This week we published our agenda for TechBash 2018. It is time for you to register!

You can see the schedule of the breakout sessions here. If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time to do it.

Not familiar with TechBash? Here’s some additional information…

TechBash 2018 is Oct 2-5, 2018, hosted at the Kalahari Resort in Poconos Manor, PA!

Techbash is quite affordable, especially when compared to our competition (because we are non-profit). Our 3 day pass plus 3 hotel nights is only about $875 (book before our Kalahari discount expires). We are also local to many people – less than 2 hours from NY and Philly. So if you live in the northeast US we keep your travel expenses down!

2017 Keynote with Donovan Brown

 

Come to Learn

Techbash features all the content you need to take your career a level up! We feature content for .NET, Azure, DevOps, JavaScript, Mobile, AI, Bots and much more. And our speakers are world class. These are actually many of the same presenters you’ll find at more expensive conferences.

Great Content

 

Come to Network!

We’ve built a safe, welcoming and exciting environment that is designed for all attendees to get the most out of the event. In the many informative sessions at TechBash, you’ll learn a crazy number of new things, but we know amazing interactions happen outside of the talks too. Our attendee lounge will have plenty of space for you to hang out and talk with old friends and make new ones. Speakers, attendees, and vendors will gather in the lounge to follow up talks after sessions over coffee and snacks. Our awesome, big name vendors will be there, presenting their latest gadgets and code, and a few job listings as well.

Networking

 

Come Have Fun

In addition to all the learning, we have an attendee welcome reception, game night, and a 200,000 sq. ft. indoor waterpark – the largest in the country! This year we are expanding our Friday family content so bring the kids. Soon, we’ll update our website with much more information about this.

2017 JewelBots session for kidsWaterslides

 

Please Help Us – Spread the Word!

Did you know TechBash is run by volunteers who don’t get paid? Every dime we charge goes right back into running the event. We started this because we wanted to have an awesome, destination conference with world class speakers in our part of the country! And this year we want TechBash to be better than ever. To do that, we need more attendees. Quite frankly, the larger the crowd, the more money we have to enhance the event. So if you have read this far, you must be interested. All we need you to do is spread the word. The event sells itself pretty well, the problem is, people don’t know about it! Tell your friends, co-workers, LinkedIn contacts, and your plumber.

If you haven’t heard already, there are two new user groups starting up in the Philadelphia Area. Both are hosted on meetup.

ALM

The first is Philly Application Lifecycle Management User Group. The group’s first meeting is Thursday 2/27, 6pm at the Microsoft MTC in Malvern. The topic is “Getting the Most from Team Foundation Server 2013. And the speaker is… ME! I hope you’ll come out and help get this new group started. Here is a summary of the talk:

TFS is a powerful tool for many things including Work Item Tracking, Source Control and more. But what can you do when the standard templates just don’t fit your needs? Every team is different. Did you know that it is actually pretty easy to customize many parts of TFS to fit your team’s process? I’ve recently upgraded an entire IT department’s source control and work item tracking from TFS 2008 to TFS 2013. During the process I customized many facets of TFS. In this talk, I’ll share what I learned along the way. When we are done, you’ll be set to start getting the most from TFS.

Xamarin

The second new group is the Philly Area Xamarin Group. Their first meeting is Tuesday March 11. Looks like the first one is a meet and greet at Field House in Philadelphia. That sounds like fun.

I’m in the process of migrating our TFS Instances to 2013. During my research I’d seen demos with the “Features” feature. In TFS 2013, there is now a Work Item Type named Feature which is meant to be a parent to several Product Backlog Items. I was able to easily create features but I also knew there is supposed to be a Features Backlog. On my TFS cloud instance it works fine but there was no sign of the Features backlog on the web interface for my On Premise instance of TFS 2013. The screenshot shows what I was hoping to find. Continue below to find out how to enable it.

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It turns out that getting this to show up was really quite simple but not exactly intuitive. Features needs to be enabled as part of the Access Levels portion of TFS.

On the top right side of the TFS web app, click the “gear” to go to the control panel.

image

You may see this menu. If not, skip the next step! If you do, just click the Control Panel link to go to the main control panel page.

image

Hopefully you will see a menu like this:

image

From here, click on “Access Levels” and you’ll see something like this:

image

 

You will see that there are 3 choices for access levels. We’ve got “Standard” set as the default. I’m not positive we’ll keep it this way and every team should decide for themselves what they want to do about the default. However, you must have “Full” Access to see the “Features” backlog. So add some users to that level or set it as the default. Once you do, users with Full Access will see the Features Backlog (similar to the first screenshot in this post).

I’m not exactly sure why the access levels are set up like this. I’m new to TFS2013 so it may be possible to set this visibility in other ways. But it seems odd that enabling the Features backlog is tied to other features like “Team Rooms” and “Test Case Management”. Those are great features but I am not sure why they are all lumped together.