Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

January, 2007

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Canberra VSTS User Group Rocks the House


    It's 8am and I'm sitting in the inaugural meeting of the Canberra VSTS User Group. The turn-out is amazing. Over 40 professionals are crammed into the room in the Canberra MS office. This is a sensational turn out. Kudos to Grant, Sean and Mitch.

    Grant kicked off with news, tips and tool of the month (he chose Brian Harry's TFSServerManager Power Toy).

    Andrew Lyons talked about his experience migrating a 100 developer government department (DEWR) from a VSS environment to TFS (for source control mainly). His final word(s):

    Planning is Key

    • Particularly with initial deployment
    • Disaster recovery plan
    • Security Plan

    Practice Makes Perfect

    • Non-trivial migrations need trial runs
    • A development TFS server is invaluable

    Next, Sean Ferguson talked about branching and merging in the ATO development environment. A couple of things that stood out for me were a reference to Buck Hodges' great post from 2004 on branching models and the usefulness of the TFS Power Tools (see also Brian's post).

    Finally, Stu and Rick from AFP talked about their experience with branching there. One of their main points was that there needs to be a lot of work done to introduce the TFS culture to the dev team (especially as many of the current devs have strongly entrenched opinions about the current process and are resistant to any sort of change).

    All-in-all a great first meeting and I'm looking forward to the next one on Feb 28!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Australian ISV Innovation Days


    Dave, Dave, Chuck and I have been working with Luisa Pagliarini and were asked to put together the content for the ISV Innovation Day Roadshow running at the end of next month. We've tried to make sure there's some great information for people writing and selling applications for our platform.

    By attending Innovation Days you will learn how your solution can be better leveraged on Windows Vista, Office 2007 and the Microsoft Dynamics platform, and understand how you can take advantage of revenue opportunities.

    Dates are as follows:

    Melbourne – Thursday 22 February 2007

    Sydney - Tuesday 27 February 2007

    Brisbane - Thursday 1 March 2007


    Time Technical Update Content
    8.00 - 8.45 Registrations
    8.45 - 10.15 Keynote
    10.15 - 10.30 Morning Tea Morning Tea
    10.30 - 11.15 New Opportunities with the Windows Vista development platform: Part 1
    • How to change the UI and Agility rules for you advantage against your competitors
    • Gaining visibility through search
    • Maintaining Stickiness and contact through Gadgets and RSS
    11.15 - 11.20 Break Break
    11.20 - 12.00 New Opportunities with the Windows Vista development platform Part 2
    • Tapping into a new mobile audience
    • Security Enhancements
    • High Performance Computing
    • Virtualization Strategies
    12.00 - 12.30 Lunch Lunch
    12.30 - 2.00 What’s new in the Microsoft 2007 Office System and Unified Communications Platform
    • VSTO – Visual Studio Tools for Office makes it a breeze to integrate with Office
    • New Office Document Formats for simplified document centric solutions
    • Sharepoint Collaboration and Workflow
    • Office Forms Server to alleviate the pain of building and maintaining business forms
    • Unified Communications. Integrate your solutions with mail, voice, IM, video and conferencing
    2.00 - 3.00 Building Dynamics Powered Solutions
    • Leveraging existing .NET components in Dynamics
    • Exposing business functionality from Dynamics
    • Integrating Office with Dynamics
    • Integrating custom solutions with Dynamics
    • Architecture Discussion
    3.30 - 4.00 Break Break
    4.00 - 5.30 MBS Opportunity (for targeted ISV)
    • Market analysis
      • Entities
      • Fact and figures
    • Value proposition and differentiators
    • What’s in it for you (business case)?
    • Calls to Action
    5.30 - 6.30 Drinks Drinks

     See you there!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    TechEd 2007 Thinking Part 2 - Personas


    As part of my remit of making TechEd 2007 on the Gold Coast a wildly successful experience for all attendees, I'm putting together a series of personas so we can look at whether a particular activity or feature makes sense. The idea is that you can ask the question "would Dave like/benefit from this", where "Dave" represents one of the people coming to TechEd. Having these common points of reference means that the team can concentrate on the event, rather than arguing about the semantics.

    My expectation is that we'll end up having half a dozen or so personas that we use, but I'm just going to start with two.


    Dave is a software developer who mainly uses Microsoft tools and technologies. He works at a medium-sized company in a team of around 10. Dave has around 6 years in development, the last 3 in .NET 1.x and is just dipping his toes into the 2.0/3.0 wave. Of course, being in a small team means that Dave has to know about a lot of other things too. He is pretty familiar with SQL Server data structures (although his eyes start to glaze over a bit when the DBA talks about index tuning) and has a passing knowledge of BizTalk. Dave doesn't attend a User Group, and has very little interaction with other developers online (or anywhere else outside his company). Dave's looking to get as much new information as possible from TechEd and has questions about both old and new technology. This is Dave's first TechEd, so he doesn't really know what to expect.


    Ulrich is an über-geek. He is probably an MVP, a TechEd speaker and is certainly an expert in his field. Ulrich doesn't generally go to TechEd sessions (unless he's presenting), preferring instead to hang around on the Expo floor (where's there's power and connectivity) chatting to others. Ulrich gets most of his information online, with blogs and podcasts featuring prominently. He has a blog that many of the delegates already read. Ulrich's at TechEd to make connections, to network and, perhaps, to get some business. Ulrich's been to 4 or more TechEds in Australia, and several more overseas.


    do you identify with Dave or Ulrich (remember, this is only the first two of the six or more personas we will have)?

    Have I missed any important characteristics?

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    New VSTS/TFS User Group in Canberra


    I got this note from Nils today. See you there!Click here for live map!

    I’d like to make you aware of the new Visual Studio Team System user group!

    The purpose of the VSTS User Group is to form a community of practice for Canberra-based IT professionals interested in the use of Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) to support the Software Development Lifecycle. The group meetings will not be used to deliver marketing or sales content, but instead will focus on knowledge sharing on effective use of VSTS (tips, tricks, traps).

    The inaugural meeting is on Wednesday 24th January at 8:00am to 9:30am


    Microsoft Canberra

    Level 2, 44 Sydney Ave


    The topics for the first meeting are

    · Migrating from VSS to TFS (Andrew Lynes based on experiences at DEWR)

    · Source Code Control – Approaches to branching, shelving etc (Sean Ferguson and AFP experiences)

    Registration is essential! Please email

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    The pyramid expands


    Darren's been tagged and, in turn, has passed it on to me. When I was chatting a couple of weeks ago with my new colleague Michael Kordahi, he said that he had a completely different impression of me reading my blog from what he got by talking to me, so here are 5 things you may not know about me.

    1. My degrees are in Civil Engineering, and I fell into the computer business almost by mistake.
    2. My native language is Visual FoxPro (in fact, originally, FoxBase 1.0)
    3. I've been playing hockey, on and off, since I was 4. Most recently (for the last 15 years or so) with the UNSW Hockey Club.
    4. I spent 10 years in the Army Reserve, starting as an Officer Cadet in the Uni of NSW Regiment and ending up as the Squadron Recon Officer in a Field Engineer Squadron. Along the way I got to play with some really big toys, build some fun things and blow stuff up.
    5. I play the trombone (pretty badly), and enjoy nothing more than playing duets with my son.

    So, time to pass the tag along to Craig Bailey, Tristan Kington, Charles Sterling, David Williams and Matty Hardman

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