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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 #

I’ve been meaning to blog for the last couple of year but it’s been really hard with work.  I’m challenging myself to write more this year and also do some vlogs I’d like to record some 5-10 min videos explaining how to do something.  I feel we live a world right now where 1h webcast are just too long, I usually tune out after 5-10m.  So I’ll try to solving little thing with examples in that timeframe to help you guys fix/enable some functionality in TFS.

I’m very happy to be renewed for the 10th year, this award has defined me personally and professionally and I’m grateful to Microsoft for making this happen.  I’ve meet great people, most of them friends now throughout the years and that has really helped me in my career and in life.

Too many people to thank. Community work is hard, it’s usually over and above your day job but it can be very rewarding.  The gratitude you get from the people you help can’t be measured and in fact shouldn’t if I was going this for the awards I wouldn’t do it.  I do it because there are so much stuff to do that sharing just makes senses, it gives me more time to learn more stuff.  Being a gatekeeper is the worst think you can be and can do professionally, you’re locking yourself in a job and basically stopping you chance of growth. 

Share you’ll feel good about it.

Anyway got to go, many thanks to Microsoft and my fellow MVPs looking forward to seeing you in Seattle at the Summit.



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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 #

I’ve recently encountered a problem where my deployment agents where gobbling up a ton of space on the C drive of my deployed machine, after investigation, when you start a deployment, the agent copies the package content over to the machine it’s deploying on in the temp folder essentially at c:\users\<USER>\appdata\local\temp\releasemanagement\… which essentially was filling up my C drive.  Now like all good IT organization, SysAdmin create very small C drive (usually for the OS) so if something goes out of control the C drive blows up and that has a domino effect on the rest of the system.


Here is what you can do to fix this. 

Login as the service account that runs the Deployment Agent.

Open the System control panel


Select Advanced system setting


Then select Environment variables


and change the TEMP and TMP variable to point to a drive where you have space


After that restart the Microsoft Deployment Agent service and you should be good to go.




Friday, November 16, 2012 #

I’d like to thank Packt for providing me with a review version of Visual Studio 2010 Best Practices eBook.

In fairness I also know the author Peter having seen him speak at DevTeach on many occasions.  I started by looking at the table of content to see what this book was about, knowing that “best practices” is a real misnomer I wanted to see what they were.  I really like the fact that he starts the book by really saying they are not really best practices but actually recommend practices. 

As a Team Foundation Server user I found that chapter 2 was more for the open source crowd and I really skimmed it.  The portion on Branching was well documented, although I’m not a fan of the testing branch myself, but the rest was right on. The section on merge remote changes (bring the outside to you) paradigm is really important and was touched on.

Chapter 3 has good solid practices on low level constructs like generics and exceptions.

Chapter 4 dives into architectural practices like decoupling, distributed architecture and data based architecture.  DTOs and ORMs are touched on briefly as is NoSQL.

Chapter 5 is about deployment and is really a great primer on all the “packaging” technologies like Visual Studio Setup and Deployment (depreciated in 2012), Click Once and WIX the major player outside of commercial solutions.  This is a nice section on how to move from VSSD to WIX this is going to be important in the coming years due to the fact that VS 2012 doesn’t support VSSD.

In chapter 6 we dive into automated testing practices, including test coverage, mocking, TDD, SpecDD and Continuous Testing.  Peter covers all those concepts really nicely albeit succinctly. Being a book on recommended practices I find this is really good.

I really enjoyed chapter 7 that gave me a lot of great tips to enhance my Visual Studio “experience”.  Tips on organizing projects where good.  Also even though I knew about configurations I like that he put that in there so you can move all your settings to another machine, a lot of people don’t know about that. Quick find and Resharper are also briefly covered.  He touches on macros (depreciated in 2012).  Finally he touches on Continuous Integration a very important concept in today’s ALM landscape.

Chapter 8 is all about Parallelization, threads, Async, division of labor, reactive extensions.  All those concepts are touched on and again generalized approaches to those modern problems are giving.     

