Quick Setup VSTS Build Agent with Docker

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VSTS has a few readily available build agents that are hosted and shared with other users on the platform. If you have special build dependencies, don’t like waiting for others on shared hosts, want faster builds, or just simply want to own the agent, then the following short article should give you just enough to get up and running quickly….

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MSSQL on Linux through Docker with Persistent Storage

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Microsoft continues its effort to release open source software and frameworks, with their recent release of Microsoft SQL Server that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. This is easy to deploy and get up and running quickly with Docker containers. There are three main containers that you may want to reference as you get started. https://hub.docker.com/r/microsoft/mssql-server-linux/ https://hub.docker.com/r/microsoft/mssql-server-windows-developer/ https://hub.docker.com/r/microsoft/mssql-server-windows-express/ The first…

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Best Christmas Cookie – Green Marshmallow Wreaths

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Start by microwaving the butter and marshmallows for 2 minutes, stir, and then microwave for another 2 minutes. Next, stir in the almond and vanilla extract then add in the green food coloring. Add more green coloring to reach wreath-like appearance. Next, stir in the cups of corn flakes one at time and mix the mallowy mixture all over the…

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Getting Started with Story Point Estimation

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Story Points are nebulous units of measure. They are not tied to a specific units such as Hours, Man-Hours, Days, or Sprints. Story Points should compare the relative complexity of one Task/Product Backlog Item (PBI) to another. Story Points will help quantify the amount of work. Again, Story Points quantify work. If your team is just getting started with Story…

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A Twist on the Daily Stand-up, Walk the Board

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The Daily Stand-Up is an opportunity in an Agile/Scrum project to inspect and adapt. It gives the team a chance to look at what happened yesterday, what’s the plan for today, and voice any impediments in the way. It’s a time-boxed event, not to exceed 15 minutes but it can definitely end shorter. The typical stand-up is a round-table discussion…

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5L Retrospective Technique

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Looking for a new retrospective technique to try with the team this sprint? There’s a common Agile retrospective pattern called the 4 L’s, which was made popular by ebg consulting. If you want to read the original version, check out this link 4 L’s The original technique focuses on four words starting with the letter L, hence the 4 L’s….

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Return to the Agile Principles

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Most teams practicing Agile can spell out the Agile Manifesto’s four main tenants, they are: Individuals and interactions over Processes and tools Working software over Comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation Responding to change over Following a plan However, it’s important to focus on these but not lose focus on the twelve guiding principles of Agile. Our highest priority…

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Estimating Tasks with T-shirt Sizes

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The Fibonacci sequence and the Mountain Goat modified sequence for Planning Poker (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40) are great intervals for Story Point estimation. It’s a great interval for determining the relativity of one backlog item (or user story) to another backlog item. However, these two intervals are cumbersome when it comes to estimating the time it…

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