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November 2017 Chicago Agile and DevOps Meetup –Damian Brady Talks DevOps for Any Language, Any Platform

by Angela 23. October 2017 13:57

Microsoft and Polaris Solutions are teaming up to host Damian Brady on Wednesday November 1st in Downers Grove, IL. He'll spend an action packed hour giving you a guided tour of Visual Studio Team Services to see how seamlessly it works for any developer using any platform.

"This is no longer the Microsoft of old! I’ll be showing live demos in three different operating systems, using three different languages! As a developer, you can easily use your existing toolset and existing investments alongside VSTS and Azure. Come and learn about all the new VSTS announcements, out of the box features, and extensibility options to help your team adopt new Agile, Git, and DevOps practices!" ~Damian

Please be sure to register for the event, building security will not allow unregistered guests to enter the Microsoft space.

Dinner will be provided, and parking is always free and easy at this location.

Damian is an Australian CDA specializing in DevOps. He's currently based in Toronto, Canada, but will be moving back to Australia - the land of the dangerous creatures and beautiful beaches - in 2018.

Formerly a dev at Octopus Deploy and a Microsoft MVP, he has a background in software development and consulting in a broad range of industries. In Australia, he co-organized the Brisbane .Net User Group, and launched the now annual DDD Brisbane conference. He regularly speaks at conferences, User Groups, and other events around the world, and he's been an occasional guest on various podcasts like .NET Rocks and Hanselminutes.

Most of the time you'll find him talking to developers and IT Pros to help them get the most out of their DevOps strategies. https://twitter.com/damovisa

Tags:

DevOps | Software Development Lifecycle Management | Release Management | Continuous deployment | Deployment | VSTS | TFS 2017 | TFS | Team Foundation Server | Visual Studio Team Services | Tea

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MTM 2017 and the End of the Desktop Tooling? Yes, Please

by Angela 6. June 2017 15:36

So if you’ve installed and started playing around with the latest version of Visual Studio Microsoft Test Manager (MTM), you might have noticed this “Warning”: “Consider using the Test hub in web access instead of Microsoft Test Manager”

image

::gulps::

Now, for those of us who have been using MTM and web access for years, we saw this coming a while ago, it’s no secret that Microsoft has been putting a TON of effort into making the web testing experience first class! And truth be told, I have some concerned customers. And heck, I was a curmudgeon at first too

:: bah, in my day we used clunky old desktop tools that hogged all of our CPU and memory and we LIKED it! ::

I’ve spent a lot of time building out complex test plans, do I lose all of that?

Absolutely not, it is all still there. And I’d even argue that it is more intuitive to find what you need on the web!

But what about my rich exploratory testing experience complete with data collection?

OK, fair, it’s not *quite* all there just yet, but it’s getting closer, and what it DOES have is what 90% of my customers use on a day-to-day basis anyway.

What about those nifty built-in reports that I rely on?

HA, there are much BETTER reports today, including some nifty dashboard widgets to make it so that everyone can see the reports, not just MTM users. 

What about some of my advanced features like cloning test cases, suites, and plans?!?

OK, you got me, not everything exists on the web yet, but you do still have the ability to use the desktop tool while you’re waiting for more advanced options to become available on the web Winking smile

So fear not, loyal MTM users! MTM is not dead, yet, but the writing is on the wall. While you may not see 100% of the features from MTM in the web based tooling today, as in right this second, it gets closer to feature parity with every update so wait 5 minutes and hit refresh. This is especially true especially if you’re connecting to Visual Studio Team Services instead of TFS on-premises. VSTS gets updated every 3 weeks, while on-premises and client based tools get updated closer to once a quarter.  And MTM, well my friends, it’s not getting much love these days so I’ll be honest, you should start transitioning soon!

Looking for help updating your environment or getting trained on the new system? Give me or any of my fellow team members at Polaris Solutions a buzz!

