Shelve Sets

I think Shelve Sets are one of the nicest features of TFS source control.

They are great for:

  • Storing code safely on the server each night before you go home
  • Storing code you are working on to fix a bug in another branch or older code base
  • Sharing a code example
  • Code Reviews
  • Prototyping
  • Passing something incomplete off before a vacation or long weekend

That reminds me of the one thing I don’t like about Shelve Sets. When you want to unshelve something that belongs to another developer you have to know their user id. There is no  drop down with a distinct list of users that have something shelved. To get my code you would have to know dlloyd or lloyddave or lloydd or whatever my network id happenes to be.

All is not lost, if you install the TFS Power Tools  one of the tools it comes with is called Team Members which is an add-in to Team Explorer, that allows you to organize users into sub-teams and access a number of collaborative tools, such as IM and email, sharing of queries and links, and downloading and installation of custom Team Foundation components.

Check out the context menu when you right click on a team member in this tool you can show their check in history, pending changes, and of course shelvesets.


Microsoft 24 hour code-a-thon

24-Hours of pure, unadulterated coding madness!

The new Windows Phone 7 has recently launched in Canada and Microsoft is looking to YOU to develop apps! Join your friends and fellow student developers for a 24-hour Code-A-Thon hosted by Microsoft. There will be tons of amazing prizes for the best apps, and a brand new Windows Phone 7 for the student that can submit the most apps!

The Windows Phone 7 Code-A-Thon:

Start Date:

Friday, January 21st @ 6pm

End Date:

Saturday, January 22nd @ 6pm


University of Waterloo, VeloCity Residence 200 University Avenue West

Students to RSVP at:

The Maritimes loves TFS

If you have been reading my Blog this week you will know I am in Halifax at Techdays. I did two sessions this week one on Branching and Merging and one on Build Automation both TFS topics. 

Being in the east coast for me feels less like travelling then talking in Ottawa does. You see I have maritime blood in me. My father was born in New Brunswick and I spent most of my childhood summers here. I love the Maritimes they are the nicest people I have ever met. The two ladies who worked the door of the room I talked in were so friendly and helpful I would like to say thank you, I don’t know your names and you will never read this, but to the ladies outside room 200C2 Thanks. :)

Both sessions had a great question and answer segment at the end. The poor next presenter has been setting up both times while I am trying to get out.

After my session today I hung around in the Ask the Experts area of the conference. Even though there are about 15% the attendance of Toronto. I had 4 times the number of people asking questions about TFS. Everyone was very excited at the possibility of using TFS for source control and Build automation. Wait until they learn all the other stuff it can do.

Halifax, thanks for another lovely trip. I’ll be back.

The Maxwell’s Plum in Halifax

I am in Halifax at the moment, speaking at TechDays. I am doing two sessions here Branching and Merging yesterday and Build Automation today.

Yesterday one of my partners Bruce Johnson surprised me by showing up to do a talk. Nice for me now I had someone to have dinner and a beer with.

So Bruce and I headed out looking for a pub. We got lucky first time finding The Maxwell’s Plum. I can’t recommend it enough the food was good and the beer even better. They have a huge selection of drafts on tap. Our server Amy was funny and friendly and knew her beer.

First we both tried a BlackBerry which was a variation on Black and Tan using Pumphouse Blueberry as the Tan. It was very nice.

So I thought I would see how well Amy knows her beer. I asked her to suggest some beers. She asked me what kinds of beers I like. I ended up having a Garrison Tall Ship Ale which is a local micro brewery and it was excellent. I also had a Propeller Pale another local brewery. Both were great beers, it’s nice when the server actually knows and understands the product they are selling.

Now if the Prince George Hotel where I stayed understood their rooms are not worth the price they are charging. :(

Windows Phone 7 Apps “Double Out”

The MVPs were challenged to write a Windows Phone 7 app and upload it to the marketplace. There are of course prizes involved. :)

So I wrote one. I’m no Silverlight expert, and I have never completed a mobile app I started before.

However, I must say this was easy, and the emulator worked flawlessly. In a couple of hours I wrote a simple application that gives you a dart finish if you enter what you have left to throw.

I play on a dart team you see. This application will help you with dart finishes. In Dart games like 301, 501 and 701 you must end on a double. There are three and two dart finishes starting at 170. Many pubs have posters up that show you the best finish given what you have left to shoot. This simple application brings that information to your Windows Phone 7. Just enter what you have left to throw and Double Out will tell you the best finish.

The interface is pretty simple but getting going was a snap. I downloaded the developer kit installed and built an app all within a couple of hours. There is plenty of help out there including articles and examples. I managed to build this without reading any of it.

Now that I have this starting point I want to play with the gestures. I have done some gesture programming before for windows 7 so I am interested in seeing how it works for the phone.


Microsoft Quality Assurance Breakfast

imageQuality Assurance
An effective software quality approach can dramatically improve effectiveness, automation and traceability throughout the development lifecycle. It may surprise you to learn that Microsoft employs as many software testers as developers. Less surprising is the emphasis the company places on the testing discipline—and its role in managing quality across a diverse product portfolio.

