Visual Studio 11's Agile IDE

Microsoft's Build conference wasn't just focused on Windows 8. Agile software development and ALM also earned their place in the spotlight.

Microsoft's use of the "eat your own dog food" mantra is alive and well, as demonstrated at this year's Microsoft Build conference.  Agile methodology was a popular theme.

Although there was significant focus on Windows 8 at the conference, software development methodology and application lifecycle management (ALM) were featured on the second day of the conference at the keynote address.

Microsoft's Jason Zander explained distributed team project management with Visual Studio 11 and Team Foundation Server 11.  He showed how team members can grab source code, edit it, and run updates and builds. Zander, corporate vice president of Visual Studio, said:

One of the things we've done with Visual Studio 11 and for our ALM support is we've done a significant amount of agile work. I'm actually using scrum across Visual Studio, our own team when we do this work, so we've actually been using this ourselves internally, it's been awesome.

Zander that same day introduced the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview on his blog, where he also explored some of the agile aspects of the IDE:

As development teams become more flexible and agile, they demand adaptive tools that still ensure a high commitment to quality. The Exploratory Testing feature is an adaptive tool for agile testing that enables you to test without performing formal test planning.

He went on to explain how Exploratory Testing helps developers quickly find actional bugs, create test cases, and manage testing sessions.

This wasn't the only part of the Buld conference that was focused on agile. Program managers Aaron Bjork and Peter Provost's held a different session, Working on an agile team with Visual Studio 11 and Team Foundation Server. Bjork works on Team Foundation Server; he said he focuses on project management features and "all things agile." Provost, who works on Visual Studio Ultimate, said, "I've been focusing for the last year or two on agile developer tooling, with a particular focus on unit testing."  He then echoed Bjork's phrasing, saying: "All things agile are where we like to keep our attention focused."

The pair spent an hour discussing new features and products as they can be used by an agile team. The process involved four stages: prioritize, plan, execute, and respond. For more details, you can watch the presentation on Microsoft's Channel 9. Also, the two announced that the "ALM Hands-On Labs" are available for download.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for 1105 Media.

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