Our August 2016 champ is Taavi Kõosaar with his Work Item Visualization extension

We are starting a new series of posts to recognise the champs amongst the Ranger community, using Taavi Kõosaar as our Guinea pig and first champ!

SNAGHTML114f3e7fTaavi has been a phenomenally passionate Ranger for many years and contributed to many initiatives, in particular the Version Control (ex Branching and Merging) Guide, Config as Code for DevOps and ALM practitioners, and the Work Item Visualization projects.


It’s for the work item visualization project that we unanimously agreed to pick Taavi as our champ for August. His team closed no less than 39 bugs, implemented new features, reacted to user feedback, started the code refactoring for a move from JavaScript to TypeScript, and is already planning for the next big release of the extension. It’s important to mention that this is a community project, and that Taavi actually has a family and a real job!


We asked Taavi two questions in terms of the Work Item Visualization project.

Why are you so passionate about the Work Item Visualization project?

There are three core reasons why I am passionate about the project:

  • It’s fun!
  • It allows me to practice software development with real world scenarios and requirements and to combine it with TFS / VSTS.
  • There is a lot of passion around the features for work item visualization from the community, rangers and fellow MVPs, and it allows me to collaborate and communicate with different people.

What’s coming and what’s planned for the future?

Currently we are focused on converting code to TypeScript and upgrading necessary base libraries. Once complete, we are ready for another wave of features and improvements. Some of the ideas from the team and community that are waiting in the backlog are:

  • Allowing to filter what link types are shown on visualizations
  • Offering full sharing and favorites functionality for visualizations on personal and project level, including being able to add / remove (/ send and share)
  • Having context menu on the nodes which allows different actions such as collapse / expand / open in new tab / …
  • Having ordered and link type aware visualizations (e.g. Parent -> Child relationships)

There is more to come.

Wondering what the product owner, Jeff Levinson, had to say about Taavi and the extension?

Taavi Koosaar jumped in as the lead with help from Mattias Sköld. They re-wrote it almost from scratch to provide capabilities that I was unable to provide and truly added to the user value. To date they have made numerous updates (I especially like the annotations and the find on visualization) that I could not have envisioned and they have kept the needs of the users in mind by responding to the feedback, making it available in TFS and a host of bug fixes. I think more can come of this in the future and we welcome your feedback to continue to drive the development of this extension.

Find more information on Taavi here @melborp | Blog | Ranger index | LinkedIn | Solidify (job)