Managers and Makers

A little over 20 years ago, I started working for the other large software development company. They had recruited me from college and I was honored to join them. At the time, the perception at my school was that no one got to work for them because everybody wanted to. In fact, many of my…


How can the United States (and other countries) stay technically literate?

Thanks to plastic bricks from Denmark, kids in the United States (and all around the world) are learning to program at age 8. I had the priviledge of coaching a young team of NC kids (9 to 11 years old) to win the NC State Championship in FLL in three years. The Microbots were a dedicated group of…


What is Shadow Architecture?

Shadow Architecture is method of communicating architecture to others on your agile team. The idea is that components and classes cast “shadows”. These shadows are simplified views of the code base. UML is a type of shadow. We can look at a UML model of a piece of code and we can say some things…


Agile Architecture

In the mid-1990s, the prevailing trend in the industry was to begin a software development project by building elaborate models of the system. The idea was that writing the code was simple once the architectural structure and requirements were in place. However, many software development projects spent large amounts of time building these models only…


Programming with Kids and Adults

It has been five years since I joined Microsoft and started writing MSF. There are a couple of milestones that this anniversary brings that I would like to share with you. First, the MSF book is not published and you have a right to ask why. Second, the robotics team that I have been mentoring…


Where have you been?

   For those of you who do not know – I have left the MSF team and joined the Project Recovery Team at Microsoft (back in January). At some point, I’ll explain what we do in Project Recovery but for now, I want to talk about VSTS. I recently posted the following information to a question regarding…


Writing Good Scenarios

Discipline Product Management Role(s) Business Analyst Activity Write Scenario Description Short Description Scenarios are used to define the services that the software will provide to the user.  A scenario can be thought of as a path through the system and can be represented by use cases or collections of user stories.  Most of the scenarios…


New MSF Class Available For Partners

Title: Managing your teams and business process using Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) as a template Abstract: Microsoft® Solutions Framework (MSF) is a deliberate and disciplined approach to technology projects based work and organization based on a defined set of principles, models, disciplines, concepts, guidelines, and proven practices from Microsoft, our clients and our partner community….


MSF for Agile Software Development and MSF for CMMI Process Improvement Version 4.1 Available

Yesterday, we released brand new versions of MSF for Agile Software Development and MSF for CMMI Process Improvement. These new versions create the first commercial agile and CMMI-based software development processes with support for database unit tests and refactoring. The release of these processes coincided with the release of our tooling support for these practices,…


Changes to MSF for Agile Software Development

A common question that I get is “What has changed in the latest version of MSF for Agile Software Development?” There are two reasons that this question is asked. First, people want to know why they should update their projects and secondly, they want to know what files have changed. This blog entry will attempt…