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Is your Microsoft investment supporting your DevOps Strategy?

Is your Microsoft investment supporting your DevOps Strategy?

19th Aug, 2016

When supporting organizations with their Microsoft technology roadmap and how it translates to their licensing investment, I’ve found that it is very easy to be over-licensed is in regards to DevOps. Visual Studio is the primary way to license a developer, but so often the licensing decision-making is done by a different department. This can lead to not having the right level of subscription for that specific developer’s needs, not fully leveraging all of the tools available through Visual Studio, and potentially not having the resources available to support the company’s DevOps strategy.

One of the ways I’ve started tackling an organization’s Visual Studio footprint is to encourage using Software Assurance Benefits (Developer Tools Deployment Planning Services Days, or DTDPS) to fund an engagement that dives into DevOps strategy and how to better use Visual Studio to support that strategy. In this pursuit, I’ve found that Testhouse does a spectacular job of understanding the needs of developers, and how to make oganizations more efficient in transitioning from development through to production. We’re cohosting a webinar with the Testhouse folks to dive into how to better leverage these DTDPS days. I took some time to speak with Nathan Sahadevan at Testhouse to find out more about their unique approach.

Q: What are the key indicators that an organization should consider reevaluating their DevOps strategy or Visual Studio investment?

A: DevOps is all about reducing waste, i.e. removing the bottlenecks and creating a lean flow from the idea through development up to production. Key Questions that may be consider include

  1. Can I deploy frequently? Or does the deployment a time-consuming, error-prone, labor- intensive and bureaucratic procedure.
  2. How long will it take me from developing to deploying a feature as code in production?
  3. How often do my deployments succeed? What percentage do fail?
  4. How quickly can your team fix a production issue. ( Hint: Mean Time To Detection (MTTD) /Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) are 2 valuable metrics)

Q: Do you have a recent success story you can share about how using DTDPS days positively impacted an organization?

A: We performed 2 DTDPS at UK Debt Management Office (Quality Tools and TFS). This helped the client understand their maturity and devise an improvement action plan. They

  • Upgraded their TFS instance from 2010 to 2015
  • The implementation was made robust by ensuring it was hosted on new servers with sufficient capacity.
  • The client adopted Microsoft Test manager as the default Test Management solution within the organization.( improving tester efficiency)

Another customer Equiniti, adopted improvements as below

  • Started using Visual Studio Web & Load for performance Testing
  • Trained all testers in Microsoft Test Manager and adopted it as the default Test Management solution
  • Selected Coded UI as the automation solution, designed a framework around Coded UI and automated a majority of regression tests.

Q: If an organization is interested in exploring how they can leverage Azure for their DevOps strategy, can they use DTDPS days?

A: On a 3 day DevOps engagement, we evaluate the DevOps maturity and part of this engagement is evaluating how Azure cloud can help the organization improve their DevOps (faster deployment through Continuous Deployment & Continuous Testing).

Q: What is the biggest takeaway you hope attendees of the webinar walk away with?

A: Organizations have DTDPS days that they accumulate but do not take advantage of. They expire after two years and are lost if not used. With the help of Testhouse, we can evaluate the maturity of an organization regarding TFS, DevOps, Quality Tools and/or Agile. By performing a set of interviews with key stakeholders, Testhouse can get a good picture of the organization’s maturity and give valuable recommendations. Provided as achievable steps, those recommendations help the business reach a new standard in terms of software quality.

If you are interested in learning more on DTDPS, or if you are interested in a DTDPS program and would like to know more on how you can access the program, do get in touch with us.