My first experience with TFS was in 2011 while working on contract with the LDS Church. I learned how to create and manage builds and even added Continuous Deployment to our Development / Test lanes for the project that we were developing. I gained a solid understanding of the Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) repository system including the practice and process for proper branching and merging changes within TFVC.
After my contract I went to work for SwipeClock. While I was there I assisted in the adoption and implementation of TFS on premise. I helped with team and project creation including the configuration of continuous deployment to our development servers. During this time, I also functioned as a TFS Administrator for the system and Release Manager, however the majority of my time was focused on writing code as one of the company’s Sr. Developers.
I then went back on contact to work for the LDS Church and while on the team I was the project administrator for our TFS instance and functioned as the Release Manager. It was one of my focus areas in helping our entire team migrate from JIRA to TFS. We had been using TFS for our code repository but we were not using the project management capabilities of the system. One of the biggest advantages that we wanted was the ability to track what work was completed with what code was checked into the repository. After the migration we added GIT in addition to our TFVC repository. After having worked with both TFS/VSTS and JIRA I feel that the TFS/VSTS environment is a better wholistic enterprise solution for any IT team.
While working for Academy Mortgage, it was decided by business to bring in Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) and evaluate its use for our teams. VSTS is the Azure cloud version of TFS, a SaaS based solution for IT and Development shops. My previous experience with TFS was invaluable for the company in evaluating the new solution. Academy was using an aging instance of GO / CD / Chef deployment that was taking our DevOps team over 25% of their time just in maintenance of the system and services. Working with one of the DevOps team members we were able to create an entire build pipeline for deployment from two to three weeks down to three or four hours. I was later promoted to manage the DevOps team and provide best practices and governance over the VSTS instance.