DevOps Deluxe with Donovan Brown and Abel Wang at Microsoft Germany

Today I have had a highlight in my personal DevOps career since I met Sam Guckenheimer (Product Owner of Visual Studio) and Brian Harry (Product Owner of Team Foundation Server) at the ALM Days 2012 in Munich.
But let me start at the very beginning of this crazy day today in 2018 and DevOps.

Some weeks ago, I traveled to an internal Microsoft event in Cologne because a college of mine doesn’t have time to travel and the topics were interesting for me, too. So, I jumped in the train and drove there. The Microsoft Azure guys in Cologne realized that I was nominated as an Microsoft MVP in 2017 and they asked me if I’m interested in traveling to Munich for an exclusive DevOps roundtable with Donovan Brown (Microsoft Principal DevOps Manager) and Abel Wang (Senior Cloud Developer Advocate specialized in DevOps and Azure)? Only 20 people were invited for this event, getting the ability to ask their specific questions and tell what their problems are in introducing real DevOps strategies in real life scenarios.
Was this really a question from my hosts in Cologne? Of cause not! I must go to Munich, because both Donovan and Abel are great programmers and specialists, no they are icons for Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), Azure, Scrum and DevOps. By the way: VSTS is the Azure cloud-based version of Team Foundation Server (TFS).

I followed both gentlemen a long time before, because they create great videos on Channel 9, YouTube and produce a lot of useful content which really generates value for you and your teams by sharing their skills with you.
Ok, so I jumped into the next plain and flew to Munich. It was a perfect day, thank you Microsoft for that. Here is what I have took out of that talk for me and you:
Agile topics

  • Your company must change their mindset of planning and implementing code, instead of focusing on old traditions, waterfall and tools.
  • Send your complete team to an agile Scrum curse, not only the Scrum Master.
  • Everyone in the team should be the Scrum Master (one each Sprint) to understand the problems a Scrum Master has (“Scrum Master rotation”).
  • Don’t do micromanagement in your teams. Let they organize work as they can handle it in a good manner and control the generated values.
  • If a backlog item (Scrum) does not generate value for the customer, it has no priority (or a low one instead).


  • Let the developers spend more time in creating unit tests instead of creating a lot of manual or automated click-tests.
  • Even the admins have to write code, because the state of the art is to code infrastructure! This code should be unit-tested, too.


  • Use GIT!
  • Use only one master branch with feature branches and feature flags
    (By the way: Abel Wang is a member of the ALM Ranger Team)
  • Over 500 addons are available from the VSTS Marketplace to be used for integrating nearly everything in VSTS.
  • VSTS is for free, if you have a MSDN Subscription
  • VSTS is for any programming language and it is addressing any plattform
  • You can use the Azure Visual Studio Team Services for planning, as a repository, test and deploymentpipeline and build your binaries on your build machine inside your company, outside from Azure. The main advantage is that this way is a lot faster and you can do some special configuration.

At the end I have some further links for you:

Thank you for the gread day in Munich!


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