ALM Track at DevConnections in Las Vegas

April 13, 2010

This week I’m in Las Vegas (on invitation by IDesign) for the launch of Visual Studio at Devconnections. The Launch Day of Visual Studio 2010 was great but on Tuesday and Wednesday there’s also a promising Application Lifecycle Management track I want to follow.

  • Improving Your Software Development Processes with Visual Studio 2010 (Joel Semeniuk)
  • Defining and Managing Software Requirements with Visual Studio Team System (Joel Semeniuk)
  • Implementing Scrum Using Team Foundation Server 2010 (Richard Hundhausen)
  • Agile Database Techniques Using Visual Studio Ultimate 2010 (Richared Hundhausen)
  • Modeling and  Visualization in Visual Studio 2010 (Joel Semeniuk)
  • Team Foundation Server 2010—Migrate or Integrate? (Richard Hundhausen)
  • Lab Manager – The Ultimate “No More No Repro” Tool (Steven Borg)
  • Visual Studio 2010 Quality Tools for Developers (Steven Borg)

I will also be present at the IDesign booth to promote IDesign’s unique Training Classes in Europe. A training class that’s already announced is the Architect’s Master Class with Juval Lowy in Belgium in the week of October 11, 2010.

And this all happens in the Bellagio at Las Vegas! Looking forward to a great week here!

Techdays Belgium 2010 – Session details

April 1, 2010

This year I presented a session at Techdays Belgium on Branching & Merging with Team Foundation Server 2010.

The session slides can be downloaded in the download section of this blog.

Watch recorded video (1 hour and 10 minutes) at Channel 9.

A demo on Branching & Merging with TFS2010 was the major part during the presentation and I did practically cover everything I wanted to share with the audience: Branch metadata, Fine-grained security, Branching Visualization, Tracking individual changesets across branches, forward/reverse integration … except for one little important merge action that I forgot to show!

After the creation of my dev branches (from main) I also renamed the solution in those dev branches with an additional suffix to avoid confusion while loading different solutions into Visual Studio 2010. This was done in changeset 121 and I renamed the solution from WebsiteSparkles to WebsiteSparkles_dev1.


Afterwards I did some code changes in the dev branches and pushed some explicit changesets back (Reverse Integration) to the main branch, using the cherry pick option in the merge wizard to avoid merging also the solution rename.

As a result changeset 121 will always remain a merge candidate in the Source Control Merge Wizard.


In some cases you really want to merge changes back to main on the latest version of the development branch without cherry-picking all required changesets. To be able to do that, you need to get rid of changeset 121 as a merge candidate.

This can only be done through the command-line with the tf merge /discard command.


This discard command will make sure that changeset 121 will not be a merge candidate anymore. Note that you still need to commit this action to the repository after executing the command. The discard command will only update your local workspace but won’t do an automatic check-in.


Next time you will run the merge wizard and look for merge candidates, changeset 121 won’t be listed anymore and you may merge from a latest version of this development branch for upcoming changes.

Providing this discard command from within the source control merge wizard would be a very nice addition!

New Training offering by Sparkles + Speaking at TechDays Belgium 2010

January 19, 2010

With my new company Sparkles I don’t only provide ALM consultancy services, but I also try to setup advanced training courses in Belgium with local and international experts.

An exclusive partnership with IDesign is set up to bring the best training to Belgium. IDesign’s training courses are among the world’s most intensive, most comprehensive .NET training classes given by the IDesign architects who have a world-renowned reputation as industry leaders. The IDesign architects are all frequent speakers at major international software development conferences, where they present their techniques, ideas, tools and breakthroughs.

In the week of March 1, 2010, Brian Noyes (Chief Architect at IDesign) will be in Belgium (Antwerp) for delivering an intensive 5 day training on Architecting WPF Applications.

On May 3-4, 2010, I will also deliver for the first time a detailed training on the new Application Lifecycle Management features of Visual Studio 2010. The Training class is called ALM with Visual Studio 2010.

This year Microsoft Techdays in Belgium are scheduled on March 30-31 + April 1 and I’m confirmed as a speaker. I will deliver a session on Branching and Merging with Team Foundation Server 2010.

In January I’m also starting to setup Team Foundation Server 2010 (Beta 2) at 2 new clients. More and more small development shops also see the benefits of a fully integrated development platform. Those companies that were still in doubt a few years ago are now convinced because of the promising upcoming release of Visual Studio 2010. The ALM train is on the rails! Very busy, but exciting times!

Application Lifecycle Management with VS2010

December 12, 2009

More than a week ago I did my first training (2 days) on Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio 2010. This was the agenda:

  • Introduction to Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio 2010
  • Advanced Version Control with Team Foundation Server 2010
  • Testing in Visual Studio 2010
  • Architecture in Visual Studio 2010
  • Applying Scrum with Team Foundation Server 2010

On December 22 I will deliver the Introduction part for a Queaso Get Together in Gent. Feel free to contact me if you want to schedule a session for your company / user group! Always fun to do!

