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Watch Us Work — And Work With Us

Aug 7, 2009 In Process By Karsten Januszewski

In his last post, Tim talked about how we work. He got into some good depth as to our workflow, methodology, etc.  Well, with that in mind, I wanted to call out that you can watch us work as we crank out the next version of Oomph, our Microformats toolkit.

What do I mean exactly? Well, Tim and I are working on the next version of Oomph and we are tracking all work items and doing all checkins against the Oomph project up on Codeplex.  It is working really well, in that we both just work in our native tools (me in Visual Studio and Tim in Expression Web) and then all the UI generated by Codeplex just happens. In other words, I never do a check in or open or close a work item through the Codeplex UI; it all happens through Visual Studio connected to the instance of Team Foundation Server hosted by Codeplex. (Mad props to the folks who run Codeplex; that infrastructure is rad.)

For example, you can see all the checkins that have happened the last couple days here (screenshot below):

Or, you can see the various work items (bugs/features) that we are trying to wrap up here (screenshot below):

Another cool thing about Oomph V2 is that it isn’t just Tim and I working on it,but some folks not on the Mix Online team are contributing — in fact,a whole ASP.NET Microformats control being done by Mike Flynn.  We always encourage folks to participate in our projects, whether it is bug fixes (love that!) or entire new feature sets.

In fact, we’re not the only Mix Online project that is doing live development using the Codeplex infrastructure. Check out the Oxite source control page. Those guys are checking in files directly that impact the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2009 website (which Tim discussed the design thereof in his last post), which will ultimately enter the main Oxite branch for their next release.

So, the takeaways?  First, if you haven’t checked out the Codeplex Team Foundation Server integration, I’d encourage you to do so. (And now with TFS integration in Expression Studio, designers are first class source control citizens!)  Second, if you want to watch how we at Mix Online prioritize work items, triage bugs, etc., all the data is there in the open. Third, if you want to join us and help out on a project, we’d love to have you! Just let us know and we can add you to a project as a contributor.

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Paul Alexander said on Aug 10, 2009

I didn''t realize TFS had integration with Coedplex. Kudods to them! And ditto on the coolness of TFS via VS2008 and Expression tools. Very sweet indeed. And yes, it does make the PM happy:-).