Writing Books on Time and on Budget

One of the questions I get asked is how did we execute our patterns & practices Application Architecture Guide 2.0 project, on time and on budget?  It was a six month project, during which we …. Created a language and model for application architecture.  (See Grady Booch on the Microsoft Application Architecture Guide 2.0) Wrote…

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Agile Architecture Method Pocket Guide

We posted our Agile Architecture Method Pocket Guide to our Application Architecture Guidance KB.  This is in response to customers who expressed interest in more modular guides as a supplement to our Application Architecture Guide 2.0. Chapters At a Glance Here’s the chapters at a glance: Ch 01 – Agile Architecture Method Ch 02 -…

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Agile Guidance

When I ramp new folks on the team, I find it helpful to whiteboard how I build prescriptive guidance.  Here’s a rough picture of the process: Examples I’ve used the same process for Performance Testing Guidance, Team Development with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, and WCF Security. Here’s a brief explanation of what happens along…

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Software Guidance Share

I’m testing another version of the home page on Software Guidance Share.  Software Guidance Share is a perpetual work in progress.  I think of it as my quick-and-dirty guidance KB for developers and solution architects.  I continuously refactor information into reusable nuggets.  I also test ways to browse the guidance and find relationships among the…

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Patterns and Practices for Visual Studio Team System

I thought it might be helpful to walk through a deliverable so you can see my current approach for building prescriptive guidance in patterns & practices. Stage 1: Knowledge BaseWe start by building the knowledge base: VSTS Guidance KB (Knowledge Base) In this stage, we do a lot of solution engineering.  This includes framing out…

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Guidance Share Sweep

One of the most important things I did while I was on vacation was sweeping Guidance Share.  Guidance Share is where I consolidate my body of software engineering guidance and test user experiences.  I redesigned the home page for simpler browsing and findability.  It was more pain than pleasure for me, but if it helps…

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Building Books in patterns and practices

Book building is art and science. I’ve built a few books over the years at patterns & practices. In this post, I’ll share a behind the scenes look at what it takes to do so. I’ll save the project management piece for another day, and focus on the core of book building.  Book ExamplesBefore we…

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CodePlex, GE, and MSDN

One of the questions I get is how we build and publish our guides and what’s the relationship of CodePlex, GE and MSDN.  At a high-level, we build reusable guidance nuggets for customer questions and tasks.  We then build a larger guide to bring the nuggets together into a story. Together, this gives us both…

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Scenarios in Practice

Scenarios are a practical way to organize and focus your product design, development and release.   (We use scenario-driven engineering in patterns & practices)  Key Benefits Business value.  You can  use scenarios to evaluate business value.   What pain does that scenario address? … What opportunity does it create? … etc. Chunking and prioritizing.  You can use scenarios…

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How To Research Efficiently

Building guidance takes a lot of research.  Over the years, I’ve learned how to do this faster and easier.  One of the most important things I do is setup my folders (whether file system or Groove) Initial Folders/Project X /Drafts /Research /Reference Folder Over TimeOver time, this ends up looking more like Project X /Builds…

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