The Introduction slides are also added to the download section.

I also make use of this post to show you the updated VS2010 Stadium Diagram, the new Big Picture (at this moment still without the Teamprise plugin).

So, no sign anymore of Team System editions, the introduction of the Test Elements SKU with Microsoft Test & Lab Manager (MTLM), some new features for TFS2010 (Requirements Management & Test Case Management) and the addition of Lab Management. Excellent offering!

Teched 2009 Berlin Report I

November 9, 2009

Sunday evening I flew in from Brussels and after my first acquaintance with the public transport in Berlin, I managed to join some other Belgian community people (Gill, Katrien, Hans, Kurt, Bart, Alexandre) for an excellent steak at the Midtown Grill. After dinner we decided to try out some local beers to be sure of a good night’s sleep.

The registration on Monday morning was a bit disappointing. The queues were way too long when I arrived and it took me an hour to get my badge! Still good on time for my first marked session with Brian Harry: A lap around the tester and developer experience with Visual Studio 2010. A lot of attention was of course paid to the new licensing model with Visual Studio 2010 and the more all the stuff sinks in, I’m convinced that it will be a step forward for everyone. At the end of the session we also got to see some ideas which topics will probably be on the planning for the next version Dev11. Requirements management within VS and further evolution of v1 of Test and Lab Manager were high on the list …

After lunch with some ex-colleagues, I witnessed Gill Cleeren winning the first Speaker Idol heat. His ticket for TechEd 2010 is already secured and he may still win his own TechEd 2010 session. Great job Gill!

During the development keynote with Jason Zander I didn’t pick up many new things about the upcoming release of VS2010, but he announced that Microsoft did acquire Teamprise to be able to provide cross-platform support for Team Foundation Server. The Teamprise technology will already become available in the Visual Studio 2010 wave. This should be good news for enterprises with heterogeneous development environments. Read more about the acquisition in the press release and in the blogpost of Brian Harry.

I also got great news from the Belgian Microsoft people (KatrienHans) in Berlin. VISUG and Microsoft Belgium will be organizing another BIG event on December 4 this year. Scott Guthrie will be back in Belgium and we will host a free afternoon session. More detals will soon follow on the VISUG website. We already brainstormed a bit about the possible format for this event! To be continued for sure!

After the Festival of Freedom in Berlin last night and after a short night of sleep, now ready for day 2 of TechEd! You can also follow me on Twitter for quick TechEd updates …

TechEd 2009 in Berlin

October 29, 2009

A few weeks ago I finally decided to sign up for TechEd 2009. This year, with the start of Sparkles I wasn’t planning to attend, but hey: some parties are not to be missed. After all, the VSTS sessions look very promising with top speakers and it’s a week I can spend to focus 100% on the VS2010 Beta 2 release I have installed on my laptop.

My scheduled VSTS agenda for TechEd 2009:

November 9

  • VSTS 2010: A Lap around the Developer and Tester Experience (Brian Harry)

November 10

  • VSTS 2010: A Lap around the New Project Management, Architecture, and Governance Capabilities (Brian Harry)
  • Source Code Management with TFS 2010 (Brian Harry)
  • An Agile Talk on Agility (Peter Provost)
  • Software Testing with VSTS 2010: Part 1, an Introduction (Brian Keller)

November 11

  • Software Testing with VSTS 2010: Part 2, Making It Real (Brian Keller)
  • Tools and Agile Teams (Stephen Forte)
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2010 Team Foundation Server: Become Productive in 30 Minutes (Brian Keller)
  • How Microsoft Does It: Internal Use of TFS and Microsoft VSTS for Software Development (Stephanie Cuthbertson)

November 12

  • Doing It Right: Planning and Tracking Projects with TFS 2010 (Stephanie Cuthbertson)
  • Successfully Administering and Running TFS 2008/2010 (Neno Loje)
  • Architecture Discovery and Validation with VSTS Architecture Tooling (Peter Provost)
  • You Are Still Using Microsoft Visual SourceSafe? (Neno Loje)

November 13

  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team System “Unplugged” (Stephanie Cuthbertson)

Slides of ALM Roadshow

May 12, 2009

As promised to the participants of the ALM Roadshow today in Gent, I’ve uploaded the slides I presented :

Note that these presentations target Visual Studio Team System 2008 (current technology) and not yet the new upcoming release of Visual Studio Team System 2010.

I’ve also uploaded the Product Guide for Visual Studio Team System 2008. This may be interesting for example to know which feature belongs to which client edition of Visual Studio Team System. I always get a lot of questions concerning this topic …

Another general question I got concerning licenses : is it required to have a Client Access License (CAL) to connect to a Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition? Also taken from the product guide :

Workgroup Edition is provided with Visual Studio Team System 2008 Client Products with MSDN Premium Subscriptions. In addition, CALs are not required for accessing Workgroup Edition.

Feel free to contact me would you require further information!

Update [June 18, 2009]
Video screencasts of the sessions have been uploaded on MSDN Chopsticks :