Using the "Five Why" method to get traction on your defects and technical debt.

When you ship software, you really ship at least these things. Features Bugs Defects/Technical Debt   Features are what we mean to ship. Bugs are what customers see and don’t like. Defects require a bit of explanation. Defects are all the problems we know exist in the system that aren’t visible on the surface. Lack…


Getting Test Settings from Microsoft Test Manager into your tests

This code is by way of the awesome Ben Schaefer. This should have been a native function included with Microsoft Test Manager. This code will allow your tests to retrieve environment speficic settings from Microsoft Test Manager. It’s got the ability to create arbitrary settings in MTM, but tests can’t access those settings without something…


Launching test runs from TCM.Exe

First skim this article: Next, run this script to dump most of the data you need from TFS. You will still need to get some settings from MTM. The last line of output will show you what you need to fill in. @echo off if [%1] EQU [] (Echo Must provide name of project…


Team Build 2010 generic post processing scripting

My team is switching from the 2008 style builds to the workflow builds in 2010. We have a lot of customized post build activities. We wanted to preserve the legacy .cmd files that run the show, but still get the automatic symbol management in the new default template. Adding a node in the workflow turned…


TF215097: Cannot create unknown type when using pure XAML actions.

While trying to add some customization to my build process (you know, those wheel spinners) I ran into this error TF215097: An error occurred while initializing a build for build definition \Sandbox\SandboxWithPostProc: Cannot create unknown type ‘{clr-namespace:BuildActivityPack;assembly=BuildActivityPack}Activity1’. I binged around the web for a while and found some articles. You have to add your path…


Running Tests cross domain with TFS and Visual Studio 2010

In part 1 I promised to continue the configuration to allow running tests from TFS with Microsoft Test Center. In order to run tests cross domain, you need to have completed Part 1. The best practices for work and production networks require some seperation between the networks. This is great for security, but can make…


Using Visual Studio 2010 to remotely debug ASP.Net crashes.

Suppose you have an ASP.NET page that is giving users some vague error message like “An error has occured” when they do certian actions. You might very much like to get a debugger on the web server in question and diagnose the issue. In some cases this may be problematic. You may not want to…


Thinking better: Selection Bias

This is a super article on selection bias. In software development we are often guilty of pinning results on people, techniques or external influences that may not have had anything to do with the results. Critical thinking isn’t just about asking questions. It’s also about asking the right questions in the right way.


UI testing with VS2010 and Microsoft Test Manager 2010 screencast.

Here is a screencast I created that it a quick tour and walkthrough of how to use the new manual testing features in VS2010.   The video runs 26 minutes and covers the basics. See the resource links and MSDN for details. Here are the resource URLs at the end of the video. I…