Ramping up on Team Foundation Server - Some Guidance

Recently my effort to ramp Team Foundation Server (TFS) has been intensified due to that I will start a new project this week where I plan to use Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) and TFS , but I have also been assigned to hold a training in December on how to use VSTS and TFS in a development team. So with these new challenges coming up in the near future I felt motivated to make the switch from Visual SourceSafe to TFS.

The resources that I have used are mostly public (or about to be public very soon) resources so I thought I would share my list of resources at a high level.


The first thing I did was to buy Software Engineering with Microsoft Visual Studio Team System by Sam Guckenheimer, the author works at Microsoft with the development of VSTS. Let me start be saying that this is a great book, get one today!

Why is it great? It's a book about how to develop software applications and while discussing this topic he explains how VSTS can help you to solve typical problems. The book is completely non-technical (I don't remember seeing a single line of code), it's about the development process (or software engineering as mentioned in the title). After I had finished reading this book I reread a few chapters as I really wanted to understand his message.

So if you are thinking about using VSTS and/or TFS: Get your own copy today!

Training Material

Brian Harry announced the availability of two separate training materials related to Visual Studio Team System, I have downloaded an internal releases of the training material for both Level 200 and Level 300 and looked some at it. My initial evaluation is that the Level 200 labs will be great for the training I'm holding in December, but some of the presentation will be taken from the Level 300 material.

The Level 300 material is really not for someone who have just started with VSTS as the topics are quite advanced, most people does not have to understand or customize VSTS at this level. On the other hand I would recommend the Level 200 to any developer just starting with VSTS.

Naturally the Level 200 labs doesn't do very complex walkthroughs of some of the features (can't be expected of Level 200) but it touch on all the main features. So it you have a few years of experience in the software industry you will probably get enough guidance to allow you to explore VSTS at your own pace.


Blogs are today often the best way to learn about announcements about new features and best practices, and this is especially true for such complex products as VSTS and TFS which has numerous extension points (e.g. write your own check-in policy algorithms). I try to read the blogs of Brian Harry and Rob Caron, be sure to check out the following hot topics:


The start page on MSDN for VSTS and TFS is the Visual Studio Team System Developer Center. Use that as a starting point to find more detailed information.