Chapter 9 goes into distributed apps, the most used and accepted practice in the industry for .NET projects the chapter tackles concepts like Scalability, Messaging and Cloud (the flavor of the month of distributed apps, although I think this will stick ;-)).  He also looks a protocols TCP/UDP and how to debug distributed apps.  He touches on logging and health monitoring.

Chapter 10 tackles recommended practices for web services starting with implementing WCF services, which goes into all sort of goodness like how to host in IIS or self-host.  How to manual test WCF services, also a section on authentication and authorization.  ASP.NET Web services are also touched on in that chapter

All in all a good read, nice tips and accepted practices.  I like the conciseness of the subjects and Peter touches on a lot of things in this book and uses a lot of the current technologies flavors to explain the concepts.

UPDATE: Dylan has a good comment ;-).

Here is the link: (amazon) (packtbub)



Thursday, September 15, 2011 #

This week I’m at the Microsoft Build/Windows conference.  Now I’ve been to many conferences throughout the years and this is the first conference where I literally knew nothing about including the agenda.  When I signed up for my badge on arrival we got a conference guide with all the hours of the session but no sessions.  Very secret, very cloak and dagger.  This created a huge buzz but also upped the expectation quite a bit…

So with the tabled laid out and the expectation high I sat down and waited for the first keynote to start, the atmosphere was really good and the crowd was exited and waiting for it to start…  Now in the last two days I’ve had a lot of conversation with colleagues and Microsoft employees and I’m still making up my mind on the what was said in those two days… and well I was very impressed about the new look and feel of windows, I know my wife, kids and parents will really like it.  I think the Metro apps will really serve well for the slate devices. 

I’m old… that’s a comment I got from one of my Microsoft fried when I was explaining a scenario I was trying to accomplish on the slate we were given, I installed Office and was only trying to start Word, I had to find the icon (bad in Metro world) and click on it, then it “flipped” to desktop mode and started Word.  Now his first reaction was “You won’t do that from a slate device!”.  According to him the digital generation only want live information tiles and beautiful design, ok I buy that.  I’m still a very digital person (ask my wife Winking smile) and I think there will be merit to this application model.  But I also live in a corporate world… and well the corporate world is hum… very conservative, I was thinking ultra but went down a notch to very.  Another of my fried is convinced that when enough people with slate request access to corporate assets that the IT folks will bend and let them see the info and we’ll need to write apps for them to consume it.  He might be right, time will tell…

Microsoft unveil YART (Yet Another RunTime) called WinRT.  Now from the keynotes, it was YART, but then it wasn’t, it was .NET with new hooks in Windows Core, then it was in it’s own sandbox with no access to anything outside, then we could access stuff outside the sandbox but it required PINVOKE calls, then we couldn’t… This is how it went in the last two days.  Let’s say I’m still not sure what it is.  It looks like it will replicate .NET BCL stuff, but it’s not the BCL, so we’ll now have another set of APIs to learn… Ok.

I’ve been seeing this as another presentation layer for specialized for windows 8 with better performance and deep roots into the core windows OS.  So we’ll now have HTML, XAML, Silverlight and WPF (almost feels like legacy now), and Metro.

As an architect, I’m happy with this, it will be another possibility when I design application, as a developer, I’m not sure how I feel… I’ve invested 10 years of my career with .NET and I know I’ll be able to reuse most of that (that is the best news) but I will also need to dig into another API and set of options when building application. Ok.

In a few years everything will be touch… hum… I love my WP7, I love the touch interface on it, it make sense, it’s natural at the tip of my fingers.  Slates, there will be more and more.  It’s an information consumer, it’s not a information creator.  So Metro apps well natural on those.  On a Laptop… I don’t “feel” it.  But there is a desktop mode (which makes me old…) so I’m good.

Rolling out a new OS is complicated and costly… word on street is that a lot of enterprise will skip Windows 8 completely because they are currently rolling out Windows 7 and won’t do another one so close after.  I think they will be a massive consumer push for Windows 8, I think my wife, kids and parents will be happy with it.  I’m also sure a lot of enterprise will migrate to it.  but we’ll see Windows 7 for a long time… Windows XP finally dipped below the 50% mark a couple of weeks ago, 10 years after it released… I think we’ll see corporate computer images with Windows 7 for another 10 years.  So .NET is still very relevant and will continue to be a development platform of choice for years to come.

