An ALM/DevOps consultant’s life – Working for clients big and small, near and far

I am writing this as I sit in a small Inn in North Adelaide and wonder at the wide range of clients I work for. As an IT professional specialising in Microsoft’s Application Lifecycle Management suite I tend to travel a lot and work with clients that range from small teams of 3-5 developers to incredibly large multinational organisations. This is an aspect of my job that I absolutely love.

Working with small teams is very rewarding as you can usually bring about change much more quickly and easily see the results of your work. Working with large organisations is also very rewarding as they face a very different set of challenges and often it’s like trying to change the course of an ocean liner with just a paddle. That’s not a complaint mind you. Large organisations typically require you to develop and hone a different set skills and can be just as rewarding as working with small teams.

So this brings me to my night in an Adelaide Inn. For the next couple of days, I find myself in South Australia, working to educate a small group of testers on how they can test applications using Microsoft Test Manager and TFS 2015. I look out the window of my accommodation and see a small suburban streetscape from my ground floor window. It’s a relaxed and calm view.

I think back to exactly two weeks ago when I was staying on the 52nd floor of a hotel in New York’s Midtown just a block away from Times Square. Looking out that window revealed a very different scene with many iconic high rise buildings and the Freedom Tower in the distance. On that occasion I was teaching a large group made up primarily of project managers, business analysts and testers how to use TFS 2015 to manage a large multi-million dollar project. The client was a large media company familiar to millions of people worldwide.

The travel can be tiring, my body often doesn’t know what time it is, but all things considered, I love my job and look forward to the next set of different and interesting challenges that await me next week.

NYC_Skyline

Application Innovation Day – New Zealand

Application_Innovation_Day

The inaugural Application Innovation Day roadshow is kicking off in Wellington and Auckland in just a couple of weeks.

Register and come along to this free one-day event exploring cross-platform DevOps with Visual Studio. Learn how you can transition your software development approach to deliver higher business value in less time.

See presentations from industry experts from Microsoft, Equinox IT, Wild Strait and Enhance ALM. I’ll be there providing a range of demonstrations on the latest tools and how they can drive success more frequently for your projects.

Wellington

8:30am – 5:00pm

Monday 29 February 2016

Cliftons Wellington

Level 28, The Majestic Centre, 100 Willis Street

Auckland

8:30am – 5:00pm

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Cliftons Auckland

Level 4, 45 Queen Street

I hope to see you there.

Locked file when using MS WebDeploy and Azure Websites

I was demonstrating Release Management vNext today as part of a course I was delivering and I received the following error message which I had not seen before in this scenario.

Web Deploy cannot modify the file ‘Microsoft.CodeAnalysis.CSharp.dll’ on the destination because it is locked by an external process.

Release Error

I am using MS WebDeploy to deploy a sample application to an Azure web site which has been working perfectly well. It turns out the fix for this is pretty easy. I just needed to log onto the Azure Portal and restart the website to remove the lock on the file.

AzureRestart

Team Foundation Server 2015 Management Pack is available

For those organisations currently using Systems Center Operations Manager (SCOM) and managing TFS 2015 infrastructure, the Team Foundation Server 2015 Management Pack is now available for download.

If you’re still using older versions of TFS, there are management packs available for those as well.

If you’re using anything older than that, you seriously need to look at upgrading ASAP. Smile

Speaking at CodeCamp NYC this Saturday–Tickets still available for just $10

This Saturday 10th October I’ll be presenting two talks at CodeCamp NYC. Held in the Microsoft Midtown offices, this is a great event with nearly 70 sessions to choose from during the day. Your $10 ticket gives you this all-day event with refreshments served, including breakfast, lunch, and beverages throughout the day.

These are the two talks I’ll be delivering.

Talk #1 – TFS Build 2015 – What every developer needs to know

Time: 1:00pm-2:15pm   Room: Ambassador

Talk #2 – Enhancing application quality using Visual Studio 2015 Enterprise

Time: 2:30pm-3:45pm   Room: Ambassador

When I’m not presenting you’ll find me at the QuickLearn stand. Stop by if you have any questions about these talks or about ALM/DevOps on the Microsoft platform.

QuickLearn Training are proud to be one of the sponsors of this great event. Make sure you drop our stand by to find out about our latest TFS 2015 training.

As I’m writing this, there are still tickets available if you’re in the New York area and would like to attend.

CodeCampNYC

Visual Studio 2015 – Brisbane launch event 21-Sep-2015

VS2015_BNE_Launch

Join members of the Brisbane .NET users group and the QLD ALM Users Group for this special Visual Studio 2015 launch event.

In this special meetup, sponsored by Microsoft, you’ll see some of the new and improved capabilities of Visual Studio 2015. Learn about changes to the IDE as well and improvements to web and cloud development. You’ll also see what’s new for Windows 10 development before we wrap up the meeting.

Places are limited so please RSVP early so you don’t miss this event!

