Showing posts from August, 2017

Adding personas to work items in VSTS

During the week I finished adding the requirements I started in my previous post.  I found I needed a few more features - one about Security and one covering setting up the development projects and builds.  I also discovered an extension for VSTS that will help me keep focused on the users while I work.
VSTS has a marketplace where you can see all the extensions and install those you think are useful. The one I will install is Personas, by Agile Extensions.

They make a few VSTS extensions all aimed at making agile development more fun.  Personas is especially helpful for my project, as I don't have a source of real requirements or users, and using personas will help me turn user roles into real personalities. To get started select the Extensions button and Browse the Marketplace:

The Marketplace has a large number of plugins and extensions, covering all sorts of functionality.  It's always interesting to look through and see what might be useful for your projects:

I will be …

Setting up Requirements in VSTS

Last week I started a new project with VSTS, setting up some Git repos for my code.  Now it's time to set up some requirements and planning for the development.  I chose to set up an Agile project last week, which is one of 3 default project types in VSTS.  This affects a number of things, including the form the requirements take and the development process used.  Agile is the most flexible, and is the one that I use most often.  Requirements are added to a project as Work Items:

Most of my requirements will take the form of User stories, a common Agile construct.  These stories express a requirement in terms of a Persona, performing some Action to achieve a Result.  When you use this format you tend to drill down on the requirement, writing it in a format that's easy to understand and to develop.  Features are a piece of functionality that you want to deliver, and can be used to group stories together, while an Epic is a large, long running objective composed of many Features…

Setting up a new VSTS project

Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) is an Application Lifecycle Management tool - it handles the whole lifecycle of software development from idea to requirements, planning, development, code reviews, build and release.  It is designed to support your team no matter what methodologies or languages you use.  While most users pay for a license or use their MSDN subscriptions to log in, Microsoft make VSTS freely available for teams of up to 5 users.  I am going to use my free account to plan and develop a new project, and share some tips along the way.

Start off at where you can sign up for a free account.  After you choose your account name, you can create a new project:

Choose a Git repository to save your source code, and select the Agile work item process.  This process works well with most Agile methodologies without constraining you to a particular Scrum template.  When you press Create you'll be taken to the new project's dashboard.  It has a lot of inform…