Top Rated Pre-con on TFS at TechEd Europe 2013

Congratulations to Anthony Borton, QuickLearn’s TFS course developer and lead TFS trainer! Anthony recently received an email from Microsoft confirming he delivered the highest rated developer pre-conference seminar at TechEd Europe this year. His seminar was titled Kickstart Your Application Lifecycle Management Using Team Foundation Server 2012 and was focused on helping attendees get a better understanding of how TFS 2012 can offer benefits across the entire application lifecycle.

In addition to this, he also had the highest rated developer-focused Instructor Led Lab (ILL) for the conference. His ILL, titled Get Started with Team Foundation Service gave attendees hands-on skills to get started with Microsoft’s Team Foundation Service.

If you would like to learn more about Microsoft’s ALM suite including TFS, join Anthony for a range of TFS 2012 courses during August. All our TFS 2012 courses have the most up to date content including content for TFS 2012 Update 2. Find out more at http://www.quicklearn.com/tfs-training.aspx

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Announcing new free webinars for Microsoft ALM Certification

MSDN-ALMMicrosoft Learning used the ALM Summit 3 this week to announce the new “Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD): Application Lifecycle Management” certification. The new certification required you to pass the following three exams.

  1. 70-486: Administering Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012
  2. 70-497: Software Testing with Visual Studio 2012
  3. 70-498: Delivering Continuous Value with Visual Studio 2012 Application Lifecycle Management

QuickLearn’s two TFS instructors have both already obtained this certification and have prepared comprehensive exam preparation sessions to help candidates focus their study and pass these exams.

The exam preparation sessions are available as FREE, ONLINE WEBINARS that anyone can register to attend. Over the coming month we’ll also release online video preparation sessions.

Attending these webinars will help you in the following ways.

  • Understand the goals and objectives covered in each exam.
  • Get links to study material on the Microsoft MSDN website.
  • Go through some samples questions.
  • See product demonstrations for topics listed in the exam preparation guide.
  • Learn techniques to help you when you’re doing the actual exams.

To sign up for any of the free webinars, simply click the following link, choose the webinar you wish to attend and register.

SESSION DATES/TIME and REGISTRATION LINK

NOTE: We do not tell you the questions or the answers. We provide sample questions that we have written ourselves. We respect the NDA we signed prior to taking these exams. We do not encourage the use of brain dumps. Brain dumps devalue the certification and reduce value for everyone.

QuickLearn Training at the ALM Summit 3 event

This week QuickLearn was involved at the third annual Application Lifecycle Management Summit held on the Microsoft Corporate headquarters in Redmond.

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Nick and I were both involved in delivering content and sharing our TFS knowledge and skills with attendees. Here are the two activities we presented.

Pre-conference workshop

I delivered a sold-out pre-conference workshop entitled “Managing your application lifecycle with TFS”. The workshop provided attendees with a rapid overview of many of the features of Microsoft’s ALM suite. Based on the number of questions from attendees, there was a lot of interest in the new features in TFS 2012.

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Exam Cram Session

Microsoft took the opportunity to announce the brand new MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management certification at the conference. Nick and I paired up to deliver a 90 minute exam prep session to help attendees learn the best way to prepare for the three exams required for the new certification. Fortunately, both Nick and I both already have the certification so this made things a little easier.

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Feedback from both activities was overwhelmingly positive and with our commitments done, we’re both just enjoying attending sessions at the conference for the rest of the week.

ALM MVP for a 7th year

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?

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.

Brand new TFS 2012 Training for the Release of Visual Studio 2012

Microsoft will release to manufacture (RTM) Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012 in the first week of August with the official release planned for September. With the majority of users eligible for a “free” upgrade to the latest version through their MSDN Subscriptions, expect to see many organizations upgrading over the coming six months!

Why not hit the ground running by having your staff up skilled on the many great new features Microsoft have included in this release. Here’s just a sample of some of the new features we cover in our TFS 2012 courses:

  • A completely new web interface to help you interact with TFS
  • New Agile Planning tools to help you create and manage your product backlog
  • A task board to help you see the state of work in progress
  • A new feedback client to help ensure continuous feedback from your stakeholders
  • New exploratory testing features to help your testers create tests from exploratory testing sessions
  • Storyboarding support to allow you to create professional interactive storyboards to show your stakeholders
  • Support for teams within a Team Project with independent backlogs, dashboards and task boards.
  • Support for testing new Windows 8-style applications
  • Much, much more.

