The Ramblings of Two Microsoft .NET Developers, TFS, and Visual Studio ALM Guys --- "Yes, we are both named Ed."

Going Down Under – New Opportunity with Readify



Dear Reader,

I have decided to accept a Senior ALM Consultant position with the premier Australian consulting company, Readify.Australia Flag

It’s always a tough decision to move on from a company you’ve really enjoyed being at.  I’ve really enjoyed the work that I have had the opportunity to do at Infragistics.  There are so many really great people at Infragistics that I truly will miss working with and hope to see in the future.  Some of my really good personal friends have been fellow colleagues at Infragistics which just shows you the type of culture that we have.  I’ve had an amazing team that I’ve worked with as the Release Engineering Manager and they have been truly able to make a positive change for the organization.  They’ve always been there to help make miracles and put in those really really long hours at release crunch time.  So really, I need to tip my hat to each of them for just being awesome:  Brian, Geoff, Kareen, and Jason.

 

I’m really excited about this new opportunity.  I never would have thought in my wildest dreams that I’d be living abroad but the idea grew more and more on me as this opportunity came up.  I hear Australia is a beautiful country with an amazing culture.  I’m not currently planning for this to be a permanent move whatsoever but everyone I talk to about it says that I’m not going to want to come back! :) 

I’ve heard about Readify for several years now as a Visual Studio Team System professional any time I hear about Australia & TFS/VSTS/ALM.  I’m really looking forward being able to visit multiple customer sites again and coming up with solutions to their ALM problems.  It’s been a while since I’ve been an ALM consultant so I’m looking forward to the variety.  Even more, as an MVP I’m looking forward to a whole new set of venues to get involved with the community on a new continent.  I think I’m going to have a busy schedule!

There are tons of different things for me to solve as an American citizen living abroad.  It’s interesting that Grant Holliday just made the opposite move almost a year ago and I plan on doing the same thing as he has and try to write about the differences between the two countries.  Hopefully you’ll find it as interesting as I did with Grant’s story.

I’m planning a really simple move:  packing up a few suitcases of clothes and jumping on a plane.  Hoping that works out well for me! :)

 

I have decided to continue working with Infragistics until the beginning of August to wrap things up and hopefully train my replacement.  I guess the cat is out of the bag with the official job opening announcement on our website listed under Research & Development.  That position is listed to be the back-fill headcount for my current position.  Finally – I’d like to ask you to help us out:  If you’ve heard about our TFS instance and VSTS implementation from some of my user group talks or the Radio TFS episode and are interested (or know someone awesome who might be) in continuing this exciting work, please let me know!  You can send me a quick note to ed at infragistics dot com or use any of the contact links from my blog website.

 

Take care!

Ed Blankenship



Radio TFS Interview – Using TFS at Infragistics with Ed Blankenship



I’m up really early this morning.  I’m about to head to the airport to spend my Independence Day weekend in the Carolinas for some much needed beach vacation and visit with friends.  Thankfully, I didn’t miss Martin Woodward letting me know that the latest Radio TFS episode was made available just a few moments ago that includes my interview about our use of TFS and Visual Studio Team System at Infragistics.  It’s a longer episode than normal so it’s perfect if you’re going to be spending some time at the beach like me and listen to a fun talk.  We both really enjoyed chatting for this episode so we hope you enjoy it as well!

Using TFS with Ed Blankenship

In this episode we sit down and chat with Ed Blankenship about the use of Team Foundation Server at Infragistics. Ed has had some interesting challenges and experiences in running their TFS instance.  Additionally they have done some fairly advanced integration work which we discuss in detail.  This is a double-length show, so hopefully plenty of stuff to enjoy if you are sunning yourself on a beach somewhere.

Ed is the Release Engineering Manager at Infragistics, makers of the world's leading presentation layer tools and components.  He is also a Microsoft MVP in Visual Studio Team System.

     Play Now: Using TFS with Ed Blankenship

As the Release Engineering Manager, he leads the Release Engineering Department which is responsible for automated builds, creating product installers, packaging source code for customers, source configuration management/version control, metrics, release management, work item tracking, licensing enforcement, and development of internal productivity tools.  The department also is responsible for TFS Operations & Maintenance.

Ed has been a technical editor for the Wrox Silverlight 1.0, Silverlight 2 Developer's Guide, and Silverlight 2 Bible books, author of numerous articles, and has spoken at various user groups, events, and conferences.

Links from the show:

As usual send any feedback to radiotfs@gmail.com.

 

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions based on the Radio TFS chat.  I’m more than happy to get them answered for you!

 

Take care,

Ed B.



First TFS iPhone App - TFSToGo



This has been out for a little while but wanted to make sure that you knew about it as well!

Our Director of Product Development here at Infragistics, Joe Croney, has been working on a personal side project of creating an iPhone app that will connect to Team Foundation Server.  He’s got a BETA posted in the Apple iTunes store now.  At the moment it only supports checking on Builds but I know he’s starting a backlog.

More screenshots and an FAQ are available at the website:  http://www.tfstogo.com/

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Joe is looking for some feedback and any bugs so if you find some feel free to report them at support@tfstogo.com.  Congrats Joe!

FYI:  We’ve found that if you connect over VPN in the iPhone that sometimes a local DNS name isn’t resolved correctly.  You can correct this by putting in the hard-coded IP address of the TFS server instead.

