VSTS 2010

I attended my first session on VSTS 2010. WOW! This team has been very busy. This session was geared to developers, however it was about testing and architecture features. Here are some highlights I thought were pretty cool:

  • Testing

The Tester executes a Manual Test Case (More to learn here) finds a problem and raises a bug.

Some of what is Automatically attached to the bug is

      1. A video of what the tester did.
    1. A debug Trace file (Developers can load and use to debug through the stack trace)
    2. Information on the state of the test machine.

There will be a lot less returned bugs with the reason "can not reproduce"

Another helpful view is the Test Impact View. This is a filtered list of unit tests that might be affected by your code change.

And then there was the Coded UI Test. This is a recorded test against a web, windows or WPF application. This test is built just like a unit test. However there are extra files that contain the calls that manipulate the UI being tested. You can of course insert Validations/Asserts easily using the recorder. If you are so inclined you could tweak the test because it is written in your favourite .net language. The Coded UI Test looks very good I'm looking forward to seeing more.

  • Build Server

When you check in your code it will actually shelve it with a separate version of the latest code and attempt a build. If it build ok you can check in for real. If not you can't.

No more broken builds?

  • Architect

For the architect there is a new Layer Diagram which will validate against your code to ensure developers are following the architecture as it was intended. This validation is done during the build process. There is a nice Namespace view that is appealing and lets you see how objects interact within and across Namespaces.

PDC KeyNote

This is my 4th PDC. I have to be honest this is the dullest Key Note yet. To be fair Cloud computing is a tough thing to show. Everyone is doing a good job of getting across Windows Azure. So far two partners have come up to talk about how they are using it for their applications. One partner created service called BlueHoo This is a cool app that runs on your phone using Bluetooth it looks for people around you that have BlueHoo accounts and can show you people with similar interests. For now it seems like a toy, however these types of applications have incredible capabilities.

I'm a developer and I want to see code and cool tool features that makes my job easier and more fun. The problem is to utilize cloud computing using Windows Azure, I don't need new tools. It's the same old tools I have been using all along. Hey wait that's a good thing. :)

PDC here we come...

Later today I will be heading for the airport to fly to L.A. for my fourth PDC. This year I am going with another ObjectSharp partner Bruce Johnson.

From everything I have been reading it looks like we are going to learn a lot about Cloud Computing. I'm also looking forward to seeing what is coming in TFS and VSTS.

We get in late tonight so first thing in the morning we'll be heading in to register and find our way to the keynote, which is always a treat.

See you at PDC.

Guaranteed Laugh

Want a good chuckle?

  1. Goto Google Maps
  2. Get Directions from Sydney Australia to Los Angeles CA (For those with little or no time)
  3. Read number 6 on the directions.


Cat 5 Rings

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90

It’s cool to be a geek…


Do you remember when it was not cool to be a geek?


Not that I ever let it bother me. I have attended every PDC since 2001. It’s tough to be the coolest guy out of 8000.


Now a days it's cool to be a geek , people are coming out of the wood work to proclaim their geekyness with pride. Below are three examples I came across in the past few weeks.

1. A developer who changed his girlfriend’s favorite game (bejeweled) so when she achieved a certain score it displayed a proposal of marriage.

2. I remember when that one kid in a class with a laptop was the geek. Who’s the outcast now?  

3. Cat 5 Wedding rings, need I say more.




No Laptop

ObjectSharp @ the Movies

On Feb 7th ObjectSharp hosted a free event at the Paramount Scotia Bank Theatre downtown. The morning after one of this winters largest snowfalls 160 people showed up for a morning of what's new in Visual Studio 2008. I did a piece on VSTS and TFS 2008. My slides are attached.

Even with the snow the event turnout was great, thanks to everyone who ventured out. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

A few pictures were taken at the event you can view them here.


LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

Laboratory Automation Robots

Living in Canada I don't get to the Desert very often. I have always been under the impression it doesn't rain there very often. So on my first trip to the desert what does it do? Rain, the whole weekend. I was in Palm Springs attending a conference, which was a bit different for me. I have been to many conferences in my time; however I normally attend developer conferences like Microsoft's PDC and Tech Ed, DevTeach and in the past Client Server World. This time it was Lab Automation 2008.

I was there to help one of our clients, Thermo Fisher Scientific. Thermo is showing off some new software that allows its users to define and execute an automated Laboratory. Thermo is a leader in this space, and this is the next generation of their Lab Automation Systems named Momentum. I have wanted to Blog about this project for some time now but couldn't say anything until the show made it public. Now that the show has taken place, and the world knows how cool Momentum is, I can talk about it. J

I have worked on some cool projects in my 25 years of software development; this is definitely in the top 5. Thermo has built a Software Factory that allows their clients to create laboratory automation systems that can be configured to execute experiments using any vendor's instrument. In the world of Lab Automation there are hundreds of instruments that perform various tasks, from changing a plate's orientation to filling it with a compound. For the Lab Automation conference we created a demo that helps illustrate what Momentum can do. I took a short video before I left for home. In the video below you see three robots that are executing a process which is moving a plate from one location to another. Then when an conference attendee drops their plate into the shoot a bar code reader detects the plate and instructs momentum to add another process to the run which returns the attendees plate along with a plate containing a prize. How cool are Robots!