First Steps

As hinted to in the previous post, I have resigned my job to, amongst other reasons, try and focus my energy on this venture. I have to admit that I’m still looking around for the next job, as money is limited and I cannot sit indefinitely without an income, but I am hoping to give myself at least a couple of months before I commit to anything else.

Research

I have looked very closely to the online tfs hosters that I could find. Looking at what they offer and at what costs. The mere fact that there are such diverse costing models indicate that this may still be a very young market to tap into.

In addition to that I have been reading A LOT of Microsoft’s licensing white papers (something I would not wish on my worst enemy), and the options around licensing Windows infrastructure and TFS self. Buying outright would be too costly, so I have been focusing on the SPLA model and requirements to be able to make use of it.

Anybody… everybody???

I took a chance and contacted Willy-Peter Schaub (a fellow South African) widely known through TFS Rangers (or VS ALM Rangers) initiative, and with his help I was able to be put into contact with Clemri Steyn a Senior Product Manager for Microsoft.

After a bit of discussion he gave me an overview of the steps to be taken to be certified and recognised, hopefully with the goal of being able to establish myself as a accredited hoster.

Obviously in my personal capacity I have no official relationship with Microsoft (yet). So first priority is to get myself in Microsoft “good books” and work on this relationship.

And first on my list is to get the 70-512 exam passed so that I’m a bit closer to achieving the “ALM competency” that will give me some credibility in the market.

Luckily for me this exam was only released just over a month ago, so there is hopefully a limited number of people in South Africa with this accreditation, unfortunately it is still a bit new for any study guides and materials to be available. Looking around the general consensus is that if you have been working with TFS you should be fine, and reading the TFS install and administration guides should give you enough of an overview.

Hhhmmm, if you have gone through those guides before you’ll know that it is not something you want to read front to back..

Luckily I don’t think that they would go into detail about editing the 2010 build template, something that could be used very effectively as a torture mechanism, I’m sure… Is it too late to say how much respect I have for the people who setup that workflow ?