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Dylan Smith ALM / Architecture / TFS
I presented a session at the Silicon Valley Code Camp over the weekend called Evolve Your Code: Fundamental Design Principles. For those that attended and are looking for the session materials I’ve made them available here: http://1drv.ms/Zrbhgj There is the slide deck, along with a zip of the starting code, and the ending code ......

In part 1 of this series we looked at Why Agile Fails due to lack of mature Technical Practices. The 2nd really common reason I see teams fail with Agile is due to a lack of experience with *successful* agile projects. What I see far too often is teams that have read all about agile online, and possibly been to some conferences and heard people talk ......

I’ve worked with a lot of teams who have tried to adopt Agile and failed. There are many reasons why this happens, but I tend to see a few very common reasons crop up over and over. In particular there are 3 that I see clients struggle with all the time: Lack of focus on technical practices No agile experience on the team Missing buy-in from upper management ......

In TFS 2012 Update 2 Microsoft introduced the ability to tag Work Items (http://msdn.microsoft.com/... I absolutely love the idea of tagging Work Items. Especially because they allow you to add custom metadata without needing to do any WITD customization. As I mentioned in a previous post, this is a great help to enable ......

As most of you know it’s probably easier to understand Rocket Science than it is Microsoft Licensing. Unfortunately, I’ve had to deal with it enough over my career that I have a pretty good grasp of at least how MSDN, Visual Studio and TFS Licensing works. The best resource for attempting to decipher how it works is the MSDN Licensing White Paper. However, ......

I seem to be spending a lot of time lately trying to convince clients that a single Team Project for the entire Enterprise is the way to go. To most people this seems counter-intuitive. They tend to create Team Projects for each actual Project and/or Team within their Enterprise. That just makes sense right? Indeed, if you look at most books on TFS ......

In Visual Studio 2010 we had “Database Projects” that allowed us to design/develop/deploy databases. In Visual Studio 2012 this was overhauled and is now part of SSDT (SQL Server Developer Tools). While the core functionality is extremely similar there are some differences between the two that I’m going to try and describe in this post. PRO: Visual ......

The past few weeks I’ve been helping a client come up with an Enterprise Architecture and I realized that I seem to have zero’d in on an EA that I would probably use at most places. First off what do I mean by Enterprise Architecture? I know lots of people use this to mean different things, for this post I’m using the term Enterprise Architecture to ......

In the last couple of posts I talked about how larger aggregates make enforcing invariants easier, but smaller aggregates reduce concurrency conflicts. You need to use domain knowledge to choose aggregate boundaries that minimize the chances of invariants spanning aggregates, and minimize the chances that multiple users will be editing the same aggregate ......

In the last post we looked at how aggregate boundaries affect our ability to provide consistency guarantees and enforce invariants across our domain model. What we said is that enforcing an invariant within an aggregate boundary – rather than invariants that span aggregates – is much easier to do. So based on that we would want to design our software ......

Those who know me know I’m a pretty big fan of the CQRS set of design patterns. CQRS style architectures typically borrow / build-upon the DDD (Domain Driven Design) set of patterns (in fact before Greg Young coined the term CQRS he was calling it DDDD [Distributed DDD]). One pattern that’s pretty central in DDD is the concept of Aggregates. This is ......

I’ve been working with a lot of clients over the past couple years helping them adopt TFS Lab Management. One discussion that always comes up is how to architect the infrastructure required to run TFS Lab. I’m going to try and put down in writing the advice I usually give so I have somewhere to point people to in the future. There are 3 main components ......

I’ve spent a bunch of time lately with clients helping them understand why their applications are so slow and how to improve performance. This often comes down to their use (or misuse) of ORM frameworks such as nHibernate and/or Entity Framework. I think this probably stems from the fact that ORM’s have gone mainstream somewhat recently, and most developer ......

Just sitting in the Seattle airport finally returning home from my first MVP Summit (well in truth I’m flying directly to my next client, no home till next weekend). As I said this was my first time attending an MVP Summit, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. It turned out to be an incredible week, and gives me a new appreciation for the term “drinking ......

There’s been some chatter lately about an old debate between Feature Branches vs Feature Toggles. I used to be firmly in the Feature Branches camp, but about a year ago (at the ALM Summit) I became convinced that Feature Toggles are a better choice in a lot of cases. Feature branches are fairly common. It is the practice of creating separate branches ......

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