Last week I had the opportunity to attend the “beta teach” for the 300-level Visual Studio Team System Training. As Brian Harry mentioned this training was a huge success and the official release of the curriculum is well on its way. I personally learned a lot from this class, and I met some great people along the way such as trainers, Regional Directors, MVP’s, and companies who are adopting Team System. Many of the aforementioned are now ramping up to teach this class moving forward.
I thought I would take a moment to position the 200-level and 300-level training so that people can determine which set of materials is most appropriate for them to look into.
200-level content: This content is designed for anybody who is going to be a user of a Team System product. The focus is on the mechanics of how to use the various tools which are included with Team System. You will get hands-on experience using the new designers (class, application, system, logical datacenter), working with tests (web, load, unit, generic), performing profiling and static analysis, and configuring Team Build. You will also learn all about how Team System facilitates collaborative software development by using work-items, learning about the various source control functions (check-in/check-out/shelving/branching/merging), administering policies, working with reports, and you will even use Excel and Project to interface with Team Foundation Server.
The 200-level course will be offered in a self-paced format shortly but can also be delivered in an instructor-led fashion. If you are new to Team System, or even if you have been using it for a while, chances are you can learn a lot from this training which will help you write better software and collaborate more effectively as a team by using Visual Studio Team System.
300-level content: The 300-level training was designed for those key individuals on your software development team who are responsible for tailoring Team System to meet the needs of your team or project. During this course you will learn about a multitude of options for extending and customizing Team System. Such topics include writing custom check-in policies, authoring and customizing process templates, generating customized reports, writing highly-customized tests, subscribing to the Team Foundation Server eventing system (which leads to an excercise where you will configure Team Build for continuous integration), building new static analysis rules, and much, much more. This course is designed to be led by an instructor.
I should emphasize that the 300-level training is not for everybody on a software development team, but I do believe that every software development team can benefit by sending at least one person through this course. Visual Studio Team System was truly built with customization and extensibility in mind to empower teams to use the tools in the manner which is most appropriate for them, not the other way around. After spending 4 days doing nothing but learning how to extend and customize Team System I feel confident that we met our design objective of delivering on this experience.
As soon as I have more information on the availability of either course I will post an update. Please note that the rough syllabus I outlined above is subject to change as we review feedback from the beta teach. If there are topics you are interested in which weren’t covered please suggest them and we’ll see what we can do to incorporate them.