Introducing the Visual Studio ALM Rangers – Marcel de Vries

This post is part of an ongoing series of Rangers introductions. See An index to all Rangers covered on this blog for more details.

Who you are?

Marcel de Vries, Technology Manager Microsoft Application Development at Info Support in the Netherlands. I work as an IT Architect Consultant for mainly financial enterprises like banks, Insurance companies, etc. I am responsible for the Info Support Software Factory Endeavour that helps us and our customers’ bee more effective in the delivery of Administrative applications based on a SOA architecture. I am married and have two kids of the age 8 and 10.

What makes you “tick”?

I have a constant hunger for new and Cutting Edge technology. Constant learning new stuff and pass on what I have learned to others is what I am passionate about. I am also a Team guy, I want to discuss with other people on how they thing we can make things work and get inspired by idea’s. Tell them my idea’s get feedback and improve the initial thoughts. Constant improvement is what I am striving for.

Where you live

In Warnsveld, Netherlands

Where is the place you call home?

The same where I live 🙂

Why are you active in the Rangers program?

To share knowledge about early technology. In my job I am often involved in TAP programs with Microsoft and that combined with my work as architect for our software factory and consultancy, gives me lots of insights in how we can start using the tools and products Microsoft builds. Besides the constant feedback you try to give during a TAP program to improve the outcome of the product that will ship, you gain very early knowledge on how the product works, what works great, what works but has rough edges and what you should avoid, since you know it is an area the product will improve in the future and is dangerous to do a lot of investments on in the current release. I have burned my hands many times in this respect and I want to help the brought community to keep away from places you might get burned and help use the products where they provide the most value.

What is the best Rangers project you worked in and why?

Visual Studio 2010 Architecture Guidance, since I feel the tools have a lot of potential, but I see people struggle allot using it the first time. I get lots of questions about how they can make it work in such a way they actually leverage it in larger scale projects rather than in your average test project “Hello World”. We were able to give the customers guidance on the strong points of the tools, help them arrange the models in such a way they can scale them well in large solutions and even work on models concurrently avoiding collisions and potential issues. We also tried to give guidance on how to get from a blank sheet of paper in a step by step pattern to the correct input and translations to the actual implementation of the solution and verification of the product against the architecture. This now enables a constant feedback cycle on architecture so we are able to not only think of architecture when we start, but make it a constant improvement cycle during the lifecycle of the product. I think that provides great value to may customers and links directly to the questions above on what make me tick as well 🙂


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