Introducing the Visual Studio ALM Rangers – Nicholas Hauenstein

This post is part of an ongoing series of Rangers introductions. See Ranger Index (Who is Who?) for more details.

Who you are?

I’m a father, a husband, and a life-long tinkerer. I’ve been writing software since I was 12, started a business selling mail-order software at 13, and jumped head first into the .NET Framework when it shipped. Along the way I have worked in development, test, and project management, on the Desktop, Web, and even Xbox 360. Over the last few years, I’ve focused my attention on training and consulting for those delivering solutions that involve BizTalk Server and that leverage the whole Visual Studio product family to drive continuous integration and delivery. In my spare time, I abuse LINQ, the ternary operator, and everything inside the System.Speech namespace.

What makes you “tick”?

A fundamental fascination with the magic of software, and an innate desire to create new things. Software is one of those special things wherein one can build anything that can be imagined, simply given enough time and the right toolset. It has been my creative outlet from a young age, and allows me on occasion to solve one-off targeted problems in which maybe only I ever had an interest. As a result, I’ve also been driven to learn without ceasing, and to be open to learning from anyone.

Where you live?

I live in a big house, made to resemble a barn, in the middle of the woods between two cities in Washington state that few have ever heard of. That being said, we’ll just call it “North of Redmond”.

Why are you active in the Rangers program?

Because I want everyone to succeed with their endeavours, and have the best guidance and tooling available in that pursuit. I’ve already gained immensely from ALM Ranger deliverables (e.g., the Branching and Merging guidance, and the Visual Studio Build Customization Guide), and am excited for the opportunity to give back where I am able.

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

I am currently working on study materials for the 70-496, 70-497, and 70-498 series of exams. In the process, I have been forced to re-examine every single corner of the product, and edge-case scenario out there. In some cases (especially with 70-498) it pushed me outside my typical comfort zone of the Scrum/Agile world to get deep into all of the established and emerging software development methodologies. As a result I feel enriched, and feel like I’ve gained more than I’ll be able to give back in the process.

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