Tags:

VSTS | TFS 2015 | TFS 2017 | TFS Service | TFS | Visual Studio | Visual Studio Team Services | Microsoft Test Manager | MTM | Manual Testing | Microsoft Test Professional | Software Testing | Test Case Management | Testing

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Managing your Infrastructure as Code with Azure and VSTS–Chicago Agile and DevOps Meetup on May 23rd

by Angela 9. May 2017 19:24

In order to be successful in today's global marketplace, organizations are moving to a more agile approach to software development. In order to be competitive, organizations must look to reduce lead times from years to weeks. One of the barriers to this are the lead times of provisioning infrastructure. Enter DevOps. And what is one way DevOps can accomplish such a herculean feat…Infrastructure as Code!

Infrastructure as Code is all about automating the work of IT Operations and treating it like application code. This session will be jam-packed with Visual Studio, Git, VSTS, PowerShell, ARM, Azure, OMS, DSC and more as we show how we can automate the provisioning and management of our infrastructure…all as code.

How are your environments provisioned today? Are you still racking servers, managing environments on a spreadsheet or deploying infrastructure with "Next…Next…Finish"? If so, this session is for you!

Attendees will learn the following objectives:

  • What Infrastructure as Code is
  • How Azure can help automate the process of environment provisioning
  • Create a full end-to-end solution of automating infrastructure and operations

 

Dinner will be provided for all registered attendees!

 

Agenda

6:00PM: Dinner and networking

6:30PM: Presentation begins

8:00PM: Closing remarks

 

About the speaker: Christopher Mank is the Co-founder and Chief Technologist at White Ficus and a Cloud and Datacenter MVP with a focus in ALM/DevOps and automation. He engages with customers to understand how they plan, build, test, and release software today and help them do it better with automation across the entire lifecycle.
Christopher has technical expertise in Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), TFS, System Center, .Net, PowerShell, SQL Server, Azure, ARM, Azure Automation, DSC, OMS, and Application Insights.

 

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VS Live Chicago 2017

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Special Announcement and discount code for Polaris event attendees:

Visual Studio Live! is coming to Chicago this Fall!

Visual Studio Live! (VSLive!™) is thrilled to be returning to Chicago, September 18-21 at the Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile! Developers, software architects, engineers and designers will be on a mission to code during four days of unbiased and cutting-edge education on the Microsoft Platform. Cruise through the hottest topics, jam with industry and Microsoft insiders and let loose with your peers -- all designed to give you the best in independent training to help make you a coding rock star!

Exclusive savings: register with priority code CHUG04 to save $500 off the standard 4-day rate! More info: http://bit.ly/CHUG04home

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Tags:

Azure | DevOps | VSTS | Visual Studio Team Services | Visual Studio | Visual Studio 2017 | Powershell | git

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Visual Studio 2017 - Best of Launch - Downers Grove on April 17th

by Angela 6. April 2017 03:13

In case you hadn’t seen the announcements, there is a great, free event coming to the Chicagoland area to celebrate the launch of Visual Studio 2017! Details and registration link below…

 

Since Visual Studio launched 20 years ago it has evolved to become a favorite IDE of the casual to professional developer. With the launch of Visual Studio 2017 Microsoft has stepped up their game with improvements to make it easier to work with Cloud, Mobile and Web, as well as a number of productivity improvements.

Join us for a morning of exploring the possible with Mike Benkovich (@mbenko) and Mitch Muenster (@mobileRez) as we take a look the latest tools and technologies with Visual Studio, Xamarin and the Mobile Center, and DevOps with Team Services. The day starts at 8:30 and ends with a hackfest/install pizza party.

 

Tentative agenda:

  • 8:30 – Hello Visual Studio
  • 9:45 – Exploring Mobile Stack
  • 11:00 – DevOps, .NET Core, Docker and more
  • 12:00 – Pizza & Hackfest
 

When: Mon, April 17, 2017

8:30 AM – 1:00 PM CDT

 

Where: Microsoft Office - Downers Grove

3025 Highland Pkwy

Suite 300

Downers Grove, IL 60515

View Map

 

Register today!

Tags:

Visual Studio 2017 | Visual Studio | Visual Studio Team Services | DevOps | Xamarin | VS2017 | xa

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Spring Into DevOps on April 12th in Chicago with Donovan Brown

by Angela 5. April 2017 18:59
 

DevOps is about people, process and products. Getting it all right requires effort but the benefits to your organization and customers can be huge. Microsoft has a fantastic set of products that can adapt to any language on any platform. In this demo-heavy session, Donovan Brown will show you how to go from "zero to DevOps" like a pro. Starting from just a blank desktop, he will create a new team project and a complete pipeline. He will also deploy an ASP.NET MVC application into Azure, all live and hands on. Why is DevOps one of the hottest topics? Because it hurts the most. Luckily, Donovan's unofficial tag line is #RubDevOpsOnIt and he's here to make it all better.

