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Software Engineering with Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321278722
ISBN-10: 0321278720
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Software Engineering with Microsoft Visual Studio Team System is written for any software team that is considering running a software project using Visual Studio Team System (VSTS), or evaluating modern software development practices for its use.


It is about the value-up paradigm of software development, which forms the basis of VSTS: its guiding ideas, why they are presented in certain ways, and how they fit into the process of managing the software lifecycle. This book is the next best thing to having an onsite coach who can lead the team through a consistent set of processes.


Sam Guckenheimer has been the chief customer advocate for VSTS, responsible for its end-to-end external design. He has written this book as a framework for thinking about software projects in a way that can be directly tooled by VSTS. It presents essential theory and practical examples to describe a realistic process for IT projects.


Readers will learn what they need to know to get started with VSTS, including

  • The role of the value-up paradigm (versus work-down) in the software development lifecycle, and the meanings and importance of “flow”
  • The use of MSF for Agile Software Development and MSF for CMMI Process Improvement
  • Work items for planning and managing backlog in VSTS
  • Multidimensional, daily metrics to maintain project flow and enable estimation
  • Creating requirements using personas and scenarios
  • Project management with iterations, trustworthy transparency, and friction-free metrics
  • Architectural design using a value-up view, service-oriented architecture, constraints, and qualities of service
  • Development with unit tests, code coverage, profiling, and build automation
  • Testing for customer value with scenarios, qualities of service, configurations, data, exploration, and metrics
  • Effective bug reporting and bug assessment
  • Troubleshooting a project: recognizing and correcting common pitfalls and antipatterns

This is a book that any team using or considering VSTS should read.


“This is first and foremost a book about software engineering. In discussing flash points such as planning, documentation, governance, auditability, and organization, Sam presents the case for both agile and more formal practices, as well as describing the optimal conditions for each. Even though the material is presented in the context of VSTS, the guidance is universal.”

–Dr. Bill Curtis

chief process officer, Borland Software Corporation


“Sam Guckenheimer ushers in the era of trustworthy transparency that will revolutionize the way we manage software development projects.”

–David J. Anderson

author of Agile Management for Software Engineering


“This book is an eye opener: a door to a new era of software engineering.”

–Francis T. Delgado

senior program manager, Avanade



About the Author

Sam Guckenheimer has 25 years of experience as architect, developer, tester, product manager, project manager, and general manager in the software industry in the U.S. and Europe. Currently, Sam is the group product planner for Microsoft Visual Studio Team System. In this capacity, he acts as chief customer advocate, responsible for the end-to-end external design of the next releases of these products. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2003, Sam was director of Product Line Strategy at Rational Software Corporation, now the Rational Division of IBM. He holds five patents on software lifecycle tools. A frequent speaker at industry conferences, Sam is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard University. Sam lives in the Puget Sound area with his wife and three of his four children.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (May 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321278720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321278722
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,470,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By James Holmes on May 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book isn't about implementing Visual Studio Team Systems, so don't expect details on setting up, configuring, or making use of VSTS in a daily work environment. What this book really covers is the high-level use of project data, reports and features in VSTS. The author himself says this is intended as a general book on software engineering practices, touching on how to use VSTS to get engineering done well. You'll have to look elsewhere for the nitty-gritty details on actually rolling VSTS into your organization's development environment

What you will find in this book are some well-written, well-thought guidelines on how to approach various aspects of the software development process. Frequently those guidelines will involve using products or features from VSTS, and the book does some nice analysis using those products.

Specifics which I found very good in the book included the great sidebars, the section on using coverage reports for development feedback, and the troubleshooting section. For example, some sidebars show you the specific MSDN heirarchy for finding specific documentation on an aspect of VSTS, helpful for that actual implementation stuff. (That's assuming Microsoft doesn't completely re-arrange MSDN's content structure as they seem wont to do with alarming frequency.) The portion on coverage feedback is great for developers understanding why coverage might change in unexpected fashions as they're moving through their work.

The troubleshooting chapter is seriously good stuff. Guckenheimer does a great job of tossing up many graphs with different data and showing how to interpret them.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a terrific high to mid level introduction to Visual Studio Team System, Microsoft Solutions Framework, and the overall philosophies and strategies behind Microsoft's ambitious undertaking. It provides terrific VSTS coverage, but it's also one the best overviews of modern software development approaches available today.

It's required reading for our instructors and mentors, and I recommend it to every one of our class and workshop participants.
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Format: Paperback
Gives a nice peek into the "why" as opposed to the "how". I have read all the VSTS books that are out there right now and I appriciated this one very much. It was an easy read, but very informative.
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Format: Paperback
Forget the production mention in the title; this is a true book on Software Engineering. This book actually addresses the real problems that occur in development: vague requirements, changing scope, not enough time to test all the features, warts and all.

The beginning discussion includes an overview of traditional project management techniques, such as gannt charts, earned-value-analysis, and task breakdowns. The author then explains how software products are intangible and unique, and goes on to cover agile methods. I was particularly impressed with his explanation of the 'value up' technique, which pulls together all of the agile concepts like measured running tested features and quick software releases.

Perhaps the best explanations are in the area of software metrics; how to measure bug count, code coverage, and work products completed vs. the product backlog. The view of metrics proposed in the book is surprisingly mature; the book discusses tradeoffs of various metrics and the concept of dysfunction. I was particularly surprised to find myself taking mental notes as I read the book, tracking all the new ideas to try in the office.

Of course, the title is "Software Engineering With Microsoft Visual Studio Team System", and all of the graphs and charts are generated using Microsoft Software. The book is not tutorial in nature; it concentrates on the essence of development, and not how to click what wizard to generate what graph. Instead, the examples demonstrate how the metrics are integrated within the Microsoft tool, and how much easier it would be to gather metrics within the team system. (Given the title, that has to be expected.
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