Software development roles supported by Azure DevOps Services and TFS

Azure DevOps Services | TFS 2018 | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

If you are a sole developer or you work on a small team, chances are that you perform tasks associated with issue tracking, feature planning, coding, testing, build, and deployment.

If you work in a large organization, you're probably more focused on a specific set of tasks that are traditionally aligned with one or two specific roles, such as software development, project management, and DevOps.

This topic describes the features and tasks available to you based on the role you perform.

Contributor roles

Team members are contributors who have access to the code base, work item tracking, Agile tools, build pipelines, test tools, and more. If you need to lock down specific areas to a select set of contributors, you can do that through permission management.

Software developers

Developers use Visual Studio or other tools to develop their applications. They then check in their changes to a Git or Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) repository hosted in Azure DevOps Services or Team Foundation Server (TFS). From the web portal or a supported IDE, they can view repositories, check history, and more.

Project managers

A project manager typically plans the feature set to deliver, sets priorities, and tracks the status of work, code defects, and customer issues. The suite of web-based Agile tools provides PMs with the views and features that they need to perform these tasks. All work is captured within a work item. Each work item represents a specific type such as a user story, task, or bug.

  • Use the product backlog to quickly define and prioritize user stories, features, and other work items
  • Use the sprint backlog and task board to implement Scrum practices
  • Use the Kanban board to work with Kanban methods
  • Use queries to list and update work items, create status and trend charts, and post charts to dashboards
  • Use dashboards to share information, status, and trends with your team or organization

To get started, see About Azure Boards and Agile tools.

If you are used to using Excel or Project to plan and track your work, you can still use these tools and integrate with Azure DevOps Services and TFS. See Bulk modify by using Excel and Create your backlog and tasks by using Project.

DevOps: builders, testers, and release managers

One of the main advantages to working with Azure DevOps Services or TFS is the suite of tools and integrated functionality that support build, testing, and deploying software applications. Here are the main DevOps-associated tasks that Azure DevOps Services and TFS support:

  • Define builds
  • Unit test your code
  • Run tests with your builds
  • Performance test your apps
  • Perform exploratory tests
  • Define, manage, track, and approve releases
  • Deploy applications to Azure, a virtual machine, Docker containers, and more

To get started, see the overviews in Azure Pipelines and Azure Test Plans.

Stakeholders

With stakeholder access, anyone in your organization can check project status and provide feedback. Stakeholders can track project priorities and provide direction, feature ideas, and business alignment to a team. They can contribute to plans by adding and modifying work items. They can't, however, contribute to the code base or exercise test tools.

Stakeholder access essentially provides free access to a limited set of feature to project sponsors and supporters. To learn more, see Work as a stakeholder.

Administrator roles

A distinct advantage to working in Azure DevOps Services is the reduced overhead of server maintenance. But there are still several administrative tasks required to support a collaborative, integrated software development environment.

The main tasks are grouped as follows by membership in a security group or role.

Team administrators

Responsible for configuring team settings, which include:

  • Backlog and board settings
  • Team areas and iterations (sprints)
  • Team members
  • Team dashboards
  • Team work item templates
  • Team alerts

To get started, see Manage teams and configure team tools.

Project administrators

Responsible for configuring project-level resources, including:

Organization owners and project collection administrators

Responsible for configuring organization-level resources. These tasks include:

  • Manage billing
  • Add and manage projects
  • Manage collection-level permissions
  • Customize work tracking processes
  • Install and manage extensions (install custom or Marketplace extensions)

To get started, see Manage organizations and Settings.

Project collection administrators

Responsible for configuring collection-level resources. These tasks include:

  • Add and manage projects
  • Manage collection-level permissions
  • Install and manage extensions (install custom or Marketplace extensions)

To get started, see Settings.

TFS administrators

Responsible for installing, upgrading, and maintaining an on-premises TFS deployment. Tasks include:

  • Install TFS
  • Update servers running TFS
  • Manage database backups
  • Manage server administrative settings and permissions
  • Build retention policies
  • Add and manage project collections

To get started, see Server Administration (TFS).