VSTS Rangers – realizing a dream around the world and pinpointing the secret ingredient

Group Of Light Blue People Holding A Meeting And Trying To Solve A Jigsaw Around A Large Rectangular Conference Table In An Office Clipart Illustration Image The Question … After I have recently been asked by a friend what makes the VSTS Rangers program so exciting and I myself have often wondered why Bijan literally blossoms every time when asked “so what are the VSTS Rangers”, it is time to write a few words from my perspective.

Basic Context …  I have now been a member of the VSTS Rangers team for just over seven months, during which I have been involved in six new VSTS Rangers projects, with a dev lead responsibility in three … two of which are getting close to the release phase … excitement, panic, euphoria … everyone involved in projects knows the mixed bag of emotions that bubble up during the closing stages of any IT project.

“BUT”, why are the projects so exciting?

Today I received an email from a colleague VSTS Ranger that included the following message “…may be daunting though I’m not going to let us miss this deadline”. This small collection of words highlights the tenacity, the commitment and most importantly the passion of the members of the VSTS Rangers projects. What is important to mention is that many of the VSTS Rangers are Microsoft Software Engineers, Microsoft Most Valued Professionals (MVPs) and Technical Specialists from the SAArchitect community who are investing their personal time and energy to contribute to the projects.

A real challenge we have is that the VSTS Rangers are not only from various organisations and communities, but literally scattered around the world. Setting up a simple meeting or creating a plan of action, requires us to take a number of time zones, natural languages and traditions into consideration … not easy, but definitely challenging, fun and exciting!

That in a nutshell covers the “humanoid” factors that make the VSTS Rangers an exciting ecosystem. On the other side we have the strategic and stop-gap type solutions we are working on, which bring invaluable solutions and guidance to the software engineers in the field.

One of the exciting initiatives is the Virtualizing VSTS 2010 initiative, which delivers guidance around the creation and tuning of virtual environments for Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) 2010. As shown in the illustration we are currently setting up a factory in three regions on Terra, which will allow us to create and distribute the VSTS Rangers base image from three locations … at the “click” of a button.


In terns of this initiative we currently have Jason (Microsoft England) working on the last pieces of the guidance, Paul and Henk (Microsoft Holland), Zayd and Robert (SA Architect Community, South-Africa) and myself (Microsoft Canada) collaborating on the final tweaks on the factory … usually with one side of the planet asleep, with the other side trying to leapfrog ahead, triggering the next events as the sun sets for some and rises for others.


Robert MacLean

Jason Neave

Paul Meyer

… and many more!

SA Architect

SA Architect




These gentlemen and many others in the VSTS Rangers program is the secret ingredient to the VSTS Rangers program!

I like the logo on Robert’s shirt 🙂

Comments (2)

  1. I ain’t afraid of no deadlines 😉

  2. Tomas Scott says:

    Is it a hope that Vancouver should be placed in south California? 😉

    Maybe you miss the sun of South Africa?

    I really like your blog – but you write so often I have hard times to find the time reading all interesting posts.

    Greeting from Sweden


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