The end and the beginning...
12 May 13 02:05 PM | dmckinstry

 To anyone still listening on this blog, I'm back... But not here!

 I've recently transitioned out of consulting services and into the role of a Developer Tools Technology Specialist at Microsoft  As a result, I expect my blogging to pick up in both technical content and also in logistics and announcements.  But again, not here...

 I hope you'll take a look at my new blog site (still Ponder.NET) on MSDN:  I promise not only more posts than you've seen here in the past several years, but also high quality posts with more original technical goodness.  I appreciate your subscription in the past and hope that I'll see you again on my new blog!


Free upcoming ALM events...
31 October 11 02:02 PM | dmckinstry

In case you haven't been following along, Imaginet is doing a series of free roadshows and webcasts.

Tomorrow, Anna Russo will be presenting a webcast on Testing in an Agile Team. We've had great feedback from our related webcasts.  And, of course, the price is right.

Speaking of the right price, if you're in Salt Lake City or Los Angeles (Irvine), I'm going to present free full-day roadshow sessions on Agile and Testing.

And, of course, feel free to review our other upcoming events, including roadshows in Dallas, Houston, Denver, Atlanta (Alpharetta), and Boston (Waltham) by myself and Ed Blankenship:


Upcoming Free VS ALM Webcasts
13 October 11 07:41 AM | dmckinstry

Ed Blankenship and I (and if I can loop her in, Anna Russo) are presenting a testing-focused series of webcasts.  These are either 100-level of 300-level workshops (I'll update the post later to spell it out) covering a variety of testing topics.  Ed's presentation yesterday was very successful - over 100 attendees and praise from the attendees.  And, of course, the price is right (free!).

I hope we'll see you at some of these in the future!

Test Management in Agile Teams
October 24, 2011
Free Online Workshop
1:00-2:00pm (CST)

Manual Testing in Agile Teams
October 26, 2011
Free Online Workshop
1:00-2:30 (CST)

Testing in an Agile Team
November 1, 2011
Free Online Workshop
1:00-2:30pm (CST)

Automated Load and UI Testing for SharePoint Projects
December 6, 2011
Free Online Workshop
1:00-2:30pm (CST)

Testing with SharePoint Projects
December 12, 2011
Free Online Workshop
1:00-2:30pm (CST)
Using Lab Management with SharePoint Development
December 13, 2011
Free Online Workshop
1:00-2:00pm (CST)

Automated Load and UI Testing for SharePoint Projects
December 20, 2011
Free Online Workshop
1:00-2:30pm (CST)
Branching Strategies (VS ALM User Group)
21 October 10 07:26 AM | dmckinstry

Mickey Goussett is presenting online at the Visual Studio ALM User Group later today.  It is free and a great topic with a great speaker so please join us…

Date:October 21, 2010
Time: 5:00PM Pacific Time
Add to Calendar:
Join Meeting:

Having the best version control software in the world doesn't do you any good if you don't know how to configure it correctly. In this session, we will look at how Team Foundation Server Version Control works, and give out some best practices on how to configure your version control repository, as well as look at different change management and branching strategies, that apply not just to TFS 2010, but any version control system.

Mickey Gousset is a Senior Technical Developer for Infront Consulting Group, a consulting company focused on the Microsoft System Center family of products. He is a Microsoft Team System MVP, a certified professional in Team Foundation Server and SCOM 2007, and author of the books "Professional Team Foundation Server" and "Professional Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio 2010" from Wrox Publishing. Mickey runs Team System Rocks! (, a community site devoted to Visual Studio Team System, where he also blogs about Team System. He has spoken on Team System topics at various user groups, code camps, and conferences, including Microsoft Tech Ed Developer - North America 2008 and 2009.

Unit Testing / An Apology
17 September 10 03:40 AM | dmckinstry | 1 comment(s)

Unit testing is a process that development teams use to improve code quality and reduce maintenance costs.  By having a safety net of reuable automated tests readily available, changes to code can be easily verified to make sure that they don't have unintended consequences.

Many teams fail to start unit testing because it can be difficult to start once an application has already started to mature.  Taking an existing legacy code base and retrofitting to receive the benefits of unit testing is frequently a big enough task to dissuade development teams.

Over a year ago I was introduced to Pex - a great toolset from Microsoft Research that allows teams to relatively easily generate a comprehensive suite of unit tests for existing code. Pex is now available for MSDN subscribers and for academic use. In addition, that same team at Microsoft Research has subsequently introduced Moles, an isolation framework that can be used with Pex or separately to support unit test development independently of Pex.  (In many ways I find Moles more exciting than Pex itself.  This is a great isolation framework that is beneficial to unit test newcomers and experts alike.)

So what does this have to do with an apology?

I had scheduled a Visual Studio ALM User Group (formerly the Team System User Group) meeting for yesterdayNikolai Tillman of Microsoft Research was going to present Pex and Moles to our live online attendees. I generally am online to open the meeting well in advance and to take care of any problems that may arise.  This time I was blocked and didn't even make my own meeting.  I can't take responsibility for some things (like traffic) but I can for not having someone standing by to help out in my potential absense.  Paul Hacker has helped me out on this in the past but I didn't expect any problems and thus didn't coordinate with him.

So...  For all the people that tried to attend Nikolai's presentation, I appologize for not doing a better job of making sure the meeting would occur as promised.

And especially for Nikolai, who took time from his schedule to educate our audience but was met with a broken LiveMeeting link and nobody on my side to remedy the situation, I am truly sorry.