This is going to be an action packed event, and a rare opportunity to speak to the Principal DevOps Program Manager at Microsoft himself. So come ready to drink from the DevOps firehose!

Agenda for Wed, April 12, 2017

6:00pm: Grab dinner and a seat!

6:30pm: The DevOps show begins

Register soon on our Events page as the event will likely sell out!

Location: Microsoft Midwest District

200 East Randolph Street

#200

Chicago, IL 60601

View Map

 

Speaker: Donovan Brown, Principal DevOps Program Manager, Microsoft

Meet the Man in the Black Shirt. Donovan Brown is a Principal DevOps Program Manager on Microsoft's US Developer Division team. Before joining Microsoft, Donovan spent seven years as a Process Consultant and a Certified Scrum Master. Developer Tools are his thing. Donovan has travelled the globe helping companies in the U.S., Canada, India, Germany, and the UK develop solutions using agile practices, Visual Studio, and Team Foundation Server in industries as broad as Communications, Health Care, Energy, and Financial Services. What else keeps the wheels spinning on The Man in The Black Shirt? Donovan's also an avid programmer, often finding ways to integrate software into his other hobbies and activities, one of which is Professional Air Hockey where he has ranked as high as 11 in the world.

Please note: Due to Aon Center security, you MUST be registered to attend.

Tags:

VSTS | DevOps | Visual Studio Team Services | Continuous Delivery | Continuous deployment | Continuous integration | Deployment Planning | Deployment

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FREE Lunch and Learn: Enterprise Adoption of Visual Studio Team Services on March 30th

by Angela 14. March 2017 23:59

If you are a Team Foundation Server customer, you may already understand how valuable it is to bring your teams together in one place to orchestrate your entire development lifecycle. Now that Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) has been launched, there are many compelling reasons to consider migrating your on-premises Team Foundation Server to the cloud.

Please join us as we share our key insights and action plans for migrating your enterprise to VSTS.

Our partners at OpsHub will share their story about integrating VSTS with other enterprise services in their organization, and how it has helped them create a more productive and customer focused ecosystem. They will take us through their journey from the pre-agile phase to the customer-obsessed phase and share their insights on leveraging the power of integration to deliver quality product and services in a shorter cycle time.

Complimentary lunch will be provided. Seating is limited. Please register to attend!

 

Key Takeaways:

Highlights of VSTS capabilities

Navigating the ALM and DevOps ecosystem

Migration Considerations

Integration with other enterprise services

Next Steps

 

Date and Time: Thu, March 30, 2017 from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM CDT

Location

Microsoft - Downer's Grove

3025 Highland Parkway

Suite #200

Downers Grove, IL 60515

Presenters:

Angela Dugan is a Principal Consultant for Polaris Solutions, a consulting firm based out of Chicago, Denver, and St. Louis. Angela has been in software since 1999, filling roles including business analyst, developer, tester, project manager, and agile coach. Prior to joining Polaris, Angela spent 5 years as a TFS specialist with Microsoft, where her passion for working with the local community was sparked. In 2011 she followed her passion for problem solving to Polaris, and now runs their ALM Practice. Angela runs the Chicago ALM user group, is an active organizer/speaker at local conferences including ThatConference, is a Microsoft ALM MVP, a Certified Scrum master, and a SAFe Program Consultant.

Sandeep Jain is the founder and CEO of OpsHub Inc. His vision for making software integration and migration a customer-friendly affair is the driving force behind OpsHub. Sandeep has 25 years of experience in the software industry. He has been at the forefront of driving agile transformation through his expertise in ALM and DevOps integration and has filed more than 20 patents in the domain.

 

Building security requires you to be pre-registered.  Please sign up on our events page.

