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The Tempo

IN THIS EDITION: 5 Things You Didn't Know About Azure VMs - Expand your Brain - GitHub Extension - Coffee Break - Hack Your Agility - Upcoming Events

5 Things You Didn't Know About Azure VMs


You’re likely already familiar with Azure’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service. As one of the key offerings, you can spin up Windows and Linux virtual machines in Azure in minutes. There are over a hundred pre-built templates ranging from Windows Server running SQL Server, to Linux running MySQL, as well as a host of other flavors.   Check out the Azure marketplace to get a feel for what’s available.

Of course, if you’ve spent any time in Azure you are likely well acquainted with the various VM templates that are available. But even if you are familiar with the various configuration options and marketplace offerings, there are likely details you may not be aware of. Let’s take a look at 5 things you didn’t know about Azure VMs.

1) VMs running Windows Domain Controllers require special attention.

Creating a VM in Azure – easy. Building a DC in Azure – also easy. But there are a few idiosyncrasies around cloud-based DC VMs you should be aware of. First of all, Azure VMs remain available even when there are system issues. Azure will move VMs in order to self heal, but that can cause issues with domain controllers. Read more.

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Expand your Brain: Star Wars Day Edition

Star Wars Day was May the 4th. ("May the fourth be with you".) Clever marketing, or fan-driven authenticity? Regardless of whether you're a fan of the series or not, you cannot deny the impact George Lucas' science-fantasy epic has had on pop culture.  In just over 7 months the 7th movie will grace the big screen and you can expect a non-stop increase of promotion and fan adoration as we near the release.

In honor of Star Wars Day, here are a few facts you may not know about the Star Wars franchise:
  • Luke Skywalker's home planet, Tatooine, was set as a jungle planet.  The producer, Gary Kurtz, even went to the Philippines to find a location, but the thought of shooting in a jungle made George "...feel itchy", so they went to a desert instead.
  • Depending on the movie, Yoda has either 3 or 4 toes.
  • The original draft of Star Wars was over 200 pages long. The studio told George Lucas to cut it down, so he removed Acts 2 and 3, and Star Wars: A New Hope was born.  Acts 2 and 3, once fleshed out, became The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Interested in more? Here are 37 facts for Star Wars Day, from Mental Floss.
Visual Studio Gets New GitHub Extension! 

Now you can clone your GitHub repositories from within Visual Studio using the GitHub Extension.  It is also easier to publish your solution to GitHub from Visual Studio!

For more information, check out "Announcing the GitHub Extension for Visual Studio."
Coffee Break!

I try to take an agile approach to life.  I certainly have long-term ideas and goals, but my more concrete plans are relatively short-term.  I make small incremental adjustments to my efforts as I go through my daily life.   I adjust and tweak and I find I'm much happier for it.  There are many different ways I approach my agile improvement, but here is one way I do it - I scour the web to find ways other people have 'hacked' their worlds.  In my scouring of the internet, I've often run across great ideas and so, here are "10 virtually instant ways to improve your life".

:: Hack Your Agility :: 


Test Earlier in the Cycle

How soon are you beginning your testing?  Are you waiting for all requirements to be complete before testing?  Does it take your developers a long time to get testable code into the testers hands?

Waiting to near the end of your development cycle is a common practice amongst new agile teams.  It harkens back to the waterfall days where you completed all your development before testing.  Ask yourself, "why am I waiting to test?", and "what is getting in the way of delivering testable product to test?"

Testing earlier in the process requires changes in how you develop. Agile development requires changes in how you approach development as well.  Delivering small batches makes it easier to identify issues and address them.  It also helps you deliver value faster because the sooner you get something into the customer's hands, the quicker you can get feedback.  In order to get testers to start testing earlier in the cycle, testers need something to test, which means developers need to start thinking in a decoupled way. 

Start looking at ways to decouple your code.  Then have testers start testing earlier in the cycle.  The sooner you get to testing, the less of a chance you'll have a 'death march' to get to a release.

Comments?  Questions?  Email me!
Upcoming Events

May. 07 - 9AM PT: DevOps: A Partnership Made in the Cloud (Remote)
May. 07 - 9AM PT: Fundamentals of Lean Software Delivery: From Cadence to Cloud (Olympia, WA)
May. 15 - 9AM PT: DLM Training Workshop - Database Continuous Integration (Bellevue, WA)
May. 21 - 9AM PT: DevOps: Highlights of Hybrid Active Directory (Remote)

To learn more or to register for an upcoming event, visit our events page.
About The Tempo
We want The Tempo to provide you with useful information while being entertaining and engaging.  Over the next few months we will be adding more features and content to the email blast.  We know you get a lot of email so our goal is to make sure this content provides value to your day!  If you have comments or questions about the email blast, please contact clientservices@nwcadence.com.
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