Our new range of 6 courses for Visual Studio 2012 TFS can provide your team with all the skills and knowledge necessary to make the maximum advantage from the new features in the 2012 release. Here is our line-up of new courses for TFS 2012:

  1. TFS 2012 Configuration and Administration
  2. Software Testing with Visual Studio 2012
  3. Test Automation, Web Performance, and Load Testing with VS 2012
  4. Managing Projects with TFS 2012
  5. ALM Solutions using TFS 2012
  6. TFS 2012 Developer Fundamentals

Implementing TFS 2010 Team Solutions

On December 12th, QuickLearn is running a 5-day Visual Studio TFS 2010 course to quickly get development teams up and running.

This class is designed for individuals or complete development teams who need to learn how to use Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate and TFS 2010 for agile software development. This course is broken up into five units: project management, agile team development, test management strategies, and TFS systems administration.

Visit our website for more details and to register.

At course completion, students will be able to:

  • Install & configure TFS 2010 and its prerequisite components
  • Create, configure and manage Team Projects
  • Create and customise Work Item Queries to find and organise work
  • Use the version control system effectively including branching
  • Install and configure a build environment including build controllers and agents
  • Create and manage test plans, test suites and test configurations
  • Create and maintain coded UI tests
  • View the built-in reports available in TFS 2010

The class is taught by ALM MVP Anthony Borton in Redmond, WA and is available remotely from your home or office. Anthony Borton is a Microsoft Visual Studio ALM MVP and is QuickLearn’s Visual Studio ALM technologist and trainer. Has has been an MCP and MCT for more than 15 years and has completed over 50 exams including MS exam 001. He is a Professional Scrum Developer Trainer and has been a Certified ScrumMaster for a number of years.

Quotes from recent Visual Studio TFS students:

“My entire training experience was wonderful and unforgettable. Thank you QuickLearn!!” – Alan H.

“Of all the in-house courses and instructors we have had, Mr. Anthony Borton is the best instructor we have had. He was very knowledgeable on the subject matter.” – David B.

“It was a great class with a large amount of information that was covered in a very effectively manner. It surpassed my expectations!” – Christopher M.

Visit our website for more details and to register.

Managing your application lifecycle with TFS – Workshop

QuickLearn’s MVP Anthony Borton is scheduled to teach the pre-conference hands-on workshop Managing your Application Lifecycle with TFS at next week’s ALM Summit.

Audience

This pre-conference workshop has been developed as a level 200 event to help get conference attendees up to speed with TFS and maximize their understanding of the product and its features prior to the ALM Summit kicking off.

Course Abstract

Many organizations use only part of what Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) has to offer and as a result are not realizing the full range of benefits available to them. This workshop will give you a hands-on walk through of the many ways TFS can help your team realise more frequent successes with software development projects.
The workshop will start by evaluating and selecting a suitable process template for the project. We’ll work through an end to end project and examine the many capabilities of TFS that can help you start your project off on the right track and keep it there. Some of the key topics we’ll look at include:

  • Ensuring effective team communication
  • Configuring version control and enabling release management through branching
  • Maintaining quality across all parts of the project
  • Creating automated builds and seeing how we can customize the build process
  • Leveraging the out of the box reports and creating ad-hoc reports

About Anthony Borton

Anthony has designed and developer all of QuickLearn’s ALM curriculum. Anthony is a Microsoft Visual Studio ALM MVP with over 20 years’ experience in the software development and training industries. Anthony is a sought after trainer and has delivered technical training and consulting in the United States and all across the Asia Pacific region. He is a Microsoft MVP (Visual Studio ALM), a Professional Scrum Developer Trainer and a Microsoft Certified Trainer.

View all of Anthony’s upcoming training courses at QuickLearn: http://www.quicklearn.com/tfs-training.aspx