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Ignite 2015 – DevOps Strategy, Visual Studio Online Announcements

ignite mainFor my first session at Microsoft Ignite Conference 2015, I chose DevOps as a Strategy for Business Agility by Brian Harry, Microsoft Technical Fellow and he serves as the Product Unit Manager for Microsoft Team Foundation Server. I must say, it was a great choice.
Brian kicked off this amazing session with only a few, very short slides, explaining the benefits of DevOps and apologizing that the title was not completely accurate. Brian did discuss the strategy and why DevOps is extremely important, however he understood his audience was much more interested in all things Visual Studio Online and Team Foundation Server.
(If you want to know more about DevOps and how it can help transform your business, email me)
As head of the TFS team, Brian is in a unique position to share how he manages his team and runs his development life cycle. First, he went through some brief history of failed, traditional SDLC waterfall methodologies. How it used to take MSFT years to put out new server versions of TFS and new VS releases. (the crowd nodded in agreement)
Next, he described their current agile methodology that utilizes 3 sprints that are 3 weeks long. He walked us through, what looked to be, his live KanBan board. Amazingly, Microsoft has become so agile they actually release production code to TFS Online every 3 weeks. Mind.Blown! Gone are the days of the old Microsoft Dinosaur. (unless you still use TFS on-premises, then you must wait around 18 months for updates)
Brian started the demo with a look at the improved KanBan board. Customizable cards, metadata tags, splitting your phase columns (e.g. you can have ‘doing’ and ‘done’ for ‘in-progress’).
Next, how TFS handles bugs – you can make them a new backlog item, task, do nothing, and there was a 4th option I missed. But better management options for handling bugs.
He was excited to announce that after 10 years you can finally rename a Team Project. (three claps from the crowd)
Visual Studio Online Extensions are new, not fully live yet, big plans down the road for 3rd party tools.
New PowerBI integration to VSO, a dashboard with:

  • Commits per user
  • Commits per week
  • Pull requests per user
  • Pull requests per week
  • Pull request completion rate

All of this was really cool, interactive, customizable features.
InteliTest – highlight a method and generate a unit test against it, then you can save the test to a test project, really awesome real-time characterization testing feature
Next, Brian discussed Developer Debt (or Technical Debt). The idea here is that developers who duplicate code, don’t use comments, or other bad programming techniques generate ‘debt’ that must be paid sometime, by someone. Everyone says ‘I’ll clean that up later’, but they never do.
Microsoft has partnered with Sonar Cube to develop a management dashboard for your development debt. It will show where you have duplicate code, complexity metrics, runs analysis on specific .NET rules (developed by MSFT for Sonar), and allows you to view build/build debt accumulation. Really good stuff!
Brian continued to rapidly go through new features and functionality, it was hard to keep up in my notes. While looking up some of that cool stuff, I stumbled upon Brian’s blog and found he had already written it. So I will save myself some time and just give you the link here.
Great session from Brian! I’m excited to see some of these new features in use on upcoming projects. Stay tuned to this blog for more daily updates from Ignite 2015.

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