Speakers:

AnthonyBorton Anthony Borton</p>

Anthony is an ALM consultant/trainer for Enhance ALM. He is a Microsoft Visual Studio ALM MVP and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. Details of his latest course can be found at http://vsdevops.com.au.</td> </tr>

DamianBrady Damian Brady</p>

Damian is a Microsoft MVP in Application Lifecycle Management and a co-author of the “Professional Team Foundation Server 2013” book from Wiley. He is a Solution Architect for Octopus Deploy.</td> </tr>

DavidCook David Cook</p>

David is a Senior Consultant at Readify where he provides technical leadership and agile development mentoring.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

 

Where:

  Microsoft Brisbane Office, Lvl 28, 400 George Street

When:

  Monday, 21st September 2015

Time:

  6:00pm-8:00pm

RSVP:

Meetup.com

Presenting at VSLive Redmond and a special discount for VSLive New York

VSLive

Earlier this week I have the privilege of presenting at the VSLive! conference held on the Microsoft Campus in Redmond. The event was held in the Microsoft Conference Center which is a venue I’ve been in many times over the past few years.

MS Conference Center

This was my first VSLive event and I was very impressed with how well organised the event was. If you’re in the US and considering attending a developer conference, this is certainly a good one to consider. They have 6 events running across the US this year so you can choose to attend the event at a convenient time/location.

I presented the following two talks.

  1. Enhancing Application Quality Using Visual Studio 2015 Premium Features
  2. Not Your Grandfather’s Build – A Look at How Build Has Changed in 2015

A friend in the audience managed to take this photo during one the talks. (Thanks Jim)

PresentingatVSLive

I’m off to present these two talks again at the VSLive event in New York at the end of September. If you’re planning on coming along and haven’t registered yet, make sure to use the discount available using the special offer below.

SPECIAL OFFER: As a speaker, I can extend $400 savings on the 4-day package. Register here: http://bit.ly/NYSPK03Home

TFS 2015 Installation Guide

Microsoft has traditionally published a “TFS Install and Administration Guide” in a convenient CHM form for download. At the time of writing these were available from on the Microsoft website here for 2012 & 2013. Unfortunately there is not an installation guide for 2015 in the list.

If you are looking to install TFS 2015, there is currently only a placeholder page on the MSDN website. You can find it here. Hopefully sometime soon this link will resolve to a nice set of installation steps. I suspect it might appear around the time TFS 2015 moves from Release Candidate 2 (RC2) to final release (RTM).

Once the installation guide for TFS 2015 is published I’ll update this post to point it the download link.

[UPDATE Aug 12th] I have just noticed that the installation instructions are now available on the Microsoft Website here. Still no word on if there will be a CHM version.

Team Project Rename: Local workspace support for Visual Studio 2012, 2013 & 2015

Microsoft has been pretty good in terms of supporting functionality between different versions of Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server. While all the buzz at the moment is focused on the RTM release of Visual Studio 2015 (20th July), there are still many developers working on earlier versions of Visual Studio.

One of the most frequently requested features on the Connect website was to allow people to rename Team Projects in TFS and this was finally made possible in TFS 2015.

As part of the rename process, the steps required for each Visual Studio client are dependant on whether they are using Server workspaces or Local workspaces.

Server Workspaces

Updating of Server Workspaces is supported automatically on all versions of Visual Studio from 2010.

Local Workspaces

Updating of Local Workspaces is supported on the following which may require you to install a more recent update if you’re on Visual Studio 2012 or 2013.

  • Visual Studio 2015 (All versions)
  • Visual Studio 2013 (Rename support from Update 5 RC and later)
  • Visual Studio 2012 (Rename support from Update 5 RC and later)

Once you’ve made sure your clients using local workspaces are up to date you can follow the instructions on the MSDN website.

VIDEO: A DevOps walkthrough using Visual Studio 2015

As part of the ANZ MVPs Tech Channel on Microsoft’s Channel 9 property, I have recorded a short video presentation titled “A DevOps walkthrough using Visual Studio 2015”. I’ve focused on two specific aspects of a good DevOps environment, namely Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery.

The video focuses on the new build system introduced in Visual Studio Online and Team Foundation Server 2015. While the video was recorded using TFS 2015 in an on-premises scenario, most of the steps are directly applicable to Visual Studio Online and Windows Azure.

Here’s a list of the things I covered in the video.

  • Create a new Agent Pool, install Build Agent and configure permissions
  • Create a new build definition and configure it to execute Unit Tests (Continuous Integration)
  • Package our the built website as a Web Deploy Package
  • Create a Machine Group and add a new test web server
  • Use PowerShell DSC to configure a basic web server (IIS, ASP.NET 4.5, Website & WebDeploy)
  • Use WebDeploy to deploy the site package to the newly configured Web Server
  • Auto deploy and configure the new Test Agent on our web server
  • Run Coded UI Tests and report results

Watch the video on Channel 9 by clicking the image below.

A DevOps Walkthrough

If you have any feedback or other topics you’d like to see in a video, please leave you feedback in the comments below.

DevOpsTraining