How to highlight blocked work items on a Visual Studio Team Services sprint board

Today we are going to walk through a helpful modification to the Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) process and style templates; with the goal of making it easier to find and visualize blocked work. What is blocked work? In a scrum or agile setting, 'blocked' is the state of a work item that you cannot … Continue reading How to highlight blocked work items on a Visual Studio Team Services sprint board

How to capture and debug .NET application crash dumps in Windows

It is important for software engineers to understand how to analyze process dumps so that they can determine why their application is crashing or behaving unexpectedly. However, it can be hard to know where to start with the process. This post aims to be a starting point for a very common situation: debugging a crash … Continue reading How to capture and debug .NET application crash dumps in Windows

How to troubleshoot PowerShell scripts not running under a scheduled task

Situation: you have written a PowerShell script that runs fine when you launch it from PowerShell directly, but fails to start or run when you try to plug it into a schedule task. What went wrong? This post is an outline of common reasons that your script fails to run in a scheduled task. Always … Continue reading How to troubleshoot PowerShell scripts not running under a scheduled task

How to enforce PowerShell Remoting (WinRM) settings with Group Policy

Remote connectivity in PowerShell leverages a few different technologies under the hood. For example, cmdlets that provide a -ComputerName parameter usually connect with RPC, WMI, or WinRM. Most of the truly interesting remote capabilities come through WinRM. It allows you to enter and maintain remote console sessions, invoke remote scriptblocks, and more. One drawback is … Continue reading How to enforce PowerShell Remoting (WinRM) settings with Group Policy

Windows event log custom source tips

Good-old Windows event logs are a great location to write events for automation tools and scripts. It may not be flashy, but it provides key functionality for service engineering teams: It's easy to register custom sources for your applications. It has configurable log size and rollover options so you don't need to worry about handling … Continue reading Windows event log custom source tips

PowerShell script module starter kit

Background PowerShell functions are an essential tool for extending the PowerShell ecosystem with your own custom code. Modules are great because they allow you to package a collection of functions into a container for easier distribution and usage. One of the hurdles for starting to write your own modules is finding a good file or … Continue reading PowerShell script module starter kit

Azure WebJobs: Scheduling and Scaling

Why Azure WebJobs? Azure WebJobs are a great resource included in Azure App Service plans. They provide a way for you to run binaries or scripts that perform scheduled or event-triggered job processing for work that isn't suited to be done during a normal web request. Have a monthly cleanup task for your website? Sending a big … Continue reading Azure WebJobs: Scheduling and Scaling