FAQ (2) about the Visual Studio ALM Rangers … Core/Extended/External? … Why Surveys?

Two more questions were asked in recent conversations and it is time to post the second post ion the FAQ series.

What is the difference between an external and extended Ranger?

One of our objectives this year and going forward is to blur the lines between the types of Rangers and establish a culture where we refer to all Rangers as Visual Studio ALM Rangers … one community, one family. The types will never go away, but be used primarily in internal infrastructure administration and data analysis processes, to be in a position to serve every community as best as possible.

At this stage we have the concept of External Rangers, Extended Rangers and Core Rangers.

  • Core Ranger … A ranger who is employed by Microsoft and who has successfully shipped a Rangers solution, as development lead.
  • Extended Ranger … A ranger who is employed by Microsoft, typically in the product group, services, DPE or UE.
  • External Ranger … A ranger who is not employed by Microsoft, typically a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional or Community Lead.

The following illustration (sorry for the poor attempt to create a smiley) introduces the External Core Ranger, because the TFSIA project has a dev lead who is an External, not Extended Ranger, namely Martin Hinshelwood. Once this project ships successfully, this new type may need to be formally introduced.

See post Visual Studio ALM Rangers – Roles … dusting off some cobwebs and uncertainties for more information.


Why are the surveys important?

The Rangers currently have 5 surveys which are hosted every year, whereby the last four are unfortunately concentrated in the year-end period around May and June. To answer this question I would like to highlight our mission and two of our core values:

  • Mission … The Visual Studio ALM Rangers accelerate the adoption of Visual Studio with out-of-band solutions for feature gaps and value-add guidance for the ALM community.
  • Two of our six Core Values … (1) Non-stop and unrestricted collaboration and (2) Global transparency and visibility through collaboration and shared infrastructure.

To identify the adoption blockers and valued solutions for the community the Rangers require open and transparent collaboration amongst all Rangers. While email is the most effective collaboration tool for our distributed, virtual and part-time community, the use of surveys allows us to “zoom in” on key areas and “gather’ information, with minimal impact on the Rangers and optimal data analysis tooling.

At this stage we have, as mentioned, 5 surveys:

  • Survey 1 & 2 … External Ranges nominate their champions twice a year. See Champions for details.
  • Survey 3 … Project Nomination, phase 2, Select your Top 20 solutions. See process for details.
  • Survey 4 … Project Nomination, phase 3, Stack Rank the overall Top 20 solutions. See process for details.
  • Survey 5 … Satisfaction Survey, which allows us to better understand your satisfaction with and most importantly how to improve the Rangers program.

With the vibrant collaboration and focused surveys, we are able to share and analyse feedback from a variety of users and environments. While we will never be able to solve all of the worlds problems, we can at least understand and focus on the adoption blockers impacting most users of the Visual Studio ALM tooling.

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