Azure is a big elephant in the room, it’s there, everyone knows it’s there, but we then to look if we can move around it without stepping on it’s toes… I looked at Azure about 2 years ago when it first released, I quickly put it on the side because it was clunky and really not very mature.  I revisited it in the last couple weeks and… wow… it’s not yesterdays Azure.  It’s much more robust, the tooling is awesome and well I’m impressed.  There is something to do here.  I’m still playing with it so I’ll have a better idea later.  If like me you looked at it 2 years ago, have a look at it again, I think you’ll be impressed.

So back to the elephant, I think that Microsoft want’s us to develop for Azure and will make sure all of our data is in Azure.  Let’s say that it would be an understatement to claim that Azure was not everywhere in their plans.  So I guess my point is, think about how you could offload some information or processing to Azure, it may pay off in the end if you can manage a recurring fee services that can pay for the monthly charges.

Lots of amazing Visual Studio 11 demos, remote debugging, GDI/DirectX profiling, Team Foundation Server in the Cloud, porting a SL2 application to Metro, to WP7. etc.  VS11 and TFS11 will be awesome products and I can’t wait to start doing demos and talks about the new features and how it will really increase productivity.

Now that the Keynotes are finished we have two days of deep dive sessions on what was announced… lots of great info to come.

There was a lot of information fire hosed down our gullet in the last 2 days and  I’m still digesting it… the natural defense mechanism of hiding behind a wall of know variable is up right now and it will slowly go down to embrace all the new stuff… If that make me old… well I’ll got we wise, it feels better than old Smile.


When I get a chance to play and create a Metro application I will have a better opinion, right now we only saw demos.  Bobby McFerrin said it well


“Don’t worry be happy!”


I’ll go with that…



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Sunday, February 13, 2011 #

Hey everyone,

I know it’s been an eternity since I blogged but I have so much to do that I unfortunately need to prioritize.  Vincent Grondin and I did a 7h presentation on the new developer and tester tools available in the VS 2010 suite.  It was a blast.  We did it in front of an audience (around 120) and it was taped.  We did it as a play and really didn’t look at the crowd at all we were training each other on the technology.

It is now available for anyone that would like to watch it at this location:

What we covered in the full day event was

Migration to TFS 2010 (10h00)

1-Migration of VSS to TFS (20 min.)

2-Automating the Build (Something you can't do with VSS) ( 20 Min.)

3-User story (Real application context for this presentation) (20 min.)

10h00 Pause

Manuel Tests by Dev ( 11h30)

4-Adding a tester to the team (Into to MTM) (20 min.)

5-Define tests (what is a white bug) (20 min.)

6-Fix the bug and show Intellitrace and Play back the test (20 min.)

12h15 Lunch

Manuel testing for maintenance (13h30)

7- Implement new Feature (web service) and Identify bug with MTM and branch for a production fix and also add a new Build script (20 min.)

8- Fix bug in production branch, Playback tests, merge the change in main branch (20 min.)

Manuel testing with the lab manager (14h30)

9- Intro to Lab manager and environment (20 min.)

10- Change build script to deploy to lab and test with web service in lab environment. (20 min.)

15h15 Pause

Automate UI test with CodeUI (15h30)

11- Reducing the effort of testing the UI (20 min.)

12- Repeating testing to make sure the application is working properly (20 min.)

13- Automate Coded UI with the Lab environment (20 min.)

16h30 Conclusions

As you can see lots of stuff!!

Enjoy the show and let us know how you like it



Thursday, October 7, 2010 #

So I’ve been hearing a lot of folks (myself included) having issue with debugging there web application with VS 2010, Cassini (the VS web server) and IE9.  It looks like this


Well I found and easy solution, image that Winking smile.

Edit your hosts file at location c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts and make sure the localhost line is uncommented and the localhost ::1 is commented or deleted.