Tags:

Visual Studio Team Services | VSTS | ALM | Application Lifecycle Management

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Chicago ALM and Agile Meetup Series: Introducing Visual Studio ALM 2017 on March 14th in Downers Grove

by Angela 6. March 2017 17:24

Have you seen Team Foundation Server (TFS) and its cloud based sibling Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) lately? TFS/VSTS has evolved significantly over the past 2 – 3 years. In this presentation and demo we will take a look at some of the newer features such as the Agile planning tool updates, Git integration enhancements, cross platform build and release tools, (You can now build Java, iOS and Android apps!) and the browser based manual testing tools.

Have you thought about migrating from TFS to VSTS? Microsoft now has migration tools to move to VSTS without losing anything that you currently have in TFS. Angela Dugan will be walking you through some options for migrating to VSTS, including the new high-fidelity migration tool.

This session will be on the heels of Microsoft’s virtual launch event for Visual Studio 2017 and before The 360 on Innovative Application event on March 16th so, it will be packed with tons of information about the changes that Microsoft has made in Visual Studio 2017, TFS 2017 and VSTS.

Make sure to REGISTER for the event by March 13th, 2017!

 

Agenda

6:00PM: Dinner and networking

6:30PM: Presentation begins

8:00PM: Closing remarks

Speaker Bios

Dave Burnison works as a technology specialist for Microsoft's application lifecycle management product line and Azure development workloads. Dave is super-passionate about ALM and the software development life cycle, and has worked in the software development industry his entire career. Having worked for both startups and large companies, his strength is his knowledge of the overall software development lifecycle paired with technical skills which allow him to create and manage ALM systems, processes and procedures that enable software development teams to become as efficient and productive as possible. On the personal front, when he’s not at work Dave enjoys spending time with his family and friends, being involved in his church, and following the NFL and NASCAR.

Angela Dugan is a Principal Consultant and Practice Manager for Polaris Solutions, a software technology and process consulting firm based in Chicago. Her focus as Practice Manager is supporting clients through training and coaching as they work together to increase their agility and improve their DevOps practices. Angela has been in the industry since 1999, and spent over 5 years as a technology evangelist with Microsoft. Angela is an active technology community member in Chicago and organizes several local conferences including Chicago Code Camp, ThatConference, and St. Louis DevUp. She is a Microsoft ALM MVP, a Certified Scrum master, and a SAFe Program Consultant. Outside of wrangling TFS, Angela is an avid board gamer, an aspiring runner, and a Twitter addict. She is constantly working on her 1910 house in Oak Park with her husband David, where they raise two ornery chickens named Betsy and Gertrude, and a rambunctious puppy named Sadie.  And yes, that goes about as well as you’d imagine Smile

 

Make sure to REGISTER for the event by March 13th, 2017!

Tags:

Visual Studio | Visual Studio Team Services | Team Foundation Server | Visual Studio 2017 | TFS 2017

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Free Microsoft DevOps Strategy Event Coming to Cities Across the US

by Angela 27. February 2017 16:49

This looks like a really great event if your organization is still trying to wrap its head around what DevOps really means and how to get started, particularly if you’re already investing heavily in Microsoft technologies. Please note, this is going to focus on high level strategy and business focused DevOps discussions, if you’re looking for something more hands-on, stay tuned. I’ll be sharing more events soon.

If events like these get you excited about moving forward but you’re still not confident to go it alone, reach out to us! Polaris has helped a number of their clients to quickly jumpstart their DevOps initiatives through a combination of agile coaching and immersive adoption of modern tools and proven, leading practices!

Hope to see you there,

~Angela

 

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In support of your pursuit towards Digital Transformation and harnessing digital technology for organizational success, we invite you to learn how Microsoft’s platforms and tools can provide you efficiencies at scale while delivering application experiences that will truly delight your employees and customers.

Microsoft’s Cloud Application Development team is hosting a new event “The 360 on Innovative Applications” in 12 cities across the USA. We want you to be able to walk away with a 360 degree view of how you can architect and maintain applications with DevOps processes so that you can delight your customers and employees, provide an entirely new level of insights, and create a development environment that supports your LOB stakeholders in driving business agility.