For insights into how Microsoft drives software development and tool efficiencies that can benefit your organization, we are extending this special invitation to join Microsoft’s own Alan Page for an executive breakfast on software quality assurance. This is a unique opportunity to share your challenges and learn more about real world solutions. Please register before limited spaces are filled. (Invite Code: 2B1C6C)

Alan Page began his career as a tester in 1993, and joined Microsoft in 1995. He is a Principal SDET on the Office Communicator team, where he coaches and mentors testers and test managers across the organization on testing approaches and techniques. Alan also leads Microsoft’s Test Architect Group and other Microsoft quality and testing focused communities. In his career at Microsoft, Alan has worked on various versions of Windows®, Internet Explorer®, and Windows CE, and has functioned as Microsoft’s

Director of Test Excellence.
Alan is also a frequent speaker at industry testing conferences, a board member of the Seattle Area Software Quality Assurance Group (SASQAG), and has published several articles on testing and quality in testing and software engineering magazines. Alan writes about testing on his blog (, was the lead author on How We Test Software at Microsoft (Microsoft Press, 2008, and contributed a chapter on large-scale test automation to Beautiful Testing (O’Reilly Press, 2009).


Topic: Software Quality Assurance

Date: Thursday October 21, 2010

Location: St. Andrew’s Club & Conference Center

Address: 150 King Street West at University, 27th floor

Breakfast: 8:00 AM

Session Start:  8:30 AM

Session Finish: 11:30 AM

Who Should Attend?

Senior leaders responsible for software Quality Assurance

Register Now

Invite Code: 2B1C6C

TesTrek Talk Next Week.

Deb Forsyth and I are speaking at TesTrek next week.

Our workshop is on Thursday Oct. 21st at 11:00 am

Effectively Managing the testing Process Through Collaboration
Debra Forysth and Dave Lloyd, ObjectSharp Consulting

Communications is the key to the success or failure of any team, whether it’s a sports team or a software development team creating the next app. Without communication, the team members have no idea how best to direct their efforts. With communication, the team can overcome almost any challenge.  Unfortunately, ensuring that the level of collaboration required in generating success can be a difficult goal to achieve. Solid development managers have a bag of tricks that they utilize to foster communications among the different roles. In this session, you will learn some of the tricks that can be used in your own environment to create better communications across all of the team roles.

  • How can the other team roles more effectively communicate with the testing team?
  • What does the test team need to know to complete the testing effort?



Hope to see you there.

Intellitrace: Debugging for the 21st Century

Come out to the next Metro Toronto User Group meeting and see my talk on Intellitrace.

Intellitrace is the new debugging feature in VS 2010 Ultimate. No longer will you have to set a breakpoint at just the right spot and carefully step to it hoping to catch the problem at the source. Instead you can debug backwards to see the prior states of the application without having to restart. Among other things, I will show you how to set up Intellitrace and navigate your application backward and forward so you can find problems faster and easier than ever before.

Date & Time:

6:30 pm on Tuesday October 19th 2010



333 Bay Street
46th floor
Toronto, Ontario

You can Register here.

See you there.

Tech Days Toronto

Tech•Days—back and better than ever

Tech•Days 2010 is traveling across Canada and coming to Toronto on October 27th  and 28th. With 50 sessions across 5 technical tracks, Tech•Days 2010 is a must-attend for IT Professionals and Developers dreaming of the future—today. Immerse yourself in cutting edge technologies that will transform business. Take advantage of learning opportunities that will help you enhance your current skills and develop new ones. And hear from key speakers who will motivate you to explore new ideas, perspectives and knowledge. The track and session abstracts are final and have been designed to help you grow your technical skills and offer you the best learning experience on the latest technologies. Register Now

Tracks include:

  • Developing for Three Screens and the Cloud
  • Optimizing the Development Process
  • Collaboration: The Next Generation
  • All About Deployment
  • Managing and Helping to Secure your IT Infrastructure
  • Local Flavours

This year’s Tech·Days is gearing up to be the best yet. In addition to the great technical learning you will receive, we’ve finalized compelling offers that will be made available only to TechDays attendees, including:

If you are planning to attend any of the Azure sessions at Tech·Days, sign up for an Azure introductory offer to receive your free computer time, storage, and database in the cloud. To sign up, please visit the Azure offer site and select the Introductory offer.  You will require a credit card to sign up; however, you will not be charged unless you exceed the free allowance.

Be sure to take advantage of the Early Bird rate of $349.99 + applicable taxes (nearly 50% savings off the regular price of $699.99). Toronto Early Bird pricing ends on September 16th , 2010.

Register for TechDays Toronto Now

Tech Days 2010

Tech Days 2010 starts next month Vancouver then makes it’s way around Canada.

I’m a Session lead for a session on Build Automation.

Here are dates and locations for a Tech Day near you.

Vancouver   Sep 14-15

Edmonton   Oct 05-06

Toronto      Oct 27-28

Halifax        Nov 02-03

Ottawa       Nov 09-10

Montreal    Nov 23-24

Winnipeg   Dec 07-08

Calgary       Dec 14-15