You can ping locahost host from a command line and make sure you see

Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128

After that you should be in business.  The problems seem to come from the fact that IE9 starts to fast (Image that!!) for cassini and with localhost not setup properly (in Windows 7 by default it seems to be commented out) it causes this issue.

Let me know if this solves you problems (it worked on different machines I tried it on).



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I just noticed I haven’t blogged in about 8 months… time flies when you have work to do.  Things are going well and I have a few bits of insight I’ll try to share in the coming months (ya ya to busy to blog, etc).  Anyway I wanted to say that I was renewed as an ALM MVP for the 6th year, I’m very happy about this obviously, I invest a lot of time in the Montreal community and with the ALM Team at Microsoft to make each version of the ALM suite just a bit better.  I will continue to drive the team and the community toward adoption of this great platform and raise the quality of the software we produce.

I have plans to create a series of short videos (with the great Camtasia product) so answer regularly asked questions on ALM subjects…

See you soon,




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Sunday, March 14, 2010 #

Hello everyone, long time no blog… I’ll try to get back in the game soon but with 2 customer and user group and life in general let’s just say I’m busy.  In the meantime I’m passing along this great offer.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional will launch on April 12 but you can beat the rush and secure your copy today by pre-ordering at the affordable estimated retail price of $549, a saving of $250.

If you use a previous version of Visual Studio or any other development tool then you are eligible for this upgrade. Along with all the great new features in Visual Studio 2010 (see Visual Studio 2010 Professional includes a 12-month MSDN Essentials subscription which gives you access to core Microsoft platforms: Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter.

So visit to check out all the new features and sign up for this great offer.




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Thursday, October 1, 2009 #

I've been renewed again this year as a member of this elite cabal of crazies that call themselves Team System MVP!!

I feel really happy today, this is always good to know our commitment to the product we love is recognize by our peers, community leaders and Microsoft.  This program has really been a blessing for me in the last 5 years I've met incredibly bright, funny, cranky (at times) and very passionate people that I always look forward to seeing and talking too.  My professional career has really benefited from it and I thank you all for it.

As we move into 2010 and the next rev of Visual Studio, I look back 5 years at the release of VS 2005 and I see so much improvement that it baffles the mind.  I see a road filled with process improvement, better code, better development practices and hopefully more fun developing software, because deep down, that's what it's all about,  having fun doing what we love with tools that help us achieve our goals.

Team System 2010 will be awesome and will be a stepping stone for the next releases, a lot of work has been done behind the scene that although doesn't look sexy and will probably not even be visible to the VSTS users in general, will really help produce way better versions in the future.

I feel really happy today, that I will be part of this future for a while more.

Thanks to the MVP program, to my peers and to product team for making this such a fun ride.

See you online and in person (at least a PDC Emoticon3 and the Summit)



ps I promise to try and blog more this year.  It’s been crazy with conferences, real life and family.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 #

Hello everyone,

I’ve known for while I was going to be a judge but I forgot to mention it.  Now that the day has come for me to take the plane to Egypt well I though I’d mention it ;-).

This should be an interesting judging exercise this year since there is no one theme, every team can pick from one the 8 millennium goals from Unesco

You can read about those at Millennium Goals

What’s going to be difficult is that in the past the competition centered around one of the those goals and we could compare teams on what they achieved now that they can choose any of the themes it’s going to be difficult to compare between teams, so fairness will be paramount.

I am also on the fairness committee for the IC and it was a great experience to make sure everything was done so that every team has a chance to win and that the competition would be as fair as possible.

I’m looking forward to going back to egypt for the second time.  I’ll take lots of picture and post a few here with links to my flick account.

Here are a few souvenir pictures from last time

Egypt Etienne 049Egypt Etienne 070Egypt Etienne 066Egypt Etienne 025


Talk to you all soon,



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Monday, May 18, 2009 #

Well it look like it’s finally upon us.  Soma just announce the availability of it for today on MSDN.  Read all about it here.

I’ve been busy evaluating it and giving feedback on it for the last 3 years and we finally have some bits that we’ll be able to install and play with on real hardware.

