Foreword By Rob Caron
Ever since the early days of Visual Studio Team System, we knew software development teams would need more content than we could possibly provide prior to shipping. In particular, we knew they would need proven guidance and best practices; however, that knowledge wouldn’t be known until the product was put through its paces by a variety of teams in a diverse array of environments, projects and scenarios to prove what works, and what doesn’t.
Unfortunately, the identification and development of proven guidance and best practices takes time. Over the last few years, we have learned a great deal about the use of Team System in general, and Team Foundation Server in particular. But that knowledge wasn’t always easy to find and digest. It would take the dedicated and methodical work of patterns & practices veteran J.D. Meier and his team months to make sense of it all.
Finally, the wait is over! Team Development with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server represents the collective wisdom of innumerable people who contributed directly, and indirectly, to this project. The team that assembled this content didn’t ignore the experience of those who went before them. They culled through a scattered collection of blog posts, forum threads, articles, and more to better understand how teams are adopting and using Team System “in the wild.”
Along the way, they examined the key areas that impact software development teams, and identified which practices were responsible for predictable and repeatable success. Some of the most informative content explains a number of Team Foundation Server feature areas, such as work item tracking, reporting, and process templates.
In retrospect, I am thankful that as a documentation team we had the presence of mind to defer this work instead of trying to provide best-guess filler content. I apologize to all of those who suffered without this content, and I thank those who persevered and pioneered the use of Team System.
Lead Product Manager
Rob Caron is the Lead Product Manager for Developer Content Strategy at Microsoft. Rob started at Microsoft in 1999 as a writer for Visual Studio product documentation. Over the years, he contributed content for Visual Studio .NET 2002, Visual Studio .NET 2003, and Visual Studio Team System. In mid-2004, he started a blog that became the nexus for information on Team System. After seven years of creating content, Rob moved to the Developer Marketing team in the fall of 2006. He now leads a group that is focused on the increasingly complex developer story at Microsoft with a goal of making it simpler.