 

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

Sr. Development, IT and Data Professionals who are interested in identifying how they can move their organization forward by implementing DevOps practices, tools and adoption of the newest application architecture and functionality that can differentiate their organization from their competitors.  We suggest that you forward this to your colleagues who would be working with you on implementing this transformation. Please note: This is ‘NOT’ a hands on lab boot camp!

We hope that you will take the time to register today, and ask that you please extend this invite to your peers!

 

Agenda:

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Locations:

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Tags:

ALM | Application Lifecycle Management | DevOps | Visual Studio Team Services | Visual Studio | TFS | Team Foundation Server | Application Insights

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Chicago Coder Conference is Next Week! Hope to see you there

by Angela 1. June 2016 16:41

There are a lot of conferences in Chicago this summer, well I suppose technically it’s still spring but from these temps you’d never know it! Anyway, I was invited to speak at Chicago Coder Conference this year (not to be confused with the awesome CCC = Chicago Code Camp conference), and I’d never really considered it before.  With all of the other conferences I am involved in and speaking at, it just hadn’t made the cut. I recently checked out their session list and holy cow are there some great people speaking, including a few of my coworkers. There is even a full day of hands-on sessions where you can dig in deep. It’s an seriously action-lacked 3 days. A few of the bigger names you might recognize are Doc Norton, Uncle Bob Martin, and Joel Tosi.

Now I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up the great topics being presented by some of the folks at Polaris Solutions, including yours truly:

 

Steven Contos

June 7, 2016 - Session 1 – Coding the Most Complex “Hello World” Program Ever Written and More Hyperbole

Room 600 from 10:00 AM  -  11:00 AM

Florin Ciobanu

June 6, 2016 - Session 1 – Xamarin! The Babel Fish in the Developer’s Guide to the Mobile Apps

Room 621 from 10:00 AM  -  11:00 PM

Kevin Fitzpatrick

June 6, 2016 - Session 4 – Dear Coder: The Problem is Over Here!

Room 600 from 2:30 PM  -  3:30 PM

Angela Dugan

June 7, 2016 - Lunch & Learn – Improve your Retrospectives with Agile Kaizen!

Room 621 from 12:15 PM  -  1:15 PM

June 7, 2016  - Session 4 – Deconstructing the Scaled Agile Framework

Room 404 from 2:30 PM  -  3:30 PM

 

It’s not too late to sign up, and I may still have some discount codes I can share if you want to get in on it.  If you are interested, hit me up through the contact link on my blog for more info!

And while you’re in the mood to check out AMAZING local conferences, be sure to check out ThatConference!  I wrote a blog post about it here, including a great overview and some pictures. Check it out.  Hope to see you at Chicago Coder Conference next week, and at ThatConference in August!

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Chicago DevOps Community Roadshow–April 2016 Recap

by Angela 22. April 2016 09:41

Last week myself and some of my favorite community leaders and MVPs were able to deliver a free community event focusing on DevOps practices and tools thanks to the generosity of Microsoft. Not only did Microsoft provide the great venue for free, but they also supplied the funding that covered a great hot breakfast, beverages, and a Microsoft Band 2 for the raffle!

2016-04-15 07.26.31

We had over 100 people register, and people started trickling in early. We had a surprising number of enthusiastic attendees already seated and ready for Jim’s 8:30am keynote!

2016-04-15 08.37.10

Next we had some great talks by Landan, Erik, Chris, Min, and Greg. Topics included continuous integration with Visual Studio and TFS 2015, environment provisioning and DSC with Azure, release management with TFS RM and Octopus Deploy, and metrics and monitoring with Application Insights and SonarQube.

2016-04-15 08.50.042016-04-15 09.43.392016-04-15 10.54.122016-04-15 11.22.08

 

There was a lot of great discussion, some awesome demos, and everyone had a great time. Thanks again to my rock star team - Eric Boyd, Landan Rotter, Angela Dugan, Greg Levenhagen, Chris Taylor, Jim Szubryt, and Min Maung - who seems to not really like any of us enough to stand next to us Smile

2016-04-15 12.57.28-1

Slides from the event are still being uploaded, but you’ll be able to access everything here. Thanks again for attending, and if you didn’t make it and would like to learn more about any of these topics, shout at me on email (via the link at the bottom of this blog post) or twitter and I’ll connect you with the right people!

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