 

Have fun and enjoy!

Ed B.

Posted in Infragistics | TFS | Tools | VSTS


Team Build at Tulsa TechFest 2008



TulsaTechFest 2008

I’ve been in the middle of a lot lately and completely forgot to mention Tulsa TechFest 2008!  This will be my third year speaking and interestingly I have the only Team System talk this year.  If you’re around the area be sure to come by to learn more about automating your build & packaging process using Team System.  I’m going to do my Team Build talk that I did earlier this year at the Dallas VSTS User Group but we won’t go into as much depth since we only have 1.5 hours.  Looks like another great year with almost.  Infragistics has been a proud & regular sponsor of this event and I’m honored to have been invited again!

[Update]

Wanted to be sure I posted my slides and then also made the link to the awesome build lifecycle poster done by our friends in South Africa.  Thanks for keeping me honest!

 

Ed B.



Openings in Release Engineering Department at Infragistics



Our team has been kept extremely busy lately with our new responsibilities.  What does the Release Engineering team do exactly?  Along with creating builds and installers for ALL of our products, we now have responsibility of Team Foundation Server Operations, and the entire development lifecycle of internal productivity tools that we call the "Internal Tools Suite."  So to sum it up, if it has to do with automation or the release process, it's us :)  We need some help (so I can get around to doing some blog posts again haha.)

 

Here's the positions we have open for the department:

 

Come join our team! It's been extremely exciting lately with what we're doing internally at Infragistics.  Contact me if you're interested:  ed AT infragistics DOT com

 

Ed B.

Posted in Infragistics | TFS | VSTS


New Position



Ever since I started at Infragistics, I had been working in the User Experience Group (under the Evangelism umbrella) primarily with WPF & WinForms.  As some of you know, I wasn't too fond with WPF at the beginning :) but now I love it.  [Shameless Plug:  Have you checked out Tangerine?  See my blog post about it.]

I have taken a new position now as what is usually referred to as the Configuration Manager (HR Title:  Configuration and Process Improvement Engineer.)

As some of you know, I have been working with Team Foundation Server since pre-beginning (is that a word?) like during the Betas.  [Strolls down memory lane... Anyone remember the Beta 2 to Beta 3 upgrade? whew... Ed K. remembers that day with the 3-hour phone call from the TFS Product Team.  Those were the days. I got a cool TFS All Stars shirt from it though!]  I digress.  Infragistics has decided to adopt TFS and planning to migrate pretty much all of our separate systems to it.  So, that's what I'm doing now in the Engineering department!  Although I'll be missing doing WPF and Evangelism work, I'm pretty excited about getting to do TFS stuff full-time.

If you were at Grant and I's talk at Boston ReMix or my talk at Tulsa Tech Fest, you got the preview of a community WPF application that we're working on to gather data from TFS and replace our Release Status Wall.  It's basically an application to visualize your release process.  As soon as we get something ready to preview, I'll definitely post up on here.  So I get to put my love of both WPF and TFS together!  Grant's a God-send when it comes to making applications look great. I'm really blessed to be working for a company that has a dedicated Visual Design team... We have 5 dedicated Visual Designers now... wow.

Another one of my goals with our new system of tracking development data is to provide more transparency to our customers in regard to feature tracking, bugs, etc.  I think it's important (as a previous customer) to be able to have that kind of transparency.  I'm thinking something along the line of Microsoft's Connect website.

So I look forward to being able to talk more about TFS and coming out with some exciting tools and information.  Don't worry, I still do WPF development too so you'll still see me from time to time blogging about it and speaking.  I just finished up a WPF magazine article yesterday even :)

 

BTW... I'll be in DevConnections next week in Las Vegas doing some WPF Evangelism stuff so be sure to hit me up if you'll be in town!

 

Ed B.



Want to be a Guidisan?



What the heck is a Guidisan?  Here at Infragistics, we don't like HR titles...  In our group we have people that are Codemunicators, Webinaries, and of course Guidisans.  My role in the UXG is as a Guidisan which is essentially a blend between "guidance" and "artisan."  It sums it right up.  We just happen to be hiring another Guidisan so check out the unofficial posting and then the official post (under Research & Development) and let me know if you're interested!  We've got several other openings at the moment so if you happen to see something you're interested in as well, feel free to let me know.

What do guidisans do? 

  • Help gather, specify, and document application vision, scope, and requirements.
  • Take application requirements and create an application design that meets the requirements and follows best known practices for both Microsoft .NET and Infragistics products.
  • Implement applications following requirements, best practices, and design specifications.
  • Create supplemental content such as articles, white papers, screencasts, podcasts, etc. that help elucidate example code and applications.
  • Research emerging technologies and create prototypes based on emerging technologies.
  • Contribute to joint design sessions as well as coding and design discussions.

What do I need to qualify?

  • Bachelor’s Degree.
  • 4+ years of full-time, professional experience designing and developing business applications.
  • 2+ years designing and developing.NET applications (UI development in particular).
  • Be able to create vision, scope, and requirements documents based on usage scenarios.
  • Demonstrated experience with object-oriented design; familiarity with behavior-driven design, domain-driven design, and test-driven development a plus.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of best practices for .NET application development.
  • Accept and provide constructive criticism in group situations.
  • Follow design and coding guidelines.
  • Clearly communicate technical concepts in writing and speaking.

Ed B.