There are just soooo many new good stuff in there that I can’t name it all.  Brian Harry as a few good post already on this which you can read all about Team System 2010 Overview, TFS 2010 Admin, Operations & Setup Improvements, Team Foundation Server 2010 Key Concepts and TFS 2010 Work Item Tracking

I’m extremely exited about this version because of all the new stuff that’s coming.  It’s going to so cool I’m can barely wait for RTM.

I’ll give you my impressions once I have it installed. 

I’m going to do a talk on it at our user group in June.

Good times ahead…



Well I obviously couldn’t resist the temptation to install the Windows 7 RC.  Well I’m actually speechless (which says a lot if you know me).  This is a great OS I mean I was expecting good even great but I’ve been extremely pleased.

It’s fast, I mean really fast. I didn’t really have issues with Vista on that front when it was booted but it did feel sluggish at times.  Windows 7 is very snappy I sold.  I almost never reboot (If I can avoid it) and coming back from sleep is very fast in Windows 7 it was fast in Vista but it’s faster in windows 7 so that’s nice.

The new interface eye candy is pretty cool.   I like the new superbar it takes a little getting used too but once you “get it” it’s very cool.  The shake feature is interesting but mostly for demos.  The side snapping is nice too.  The new wifi features work great it reconnects real fast which is nice.

I’m running the 64bit version on my Fujitsu laptop and it found all but 3 drivers.  not bad.  I used the vista driver and all works great.

The new Windows Virtual PC is pretty cool but I think still need a bit of work.  it’s a bit slower then Virtual PC 2007.  BTW don’t install Virtual PC 2007 on the RC is says it’s not compatible.  I tried installing anyway and it won’t start.  Once I did that, Windows Virtual PC would not load any integration services anymore.  So I reinstalled (I did that on the first day and I had not installed anything but those apps).  Hope this saves you the headache.

All others apps I use work great. (I’ll go a post on those apps)

So I’m running “in production” and I don’t think I’ll go back to Vista

Great Job Microsoft.




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So we’re throwing together a new code camp in Montreal at the end of May (May 30th actually) and I’m going to be speaking

Check out the site here

Here’s my session (It’s going to be in French as you can see by the Bio)

Etienne Tremblay

Etienne Tremblay

Etienne Tremblay

Etienne Tremblay est Directeur Associé en charge du centre de technologies Microsoft chez DMR. Il as plus de 17 ans d’expérience en technologie des TI. Au cours des 10 dernières années il s’est spécialiser dans les technologies Microsoft, spécifiquement dans la gestion des procéder de développement, il a aussi une expertise dans les industries minières et manufacturières. Il a été conférencier pour DevTeach et je participe au conseil facultatif Visual Studio Team System en tant qu’expert et MVP Microsoft. Il est aussi Juge pour la compétition Imagine Cup depuis 3 ans et cette année pour la compétition Ignite IT.

Démystifions les stratégies de branche et comment elle s’arrime avec les stratégies de livraison
Vous vous demander comment vous devriez gérer vos branche correctement? Vous n’êtes pas sur comment les branches et la livraison de version vont de paire? Joignez-vous a moi et nous allons discuter des différentes stratégies qui s’offre a nous et comment s’assurer que notre équipe de développement et notre équipe de livraison vont bien s’entendre.

I’m speaking again at DevTeach this year in June in Vancouver.  Here is a comprensive list of things going on.

Party with Vancouver IT community Monday June 8th


Vancouver IT community  is hosting Monday june 8th in Vancouver a DevTeach kick off party. This is the official social event  for DevTeach Vancouver. The event is not just for the attendees of DevTeach Vancouver it’s  a free event for everyone. It’s a unique chance for the attendees, speakers and locals  to meet and talk with a free beer and play pool.   The event will be held at the Soho location and you need to RSVP to attend.


