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Free Microsoft Press eBook: Managing Agile Open-Source Software Projects with Microsoft Visual Studio Online

Microsoft's strategy for enticing developers into its product ecosystem has been building over the past couple years, but even more so in the last 6 months. Every day we hear new information about how the company will open source bits and pieces of its code crown jewels. But, to get a really good perspective of what this all means, it helps to just dig into what Microsoft is really offering.

A new eBook from Microsoft Press should prove valuable to those trying to understand how a Microsoft-centric world view fits in an Open Source model.

The book assumes that you have at least a minimal understanding of Agile, Lean, and Scrum development concepts and are familiar with Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio Online (VSO). And, if that applies, then take a look at the chapter layout and abstracts. From Microsoft:

  • Chapter 1: "Triage of ideas" - We describe our use of Visual Studio Online (VSO) to drive the requirements, prioritization, ownership, and management concepts. Every working solution starts with a great and neatly pruned idea!

  • Chapter 2: "Getting ready" - As part of training-research-planning (TRP), we gather as a team, understand the why and the what, and agree on the how. Looking back at a number of projects tackled by our geographically distributed, volunteer, and part-time teams, it is evident that this phase is pivotal.

  • Chapter 3: "Building the working solutions" - We switch from planning and enter the development phase, where the rubber meets the road—executing our plan, implementing features and their associated value, and shipping working solutions quickly and often.

  • Chapter 4: "Raising the quality bar" - We complete an adventure by raising the quality bar and planning the future. This is an opportunity for the team to innovate, plan, and reflect on the project and the overall process to support continuous improvement. It provides the time to complete activities often forgotten or postponed during critical development and testing phases, especially with geographically dispersed and part-time project teams.

  • Appendix 1: "Supporting toolbox" - A collection of templates, checklists, and gadgets that can be used for quick reference and for enabling teams to get started in a consistent way.

  • Appendix 2: "Eating your own dogfood is key" - A collection of proven technologies and techniques we have used 24/7 on our projects. We share our cherry-picked and tailored framework and learnings, allowing everyone to reflect, discover possible improvements, and continuously improve the way they work.

You can download it here (PDF format): Managing Agile Open-Source Software Projects with Microsoft Visual Studio Online

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