Hopefully everyone involved will forgive.  I hope to 'see' you at next month's meeting.  And perhaps someday Nikolai or one of his peers at Microsoft Research will be willing to give us another shot.


“Team System” Online User Group–Update
15 July 10 10:54 AM | dmckinstry

If you haven’t visited the “Visual Studio ALM User Group” in awhile, I invite you to check in with us.  We meet twice each month targeting two separate time zones.  The topics are always development processes related and generally focus on the Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server technologies.

Later today we have a meeting where Microsoft Regional Director Joel Semeniuk will present on “Scrumban!”.  Refer to the web site for more details: VS ALM UG Announcements.

In addition, some of our recent meetings (which were recorded and are available for your perusal) include:

  • Test Planning and Automation with MVP Martin Kulov
  • Scrum, TFS and Microsoft with Microsoft PM Aaron Bjork
  • The Visual Studio ALM Rangers with Willy Schawb and Bijan Javidi
  • Team Explorer Everywhere with Martin Woodward
  • And many more…

Subscribe to the VS ALM User Group announcements blog ( or join on on Linked In ( for future meeting announcements!

Filed under:
Team System User Group (Online) meeting announcement
12 April 10 10:05 AM | dmckinstry

I’m having issues with my email server for the Team System User Group (Virtual Edition).  Hopefully some of the user group members are subscribed to my blog so that the word gets out, despite the email issue…

This Thursday the Team System User Group will offer a presentation targeting our Americas and Asia-Pacific time zones. This meeting will feature MVP Thomas Schissler on “Project transparency using TFS reports and dashboards.” The meeting originally scheduled to introduce the Ranger has been postponed due to speaker conflicts; expect to see that presentation back on the calendar soon!

Project transparency using TFS reports and dashboards
Meeting Date: Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Time: 5:00 PM Pacific Time (UTC-0800)
Add to calendar:

In this presentation Thomas shows how you can use reports and dashboards to get a better transparency for your projects. We will take a close look to two views on this transparency – transparency for project managers to make better decisions and transparency for customers to involve them more closely in the project.

Thomas Schissler is a Software Architect and Project Manager working for artiso, a development and consulting company located in Southern Germany. Thomas is focused on bringing efficient and tailored development processes to development teams and helping them introducing the VS ALM platform to their daily business. He is a Visual Studio ALM MVP, leader of TSUG-VE EMEA and a local .Net developer group and a frequent speaker on conferences und user group meetings.

Team Review @ TSUG
14 March 10 06:07 PM | dmckinstry

In case you haven’t heard, JB Brown is going to be presenting online at the Team System User Group this Thursday.  This month’s presentation will explain how Team Review (freely available) can be used with Team Foundation Server 2005, 2008 and even 2010!

Meeting Date: Thursday, March 18th, 2010
Time: 5:00PM Pacific
{Add to Calendar}
{Join Meeting}

SharePoint as a Development Platform (Denver Event)
08 February 10 09:35 AM | dmckinstry

In case you’re interested in SharePoint technologies and Live in the Denver area, Microsoft is putting on a great event focused on SharePoint 2010.  Why am I, an “ALM guy” interested in SharePoint 2010?  Because the team-development story for SharePoint 2010 has gotten much better – And I’m going to talk about it!

Steve Lange provided the following description of the event.

Follow this link to register.

Event Description

Maximize Your SharePoint Investment: Leverage It as a Development Platform! We invite you to join us at this in-person event that will assist your agencies and organizations in further realizing the return on your existing SharePoint investment via Enterprise SharePoint Development. Enterprise Application Development on the SharePoint Platform enables a multitude of SharePoint benefits to be coupled with the power of the .NET platform. This combination allows the creation of flexible, integrated and secure line-of-business applications to be built in a fraction of the time of traditional development. So join us at a city near you as we explore Microsoft’s current and long term strategy for the Microsoft SharePoint Platform and supporting Development Tools. Seize this opportunity to immerse yourself in the exciting world of Enterprise SharePoint Development!

Agenda & Speakers




8:30 AM–9:00 AM



9:00 AM–10:00 AM

Keynote: Taking your SharePoint Investment to the Next Level with Visual Studio 2010

This keynote session will provide an overview of the new platform capabilities in SharePoint 2010. You will also be among the first to see Visual Studio 2010’s tightly integrated experience for application developers building and deploying SharePoint solutions.

Reza Chitsaz

10:00 AM–11:00 AM

Realizing SharePoint as a Development Platform

This session will focus on how SharePoint Products & Technologies can contribute to the acceleration of the solution development process by taking advantage of out-of-box capabilities in order to deliver composite business applications for your organization.

Henry Winkler

11:00 AM–12:30 PM

Unleashing the Power of SharePoint Apps with Visual Studio 2010

This demo-oriented session will provide a deeper look at SharePoint Development concepts, techniques & best practices. 

Dave Milner

12:30 PM–1:30 PM



1:30 PM–3:00 PM

Managing the SharePoint Application Development Lifecycle

The final session of the day will provide a look at strategies and best practices for Team based SharePoint development

David McKinstry


  • Zune HD (1)
  • LiveCam (1)
  • LiveChat HeadSet (1)
  • VS 2010 Backpack & TShirt (1)
Using Visual Studio 2010 yet?
29 October 09 09:30 PM | dmckinstry | 1 comment(s)

I am and its great! It is must faster, more stable and feature rich than Beta 1.  Not using it?  May I need to remind you that there is a “Go Live” license (nudge nudge).

If you are using it, Microsoft (via Jeff Beehler) wants to know you you think!  Here is the link from Jeff’s blog to a simple survey.

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