Agile 2008 and Visual Studio Team System

The annual agile conference hosted by Agile Alliance is being held in Toronto this year between Aug 4th and 8th ( I am sitting here on my plane to Toronto writing this blog post.

Microsoft Visual Studio Team System is a Gold Sponsor of this year's conference. I will be there with few of my colleagues from Microsoft. Stop by our booth to talk to yours truly (Ajoy Krishnamoorthy), Stephanie Saad and Jean-Luc David about Visual Studio Team System and Agile Development.

Stephanie Saad, who runs the VSTS Process team will be presenting on Wednesday Aug 6th between 2-3PM. Here is the title and abstract for her talk:

Peer into the Crystal Ball: The Future of Agile Development in Visual Studio

This talk will tell the story of how to do agile development in the coming new version of visual studio. We'll talk about agile planning, quality early, TDD, continuous integration and improvement, connecting with customers and a host of other agile practices enabled through the new VS tools. This talk will showcase the tools by walking through the story of building Team Foundation Server using the Visual Studio tools. This talk will include a discussion of which agile practices have created enormous productivity gains and which have been discarded, as well as how to scale agile in a large enterprise.

Evening Reception

Microsoft is joined by Conchango, Rally and NetObjectives in sponsoring the evening reception on Tuesday Aug 5th for all the conference attendees. I am pretty excited about this evening reception and looking forward to it. There will be an XBOX Rock Band competition and the winning band members will take home XBOX (of course) as the prize. So if you are attending the conference and would like to participate, get your band together and start your rehearsal. You can sign up at the Microsoft booth or at the reception to participate in this competition. We will raffle off few cool prizes during the reception. You just have to be present at the reception for a chance to win one. Of course, there will be food and drinks.

I want to thank the following partners for co-sponsoring this reception.

Conchango is the maker of Scrum for Team System template and has been working with Team System since its first release. They recently released a beta of their WPF based Task Board for Team Foundation Server. This is a desktop based utility that integrates with TFS and provides a visual tool to work with WIs. I am glad to see Conchango releasing this Task Board. I am sure this will come in handy to project this on the wall during the product backlog review and iteration/sprint planning meeting and publish the changes to TFS when you are done with the planning/review exercise.

I met Dan Forman at Agile 2007 and briefly talked about Rally's Agile Management Solution and VSTS/TFS. This conversation turned in to several follow-up discussions about building connectors between TFS and Rally. Rally (a title sponsor of Agile 2008) joined our VSIP program last year and were very quick to scoping and prioritizing the tasks to build a connector between TFS and Rally. I mentioned this in my blog post here last month. You can read Rally's press release here announcing the release of the connector. I believe this connector between TFS and Rally brings new value to the customers that are both users of TFS and Rally.

Alan Shalloway and I first met during Agile 2007. But the conversation that triggered NetObjectives work on the Template for TFS and the Agile Development with Team System training happened while we were waiting for our bags at SEATAC airport baggage claim on our way back home to Seattle after Agile 2007. NetObjectives has a team of mentors/consultants that are experienced in bringing Agile/Scrum/Lean development techniques to enterprises and are also known for their training expertise. I am excited about this Team System training coming from agile practitioners as this will not just introduce the tool and its features but provide a process/practice view to why and how these features in Team System help Agile teams. It's the icing on the cake (I am not crazy about the icing on the cake) so I will say it's a cherry on the shake (Hmmm. Time for a drive thru window encounter) to see NetObjectives release their "Implementing Agile Development Process Template". This is a great addition to the collection of community and partner driven templates that are available for TFS.

Please join us at the reception and stop by our booth if you are attending Agile 2008. If you are not, check back in a week and I will post a blog on how it all went at Agile 2008.

Thanks for reading.