ALM MVP for a 7th year

By Anthony Borton

MVP_Horizontal_FullColorJanuary 1st is one of 4 dates during the year when Microsoft announce their new and renewed Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs). As someone that was awarded on January 1st, it means the year starts off with a regular scan of my emails to see if my community contributions have been sufficient to be re-awarded.

Sitting proudly in my Inbox was the much anticipated email confirming that I have once again reached the bar to be an ALM MVP for another year.

In addition to my community contributions, I’ve been very busy with our TFS training curriculum. We start 2013 with 6 TFS 2012 courses, the most comprehensive curriculum for TFS 2012 in the world today. Over the next 3 months we’re also releasing two new courses to bring the total up to 8 courses.

Stay tuned for news on the following two courses.

  • Mastering Builds with TFS 2012
  • Applied Scrum with TFS 2012

RTM download day–Should we wait or adopt now?

By Anthony Borton

Today marks a big day for many people in the IT community with the much anticipated availability of the latest versions of a number of Microsoft’s flagship products. While official launch events will be happening over the coming months, anyone with an MSDN Subscription should be able to download the following from around 10:00am PST today.

  • Visual Studio 2012
  • Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012
  • .NET Framework 4.5
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2012 [UPDATE – Server is due for release on 4th September]

Personally I have been running pre-release versions of Visual Studio, Team Foundation Server and Windows 8 for a number of months and I’ve got to say I have been very impressed by how stable and complete these offerings have been.

For many organizations, there’s often a long held understanding that we don’t install new versions as soon as they come out. Some organizations even go as far as having a policy that they won’t consider a new release until the first service pack. While I understand where many of these policies have come from over the years, I really suggest organizations re-evaluate this.

The following graphic summarizes what I think is at the heart of a company’s decision. Do the benefits offered out way the costs and the risks with the new release? I’m not being naïve here and I understand there are a huge number of things to consider in making this decision. I’m just focusing on one small aspect of the decision making process and in doing so, hoping to at least have people re-evaluate any long held decisions that simply say “hold off for a while”.

Should I adopt TFS now

Microsoft, like almost every software vendor, has had some not-so-great releases of software over the years. This has been something that has led to this culture of waiting for a while after a new release. This attitude fails to acknowledge a number of things that have changed over the years including:

  • the much improved internal processes Microsoft teams use for developing software
  • the changes to methodologies and frameworks used by Microsoft product teams that foster a high quality focus throughout the entire development cycle
  • the fact that cadence of business is increasing rapidly and we need to adopt almost anything that can help us reduce cycle time to keep us competitive
  • the fact that Microsoft dog-food their releases internally much more than ever before

There are many more factors I could include in this list but in the interest of keeping this article to a more convenient size for reading, let’s leave it at that for now.

A call to action

The next round of products is due to become generally available to MSDN Subscribers around 10:00am PST today. Download and have a serious look at the great benefits offered by these new releases. Take a copy of the source from one of the projects you are working on and try opening it in Visual Studio 2012 and take it for a spin.

Over the coming weeks the internet will be flooded with blog posts, tweets, videos and more detailing the various new features. Take a minute to read these and see how others are benefiting from what’s in these new releases. Naturally you’ll also want to keep an eye out for any issues or problems people are having to see if they might impact you. I don’t expect we won’t see too many of these.

Should you adopt Team Foundation Server 2012, don’t forget we have a great range of TFS 2012 courses you might wish to consider.