8 Feb 2017


DevOps training in Perth this week

After delivering my 3-day DevOps using Visual Studio TFS 2015 course in Seattle last week, it was off on a 16,680+km journey to Perth, Western Australia to deliver the course again this week for a partner. Fortunately the trip included a short 24hour break at home in Brisbane which was nice 🙂

I’ve got a great class of 6 students eager to learn how to best use Microsoft Team Foundation Server to deliver value to their clients as efficiently as possible.

8 Dec 2016


Upgrade your TFS administration skills to TFS 2017 today

With the release of Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2017 announced at the Connect(); // 2016 conference in mid-November, organisations are now looking at upgrading to the latest version.

The new version of TFS brings many major benefits to teams including:

  • Package Management
    Create and manage private NuGet feeds.
  • Code Search
    Search all the code across your project collection easily.
  • Agile planning improvements
    new form, following work items, live updates, better notifications, …
  • Git improvements
    Hugely upgraded pull request experience, iterative reviews, squash merge, …
  • Build improvements
    Java build templates, Xamarin build tasks, Docker support, …
  • Release management improvement
    Support for ARM templates, task groups, manual approval task, scheduled releases, …
  • Test improvements
    10X more compact test results storage, lots of manual testing improvements, test reporting and traceability improvements, …

To help TFS administrators upskill their knowledge to help plan, upgrade and configure TFS 2017, we’ve created a brand new course specifically for existing administrators.

Introducing Updating Your TFS Administration Skills for TFS 2017, a 2-day training course for experienced TFS administrators.

At the completion of this course, attendees will be able to:

  • enable new features in TFS 2017 as required
  • plan their migration to the latest version of TFS
  • configure Package Management and set security on feeds
  • install, configure, and optimise the new Code Search feature
  • troubleshoot issues with Code Search
  • understand the latest improvements to Build and Release from an admin perspective
  • install extensions from the Visual Studio Marketplace
  • understand how to install internally developed TFS extensions
  • understand the new process template model
  • implement work item customisations
  • understand and configure new permissions

Find out more about this course and review the course outline now. (PDF)

If you’re new to TFS administration, we also have a 4-day “TFS 2017 Configuration and Administration” course featuring comprehensive coverage of all administration tasks.

17 Nov 2016


Presenting at the Microsoft Developer Event 2016 in Sydney

Satya in Sydney

Yesterday, I had the privilege to be one of the presenters at a half-day developer event in Sydney, Australia. The event included an opening keynote by Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella who spoke about empowering developers to shape the future with an intelligent cloud platform and artificial intelligence.

This was probably the biggest audience I have presented to to-date with over 1,300 developers registered to attend the event.

SydDev01SydDev02 SydDev03

The focus of my presentation was DevOps using Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) and Team Foundation Server 2017 (TFS). Here are some links to more information on some of the topics I demonstrated.

At the Microsoft Connect(); 2016 conference in New York today, Microsoft announced the immediate availability of TFS 2017. You can find the download links on Brian Harry’s blog post.

17 Nov 2016


Microsoft Virtual Academy–Applying DevOps to your VSTS Extensions

Following the MVP Summit in Redmond last week, I got the opportunity to record a short training video for the great folk at Microsoft Virtual Academy. My presentation was the final part of a 3-part series covering creating VSTS/TFS Extensions.

It was awesome to be able to present beside Donovan Brown, Senior DevOps Program Manager and Willy-Peter Schwaub, Visual Studio ALM Ranger Program Manager. While the video was only a short one, ~30 minutes, we still had a lot of fun recording it.


The videos have not been published yet but I will update this blog post as soon as the links are available.

8 Aug 2016


A Raspberry Pi3 VSTS Build Light-Part 4, some finishing touches

In this fourth and final blog post on the Codify VSTS build light, I’d like to share some finishing touches I have applied to the build light to make it more robust for demonstrations as well as a little more portable.

If you’ve not read my previous posts in this series you can find them here.

A Raspberry Pi3 VSTS Build Light–Part 1, the hardware

A Raspberry Pi3 VSTS Build Light-Part 2, installing Windows 10 IoT Core

A Raspberry Pi3 VSTS Build Light-Part 3, installing the Codify VSTS Build Light software

After completing the first three blog posts and taking the Codify VSTS build light to a few user groups to demonstrate, I realised I need a more durable case as well as a way to plug and unplug the lights and power for travel.

The stock cases I could find from the usual Raspberry Pi online stores didn’t really protect the Codify board so I went looking on Thingiverse to see if someone had a suitable design for a case that I could 3D print. I found a design by UltiArjan which was a remake of a design by 0110-M-P. The case looked promising so I did a remake of this case to suit the two wire terminal blocks on the Codify board and also added a thin cover over the micro USB port usually used to power the Raspberry Pi.

I then loaded up my 3D printer with purple filament (for Visual Studio of course) and went to work. The result is a custom fit case that can survive both office environments and travel for demonstrations.

28 VSTS Build Light Cases

One of my other issues was the inconvenience of having to use a screwdriver if I wanted to remove the power of the light strip for travel. That was solved with the addition of two pigtails – one for the pwoer and another for the light strip.

29 Case including pigtails

I’m sending a few of these cases out to friends and people who have asked for them. If you would like a case, please contact me through the contact form on this blog. I can send you the STL files if you want to print your own or for the price of a roll of filament + postage, I’ll send you one.

Here are the steps to assembling the Codify VSTS build light in this case.

Step one, we start with the case, the Raspberry Pi and the Codify board. I’m including all the necessary screws and spacers in the case when I send them out.

30 Getting Started

The next step involves placing the Raspberry Pi board into the white part of the case and securing the board with a single screw in the back corner. (Diagonally opposite the ethernet port)

31 Installing RPi

You then need to add the Codify board. Don’t push it all the way down onto the pins yet.

32 Add Codify Board

Now you need to gently add the white plastic spacers between the Raspberry Pi board and the Codify board. Once these are in place you can screw the board down into the white case.

33 Add Spacers

In this close up below you can see where I have put a thin cover over the micro USB port port that is usually used to power the Raspberry Pi. You may recall from a previous blog post in this series that the Raspberry Pi is powered by the 12 volts going into the Codify board. As a result you should not connect the Micro USB port to a power supply.

34 notice USB Cover

You’re now ready to sit the white case onto the purple wall plate. The wall plate serves three purposes. Firstly it provides a convenient way to mount the case on a screw in any of four orientations. Secondly, it provides extra space between the white case and the wall or table to help with airflow/cooling of the Raspberry Pi. Thirdly, it has the nuts embedded in the wall plate to allow you to screw everything together.

35 Place on to of wallplate

Now you’re ready to put the largest part of the case on top and screw it all together.

36 Add top case

Once it’s all together here is the key to help you insert the appropriate wires into the terminal block.

37 Easy access to terminal blocks

I’ve added holes in the top of the case to allow you to get a small screwdriver into the terminal blocks to secure the wires.

38 Easy access to screws

Here’s a photo showing the nuts embedded into the wall plate.

39 Nuts are embedded in wallplate

Congratulations!  You’re Codify VSTS Build Light is in its new home ready to give you the good or bad news about your latest builds.

40 All finished

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