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Software Engineering with Microsoft Visual Studio Team System

By Sam Guckenheimer with Juan J. Perez

Published by Addison-Wesley 2006

ISBN: 0-321-27872-0


This book stands out among Visual Studio Team System books because it’s not so much a “cook book” or “how to use” manual for VSTS as much as it is a book about how to engineer software using VSTS. That may sound confusing at first, but let’s read on.


When a friend first referred me to this book, he gave me the same disclaimer – “Lou, this isn’t going to show you how to use VSTS, it’s going to show you how the software can fit into your engineering process”. Now, at the time that was a pretty bold statement because he knew exactly what kind of process orientation we were coming from and knew where we wanted to head (that's a whole different discussion!). That said, I dug into the book and found loads of useful information.


The book begins with an introduction to the Value-Up paradigm in software development and how VSTS can help you adopt this approach by describing some of the ways Team System allows for the collection of vast amounts of metric data concerning your software project. The bonus here is that it presents it in a way that should be relevant reading not only for the developers themselves but also the program managers (I know our team ordered several copies of the book to pass on to project and senior management and it was well received at all levels).


Speaking of project managers, the section of the book on Project Management provides a wealth of information PM’s will find useful including several charts which Team System produces as well as how to “read” those charts. This section alone seemed to make our PM pretty happy knowing he could get this data out of the system without having to ask someone to generate it.


Chapters 5, 6, and 7 cover Architectural issues, Development and Testing each geared toward those editions of Team Suite including a good discussion on Test Driven Development. While I’m not quite a full fledged convert to TDD, I can certainly see its value.


The book ends with chapters on both bug reporting and post-project analysis. All chapters start with an icon which identifies which role might most benefit from this chapter (PM, Developer, Architect, etc.) and usually includes very descriptive charts and explanations of the data Team System is collecting about the project as you build it and how to best make use of that data.


This is a book well worth keeping on your desk at work – and one well worth buying for your PM if you think they need convincing to get Team System.

Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 8:19 PM Book Reviews | Back to top

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