Friday, February 18, 2011

Team Foundation Server - Test Presentation

Since I joined my current company I've been tasked with learning about Team Foundation Server. It was seen as key component to future development within the company. However, previous initiatives have fallen by the way side over the years. I think these have not worked because they have failed to interact with the larger audience of IT - i.e. outside of just the .Net development teams.

It has often been seen as a “thing” that was coming but no-one really knew about.

We finally get a production ready instance of TFS 2010 this week. After numerable test instances have been used and “toyed” with.

Weirdly I'm leaving my current company in the next week, and yet this initiative seems to be finally getting some steam behind it; or at least it felt that way today.

We've been using it within our development team for.Net technologies for the last 5 years or so, more recently we've been starting to use it for User Stories/requirements, work item tracking and general reporting. CI builds where going to be my next task.

Today I've given a presentation to the Test team. After a trial demo to our development team the other week, this seemed to send everyone to sleep!? I decided to change the format, I hoped it would make it more interactive and actual let me know what people thought about TFS, what they'd heard about for so long - but never really seen. I also needed some help - since I'm not really a "Tester" (although I'm trying harder to become multi-skilled - I might blog about this separately!!!) - so didn't know what to show them. I can give a demo to developers easy since I know what they want to do.

This led me to the following format for the presentation:
  • Get an understanding of what the group knew about TFS?
  • What they thought TFS was?
  • What they thought TFS would do for them?
I linked this to another item:
  • What are the current problems within "Test"?

This gave me a lot of ideas as to what they actually wanted to see, it also highlighted what TFS wasn't going to give them. I.e. it isn't going to solve World hunger, or poverty!!!

After this I let the group drive the demo:
  • What do you want to start using?
  • What do you want to see?
  • What do you want to explore?
I found this helpful, and hopefully they enjoyed it and saw the potential of TFS. I have to re-emphasis that I am no expert on it from a "Test" perspective - I simply know of its potential to fulfil some of the problems that they currently have. It's essential that someone takes the time and interest in the tool to try to solve some of their problems.

It's definitely a tact I'd take with any other presentation/demo I'm giving in the future!

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