I’m very pleased to announce that our new book Professional Team Foundation Server 2012 is now available!
It’s an update to the 2010 edition that reflects all the great new features and changes introduced in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012. For example, there are whole new chapters on Managing Teams, Agile Planning Tools and Integration with Project Server. There’s also new content on the new Team Explorer interface, the Code Review tools, Local Workspaces and the updated Testing and Lab Management features. Throughout the book, we also talk about how to use the cloud hosted Team Foundation Service and talk about some of how the TFS internals have changed to support the service.
We hope that you enjoy this book as much as the previous one and we look forward to reading your reviews.
You can buy the book in the following ways:
And you can preview some of the book before you buy:
Table of Contents
The book is broken up into five sections and its written in a way that you can either read the whole thing cover-to-cover or jump in to a particular part or chapter that interests you. My personal favourite chapters are the ones in Part V – Administration, since I wrote most of them.
Part I – Getting Started
1 – Introducing Team Foundation Server 2012
2 – Planning a Deployment
3 – Installation and Configuration
4 – Connecting to Team Foundation Server
Part II – Version Control
5 – Overview of Version Control
6 – Using Team Foundation Version Control
7 – Ensuring Code Quality
8 – Migration from Legacy Version Control Systems
9 – Branching and Merging
10 – Common Version Control Scenarios
Part III – Project Management
11 – Introducing Work-Item Tracking
12 – Customizing Process Templates
13 – Managing Teams and Agile Planning Tools
14 – Reporting and SharePoint Dashboards
15 – Integration with Project Server
Part IV – Team Foundation Build
16 – Overview of Build Automation
17 – Using Team Foundation Build
18 – Customizing the Build Process
Part V – Administration
19 – Introduction to Team Foundation Server Administration
20 – Scalability and High Availability
21 – Disaster Recovery
22 – Security and Privileges
23 – Monitoring Server Health and Performance
24 – Testing and Lab Management
25 – Upgrading Team Foundation Server
26 – Working with Geographically Distributed Teams
27 – Extending Team Foundation Server
With Ed joining Microsoft since the last book, that completes the set – all four authors work for Microsoft:
- Ed Blankenship is the Microsoft Program Manager for the Lab Management scenarios for Team Foundation Server and the Visual Studio ALM product family. He was voted as Microsoft MVP of the Year for Visual Studio ALM & Team Foundation Server before joining Microsoft.
- Martin Woodward is currently the Program Manager for the Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Cross-Platform Tools Team. Before joining Microsoft, he was voted Team System MVP of the Year, and has spoken about Team Foundation Server at events internationally.
- Grant Holliday is a Senior Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft in Australia. Prior to this role, he spent three years in Redmond, Washington as a program manager in the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server product group.
- Brian Keller is a Principal Technical Evangelist for Microsoft specializing in Visual Studio and application lifecycle management. He has presented at conferences all over the world and has managed several early adopter programs for emerging Microsoft technologies.
This time around we also had long-time TFS/ALM MVP Steve St. Jean contributing on some of the book as well as being a Technical Editor and checking all our facts.
Q & A
When people find out that I’ve written a book, there’s a few questions that often come up.
How much money do you make from the book?
A colleague wrote a book many years ago and he set my expectations right from the start. He used to say: “You don’t make a lot of money by writing a book – especially technical books”. Personally, the royalties are a nice surprise when they come, but I’m not headed for early retirement with them.
There’s really two ways that authors get paid for their contributions:
- Advance – This is a fixed sum, negotiated with the publisher before you sign a contract. Usually its paid in instalments, as you complete different milestones in the process. 50% draft, final draft, etc.
- Royalties – This is a how much you will get for each sale of the book. There is not a single percentage and it varies depending on whether the book was sold in the USA, e-book, translation, etc.
For a more complete explanation of how it all works, check out Charles Petzold’s article on Book Royalties and Advances.
Then there’s the non-direct value – you get to say “I wrote the book” on your business card, which is instant credibility and opens up more opportunities.
You work for Microsoft – what do they think about you writing a book?
Microsoft has a Moonlighting policy which covers things like writing a book and building apps. Essentially, each of the authors had to seek approval from their manager before they could work on the book. The policy also has rules that say you can’t use any Microsoft resources and the work is not allowed to impact your daytime work duties.
Since the subject of the book is a Microsoft product and it helps educate people on how to use it, there was never going to be much resistance to the idea.
What’s the process for writing a book?
The Wiley author site has more information on the Life of a book, but in short the process is:
Proposal > Contract > Draft writing > Editors > Tech Editors > Author Review > Proofs > Printing
How long did it take you?
Writing a book takes a lot of time and it requires a lot of concentration. It took me a little while to settle into a rhythm, but eventually my style ended up as intense focus weekends every few weeks:
- Monday-Thursday: Start researching content for the chapter. Put all the links in a OneNote notebook. Do the hands on labs, etc. Basically immerse myself in the subject of that chapter and come up with a logical flow of sub-headings
- Thursday night: Spend a few hours at home and take all the screenshots that I could possibly use.
- Friday night, Saturday all day: Take my laptop to a local coffee shop without an Internet connection. Then just write, write, write. Fill out all the paragraphs for the sub-headings, put in all the screenshots and get the word count up to where it should be.
- Sunday: Depending on where the word count was at, Sunday was usually spent reviewing and tidying up the formatting and getting it ready to submit. My goal was to upload the draft by Sunday night, since all our chapters were due on Mondays.
What is the most annoying part of writing a book?
Screenshots. We had it easy for the 2010 edition – the product was RTM, so nothing was changing. With the 2012 edition, we were writing the book before the product was released. That meant that every time the UI changed between Beta/RC/RTM/Update 1, we had to go back to check and update our screenshots.
To finish off, writing these books has been very personally rewarding experience. I saw it as a way of capturing 4-5 years worth of accumulated knowledge and experience and getting it down on paper so that others can learn from it. And hey, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would see my name in Russian on the front of a book.