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November 10, 2014

Microsoft will be holding a two day virtual event, Wednesday November 12th and Thursday November 13th, called Connect(); which covers Visual Studio vNext and Azure.

In the first three hours on Wednesday you’ll hear from these thought leaders:

  • Scott Guthrie will discuss development in the mobile-first, cloud-first era
  • S. “Soma” Somasegar will talk on how Visual Studio addresses a world of multiple devices
  • Scott Hanselman talks about Cloud development with Azure and Visual Studio
  • Brian Harry will talk on evolving software engineering practices

After that there will be interactive Q&A sessions with keynote speakers hosted by Channel 9.

Microsoft is providing over 40 on-demand technical sessions giving you a deeper technical detail in the upcoming product updates.

Check it out and Connect!

ALM Rangers release PowerShell DSC guidance

October 21, 2014

This summer I was the project lead on the Microsoft Visual Studio ALM Rangers Desired State Configuration (DSC) guidance. Our product owner, Keith Bankston, describes PowerShell DSC very well in the forward:

“PowerShell DSC is a set of extensions to the PowerShell language that enable creating PowerShell functions that are repeatable, and by design scripts into are separated into components for repeatable actions, structural configuration, and environmental data. In PowerShell DSC, the separate components are called Resources, Configurations, Configuration Data. This separation of action from structure from data is a new way of scripting, and requires changes in thinking. PowerShell is new to most Developers, and the style of coding is new to experienced PowerShell users.”

Our guidance focuses on getting users familiar with PowerShell DSC:

  • For people new to PowerShell our guidance provides links learn about PowerShell
  • The guidance describes what DSC is and how utilize existing resources in the community to apply DSC concepts
  • In addition to the guidance we produced posters, walkthroughs and code examples

We appreciate your feedback.

Team Foundation Server on Azure IaaS Guidance Released

May 16, 2014

For the last few months I’ve been involved with the Microsoft ALM Rangers on the TFS on IaaS project. The guidance provides details on how to configure and test TFS on Azure Infrastructure.

TFS on IaaS is the ability to get the benefits of TFS without having to have on-premise hardware or virtual machines to manage. You may think this is the same as Visual Studio Online (VSO). A major difference is that

  • you don’t have access to the underlying TFS databases with VSO
  • you can’t use SharePoint with VSO
  • you don’t have Reporting Services reports with VSO

There a cost benefit analysis you should perform to determine is TFS on IaaS is right for you.

Chicago ALM UG: Automating your .NET deployments with Octopus Deploy

May 16, 2014

May’s Chicago ALM User Group meeting is being led by Ian Paullin of Avanade. Ian will be reviewing how automated deployments using Octopus Deploy can benefit your application lifecycle. Octopus works in conjunction with build servers and NuGet to version packages from build output. Once in NuGet, Octopus is used to manage the deployment of your application to dev, test, stage and production servers.

This will be a very beneficial meeting to attend so register early. The presentation is at the Microsoft Office in Downers Grove Illinois (3025 Highland Pkwy, Ste 300) .

6:30pm Dinner
7:00pm Presentation

Software Development Community April meeting: EF6 and MVC5

April 5, 2014
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The April SDC meeting will have Michael Kappel leading a discussion on best practices with MVC 5 with EF 6. Focus will be on fast development of testable code on an agile team. Reserve here so they know how many are coming.

The meeting is being held @ 12:30 in SWC Technology Partners office (1520 Kensington Road, Oak Brook, IL).

ALM Forum wrapup

April 4, 2014

This week I was at the ALM Forum in Seattle. It was the first time in the four years that it wasn’t on Microsoft’s campus. The content covered software delivery, lifecycle delivery, dev ops and testing. The videos from each of the sessions will be available for viewing in a couple of weeks.

The conference speakers focused on experiences they had in the four main topic areas and there was quite a lot to learn from what they had put into practice.

The vendor expo on Tuesday and Wednesday gave attendees a great opportunity to spend time discussing their particular scenarios and solutions they could look to implement.

On Thursday I talked on enterprise use of ALM tools.
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Ken Schwaber and I had a friendly game of rugby with the ball I had won from Scrum.org ;)

Jim & Ken

Check back on the ALM Forum site in the next month or so to see when it will be held next year.

Chicago Code Camp Schedule Posted

April 4, 2014

Check out the schedule of presentations on the Chicago Code Camp site.

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