Visual Studio Online Stakeholder licensing is live

TFSAbout a month ago, I mentioned that Visual Studio Online was making some licensing changes to better integrate the greater project team into the tool. The Stakeholder licensing changes were announced as live this past week. Of course this happened while I was away on vacation!

I have a theory: the best way to make something happen is to go do something else. So I spent the last couple of weeks road-tripping, hence the lack of new content the last few weekends. Lo and behold, the Stakeholder licenses arrive! Read more of this post

A verdict on Sitecore Training and Certification

Sitecore 122A colleague of mine, Jason Carter, who recently went through Sitecore training, offered some insights into the training on a recent post of his. I thought this particularly well-timed given my recent post on topics not covered during Sitecore training.

Check it out: Sitecore  Training and Certification Exam

Don’t Fight The Framework Pt V – Sitecore’s built on Sitecore so build your site on Sitecore.

Jason St-Cyr:

Great post on how to align solution development to the Sitecore platform! Love the series, but Part V really spoke to how I try to put a solution together.

Originally posted on CardinalCore:

This one will be a relatively quick one ( hopefully before the girlfriend finds out I am working on our holiday ;) ). Continuing on in the Don’t Fight The Framework series, I thought I would discuss a topic that has kind of formed the more I have worked with Web Content Management Systems such as Sitecore. As me and Simon used to band about in our development exploits (usually in a faux Danish accent) – ‘Sitecore is built on Sitecore’ and it got me thinking…

The basic premise is this – we as developers are often guilty of just opening visual studio and hacking away at our latest interesting issues / projects & crazy solutions to problems. I have found particularly with Sitecore you can sometimes get a feel for how successful a Sitecore solution you have developed by how much time you spend in Visual Studio ( not…

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Going Lean: Tips from the trenches

ScrumContinuous refinement is always in need when working in an agile delivery framework. The first thing you learn when you adopt a framework is that it does not work for all situations. Scrum, like other models, works really well in particular development situations. Sometimes, however, you need to transition your team to something leaner for a particular project that doesn’t fit into the regular delivery cadence.

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5 things Sitecore training won’t prepare you for

Sitecore 122This past week I had the pleasure of pair programming with a new member of our team at nonlinear. I don’t say that sarcastically, as it actually was a lot of fun to bring another person into the fold, fresh off of Sitecore certification. It’s also been a while since I’ve done any pair programming, and it really lets you see how much learning we do on the job, project after project.

Instead of putting our new team member on a “make-work” project to have them get their feet wet, it was time for sink-or-swim time! As the week rolled on, we started realizing some of the gaps that Sitecore training just cannot prepare you for.

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Clearer requirements through Sitecore prototyping

Sitecore 122Recently, my colleagues and I were about to embark on a mission to gather requirements for an upcoming release. We had already worked with this particular client and therefore knew that they would have a solid understanding of their existing solution, if not the full capabilities of the Sitecore platform. For the new requirements, we decided to put together some prototypes. I’m so glad we did!

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Using subfolders for Sitecore config files

Sitecore 122Recently, I’ve been changing the organization method I’m using when architecting builds for my clients. Sitecore supports automatically patching in include files from subfolders of App_Config\Include, which allows for architecting project-specific overrides and environment-specific settings in a much cleaner manner.

Kamruz Jaman just wrote a great post about this on Friday. The upshot? Stop putting your files in the primary Include folder and make sure you use subfolders!

Another few tips to add to Martin’s post:

  1. Use a naming convention for environment files. You want to make sure you have a way for deployment scripts to determine whether a file belongs to your primary or secondary content delivery server, or if it applies to all environments. An example would be PRD.CD1.CustomSettings.config.example for a file you want to deploy to your primary production environment.
  2. Use .example for files intended for other environments. If you are trying to manage all of your environment-specific files in a single solution, you will need .example extensions on the files. Otherwise, these files will all activate in your local development.
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