Why I am a Microsoft ALM Ranger

Do you know who the ALM Rangers are? Here is a snippet describing what mission the ALM Rangers have:

The Visual Studio ALM Rangers provide professional guidance, practical experience and gap-filling solutions to the ALM community.

This means that we as Rangers try to help you implement a professional Application Lifecycle Management strategy. We do this by creating guidance such as the TFS Planning and Disaster Avoidance and Recovery Guide which helps you in installing Team Foundation Server, tooling like the Unit Test Generator and articles and whitepapers like this one Feature Toggles at MSDN Magazine.

As you can see, the Rangers provide a lot of resources! You can find the complete list at ALM Rangers Solutions.

Proud to be an Active ALM Ranger!

The Rangers are a large group of Microsoft and non-Microsoft people who have a strong passion for ALM and TFS. When you join the Rangers, you start out as an associate Ranger. At the end of every year, all ALM Rangers contributions are counted and Rangers are promoted or scrubbed depending on their activity.

This process happens during the month June at the end of the year at Microsoft. So you can understand I was very happy to receive the following email:

clip_image001COWABUNGA!

The following Associate ALM Rangers have been moved to the Active ALM Rangers group on http://aka.ms/vsarindex based on FY13/14 achievements:

Wouter de Kort

And there was my name! As of that moment I am an Active ALM Ranger.

So why would you want to be an ALM Ranger?

The Rangers are volunteers who use their own time and resources to work together to produce all the guidance and tooling to help others work with ALM solutions.

Why would you want to spend your own time voluntarily? Well, I can’t speak for others but I think most of the Rangers have the following reasons:

We love helping others. Writing guidance, giving presentations, responding to questions. All those activities and more are very popular with the Rangers.

We love learning new things. When joining the Rangers, you join a large group (at this moment 182!) of enthusiastic and very knowledgeable people.You work together on researching new stuff and creating guidance and tooling. You also work directly with the Visual Studio Product Group which opens up an enormous amount of knowledge. For example, when working with Release Management I ran into a couple of issues. A few quick emails later, I was in direct contact with someone at Microsoft who works on Release Management!

Do you want to be a Ranger?

If you look at the ALM Rangers Flight plan you see that we are currently working on a Windows 8 app, guidance for running TFS on Azure, researching SAFe, Config as Code and a bunch of other projects.

vsarFlightPlan

As you can understand, we can always use help of passionate individuals who love ALM! If you are interested in becoming a Ranger, check out the blog post Understanding the Visual Studio ALM Rangers and leave a comment, reach me at Twitter (@wouterdekort) or send send me an email (wouter.dekort@seizeit.nl).

Wouter de Kort works as a lead architect and consultant. He helps organizations stay on the cutting edge of software development. Wouter focuses on DevOps. He loves solving complex problems and helping other developers to grow. Wouter authored the book DevOps on the Microsoft stack and a couple of other books. Wouter is a Microsoft MVP and an ALM Ranger. You can find him on Twitter (@wouterdekort), on his blog at wouterdekort.com and at the various conferences where Wouter speaks.

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