Alt.NET and DevTeach Back to Back… May 11, 2009 10:35

We are very happy to be sponsoring the popular ALT.NET in Vancouver. In fact the free Agile event will be happening in the same location as DevTeach just the weekend after. This means that you can attend the DevTeach conference (June 8-12) and stay for the weekend to attend two more days of training on Agile practices. This represent a unique opportunity to save on travel expenses and maximize your training. Registrations will open on May 20th and DevTeach attendees will have a special registration code that will insure 50 seats at the ALT.NET event.

Top ten ways to convince your boss that you need to go to a conference May 6, 2009 10:47


I know how hard it is to convince your boss to send you to a conference. This is why I've asked the developer's community to help me find good reasons. Click here to read or play the Video result.


Top 10 ways to convince your Boss to go.
DevTeach SQLTeach Why You Must Register.

Special event in Toronto: How to improve testability with a modular architecture

May 25th 2009 in Toronto: This workshop has been designed to give you a head start in modular architecture practice with abstractions such as the “layer”. You will acquire fundamental knowledge about how to partitions into layers the concerns of the application. We will demonstrate how to apply “top-down” as well as “test-driven” design techniques. You will learn how to correctly design the “velcro”, the visible interface of a module. In the same way, you will learn how to conceive a “fake” implementation, an efficient practice to test a module in an autonomous way. At the end of this workshop you will understand why architects require a unit of modularity that goes beyond object.


Pre-Conference: Three essential full days workshop on June 8th

Take advantage of our great workshops in our Pre Conference day. The essential workshops will bring you up to speed with the new technologies and best practice of the industry. First we have the Build Business Applications with Silverlight 2.0 also Amanda Laucher will do a full day on F# and finally James Kovacs will be doing a workshop on Agile Development with loC and ORM.

Keynote: Visual Studio 2010 — Your Development Happy Place

Join Tim Huckaby at DevTeach and SQLTeach Keynote on June 9th. For more than 20 years developers have relied on Microsoft for the most powerful and productive tools. Visual Studio 2008 has already been widely adopted by many developers as their platform of choice. Now, Visual Studio 2010 is on the horizon and presents even greater opportunities for the creation of applications that target new platforms such as Windows 7 and innovative technologies like the Cloud and Parallel computing. This keynote will take a look at some of the best software built in the Visual Studio 2008 product family as well as preview some of the great innovations coming in Visual Studio 2010.

It's a jam pack 3 days conference schedule!

Take a look at the DevTeach/SQLTeach Vancouver impressive conferences schedule. 136 sessions will be presented in 8 rooms from June 9th to June 11th. The schedule is jam packed with advanced sessions. We are also including a Silverlight track and tracks on new application live-cycle. This three day schedule includes 37 SQL Server and Server product sessions, 17 Agile sessions, 17 on software architecture and 57 .NET sessions. DevTeach/SQLTeach Vancouver is the yearly event you can't afford to miss!

Bonus Sessions / User group night Monday June 8th


Free for everyone just before the Party.

Beth Massi present from 6pm to 8pm

Future Directions for Microsoft Visual Basic and C#

· Presents Microsoft’s new managed languages strategy

· Demonstrates Language features in VB and C#

· Also shows off some VS2010 code editor features

Post-Conference: Three fantastic full day workshop on June 12th

Maximize your training time by taking advantage of our great Post-Conference. On June 12th, you have the exceptional chance to enhance your skills with three unique workshops. First we have Julia Lerman presenting Entity Framework (EF) also Mario Cardinal is presenting a full day on Best practices to design a modular software architecture and Peter Debetta and Don Kiely are presenting a full day on Security from ASP.NET to SQL Server.

Hello everyone still listening… I know I’ve been a little silent for a while, well almost 6 months actually.  Let’s say I’ve been busy ;-).

The first big news is that I have left my old employer after 17 years.  I’d like to say that it’s been a great time and I wish them good luck.  I was offered a position has director of the Microsoft practice here in Montreal at DMR and I needed a change so I accepted the position.  It’s been great and I’ve been real busy.  I’m getting my head out a little bit now and will try to blog a bit more.

Lots of news coming from Redmond in the last few months.  Lots of things I’m exited about.  I’ll try to separate in different posts so It’ll look like I’m blogging more ;-).


It’s all good!



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