We help teams get productive, cut waste, and deliver great software.

Scrum Training & Coaching

Want to be more Agile? Looking for an Agile transformation? Need Scrum training or someone to help your Scrum teams improve their game? We can help. We offer three different Scrum courses. We also can embed with your teams to help them develop their Agile & Scrum "muscle memory".

Ever get the feeling that one or more of your teams just isn't "clicking" and kind of needs a therapist? Do you suspect there's a general malaise in your development organization? We can help with that, too.

Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio ALM, & DevOps Consulting

Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio ALM (VS ALM) can help your teams communicate more efficiently and be more productive. It can also help you with your ALM and DevOps automation concerns through automated builds, automated Release Management, automated testing, and more. We've been doing this for years and we can help.

Development & QA Best Practices

Software development doesn't have to be painful and software testing doesn't have to be a magical black box. We can help your developers learn and adopt the skills to help them to build high-quality, maintainable code. We can help your QA testers plan and manage their work to help ensure quality in your final product.

We'll help everyone learn to work together so that quality becomes something you think about every day rather than something you think about at the last second.

  • Team Foundation Server 2017 Installation Guide

    Well, you may have heard that Team Foundation Server 2017 (TFS2017) was released today. If you’re interested in installing it, here’s my TFS2017 install guide.  It’s ~80 pages of step-by-step instructions with screenshot on how to set up Windows Server 2016, SQL Server 2016, and Team Foundation Server 2017. Here’s that link again. Enjoy! -Ben […]

  • Using TFS Build to Deploy Entity Framework Database Migrations with Migrate.exe

    In the discussion thread for my DevOps Skills class at Pluralsight, I got a question about how to deploy database changes in a build using Entity Framework Migrations (aka. EF Code First Migrations).  It’s actually pretty easy and it all comes down to a tool that comes with Entity Framework called migrate.exe.  When you deploy your […]

  • One TFS Build, Multiple Git Repositories with Submodules

    In the discussion thread for my DevOps Skills class at Pluralsight, I got a question about how to do TFS Builds and TFS Release Management with code that spans multiple Git repositories.  For good reasons, his team has separated their code into multiple repos.  But when they go to create a build in TFS, the […]

  • How to Change a Test Configuration in the TFS Test Hub

    If you’re using Team Foundation Server’s Test Hub for your QA testing effort, you’ve probably seen this annoyance.  All of your test cases say “Windows 8” in the Configuration column.  Windows 8?!? What is this? 2014?!  You’ll hit your next level of frustration about 20 seconds later when you find out that there’s no way […]

  • Scrum: Don’t Lick the Cookie

    I was reminded by a friend’s tweet this week about a piece of advice I give in my Scrum talks — “Don’t Lick the Cookie”.  This is my way of saying, when you’re doing Scrum Sprint Planning, don’t assign tasks.  If you exit your Sprint Planning meeting with a bunch of PBIs and Tasks and those […]

  • Microsoft Test Manager is pretty much done. What’s missing and what do we do now?

    Ok.  Microsoft Test Manager (MTM) isn’t going away but you might have noticed that it’s kind of been put out to pasture.  There were some good features – some core features – in MTM that were kind of helpful.  So what do you we do now?  If you’re on Team Foundation Server 2015 (TFS2015) what’s […]

  • .NET Rocks Episode: “The Scourge of Multitasking”

    Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell invited me on their podcast a few weeks ago to talk about “The Scourge of Multitasking” and that episode just dropped this morning.  The conversation covered a lot of ground.  We started off with how multitasking can crush your team’s productivity, talked about burnout, talked about focus, what “Done” actually […]

  • TFS Test Hub: What Does It All Mean?

    Ok.  So if you want to do QA testing — “manual testing” in Microsoftspeak — with Team Foundation Server (TFS) or Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), you’re going to spend a lot of time in the Test Hub.  The vast majority of QA/manual testing features have moved to the web interface as of TFS2015 and the Test Hub […]

  • New Pluralsight Course: DevOps Skills with Visual Studio & TFS

    It’s been a long time coming and my latest Pluralsight course is finally out!  DevOps Skills for Developers with Visual Studio & Team Foundation Server (TFS)! TL;DR — DevOps using Visual Studio 2015 and Team Foundation Server 2015 – How do you do it and why you should care? This course will change your focus from […]

  • Enable Verbose Debug Mode for TFS Build vNext

    Here’s a “hidden in plain sight” quick tip: how to turn on verbose debugging mode for your Team Foundation Server vNext Build. The short answer is that you need to set the ‘system.debug’ variable to true for your build.  You can set this to true for a single instance of the build or you can change […]

  • Edit a Connection String from a TFS vNext Build

    In my last post, I talked about how to create an ASP.NET Web Application that’s easy to deploy from your Team Foundation Server vNext Build (TFS Build vNext).  Well, part of the pain of deploying an ASP.NET Web Application (ASP.NET MVC or ASP.NET Web Forms) from a build is dealing with database connection strings.  So […]

  • An ASP.NET MVC Site That’s Easy to Deploy from a TFS Build

    By this point, you’ve probably heard that Team Foundation Server 2015 has a completely new build system.  As part of it, it organizese and compiles the code slightly differently than the old XAML-based TFS Build system.  First off, when you run a vNext build on a build server, you got four folders: a, b, s, and […]