team deserves a “you rock” congratulations. The bits are, as you have mentioned, not yet available to the broader community, however, we are planning a new phased review model which makes the bits available to a greater community within fairly short iterations. We have a strict “quality” gateway which we must meet, before we can release the bits publically, both for initial releases (as in the case of AHE and ATE) or revisions (as in the case of the Architecture Guidance). If you want to get access to the bits earlier and be in a position to give input and influence the projects, I recommend that you actively join the Rangers family.

    The Branching Guidance is a great example of a Ranger project that is driven by a passionate lead (Bill) and a community that actively engages with the team. We need your feedback, your critique and your support to motivate the community to not only support a project, but also to enhance the project. If there is a lack of feedback or demand, the projects typically enter a maintenance phase, relinquishing priority and bandwidth to other initiatives as driven by the community. THANK YOU for highlighting Bill’s phenomenal efforts, whereby I will forward this thread to him immediately.

    I am sorry to hear that you have been burnt by two of the projects and as mentioned above, I urge you to give us feedback and to keep the candid feedback rolling in until we have extinguished your fires. The TFS Integration Tools is a fully supported Microsoft product, which means that you can and should raise a support call if any of your queries, feedback or issues are not addressed to your satisfaction.  am unable to comment on the Database Guidance project without getting more context from you, which I can discuss with the leads of the project.

    To conclude it is important to emphasise that the monthly flash clearly states “entering final BETA review phase”, not “released”. Yes, the bit are not reviewed by the community at large yet, however, the quality of review by the heterogeneous Rangers family is not to be underestimated and guarantees that the public release of any Rangers project is of a high standard and quality.

  • I think Allen's comment is that it should the community of users who download this who should decide if what they built "rocks".  I think there is value in having a public beta, and letting those who not rangers comment on it before release.

  • We understand that the community (public domain) would like to get insight into the early bits, both to be in a position to decide whether it “rocks” and more importantly to give candid feedback. We are trying to give the community more transparency into the progress (or lack thereof) of the bits by actively blogging and sharing information at events. We have to, however, work through defined processes, meet important quality bars and get the thumbs up from all the stakeholders (product owner, product group, MVPs, Rangers) involved before we can push the “bits” to the public domain. If you need more in-sight and access to “the early and evolving bits” you can either aim to join the Visual Studio ALM MVPs or the Visual Studio ALM Rangers.

    As development lead of the associated projects, I feel that we can and must motivate and congratulate the teams for the phenomenal work they are doing … often sacrificing precious family time to work on the bits after hours. The current teams and the latest deliverables, in my humble opinion, definitely “rock” and I am convinced that the BETA reviewers and the community will have similar sentiments when the projects ship.

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