Mark Mydland Heartland Tour: Cleveland Stop

On this past Thursday, I caught Mark Mydland’s user group stop here in Cleveland, as part of his Heartland tour. He was showing off VSTS 2010, formerly codenamed Rosario, and some of the features it has to offer.

One of the things he showed us was a bug report complete with screenshots, comments, and even a TiVo-esque “XBox for Debugging” (Diagnostic Trace Collector) feature – where you can see the test as it was run, complete with a timeline. So you can watch the test as it was run and fast forward or rewind it. I have to wonder, since Mark kept referring to the XBox, do you unlock achievements after passing x amount of tests?

Tests XBOX Achievement

While showing off some of the features, he also wanted to show off a couple things that Microsoft Research has in the works. Pex is a whitebox testing tool that he showed off, generating unit tests with high code coverage. Originally part of MS Research, it is now handled by Devlabs.

The other project that he showed off, that will also be handled by Devlabs, is CHESS. Until Devlabs gets more up on their site for it, you can check out its Microsoft Research site. What CHESS does is it runs through schedules of threads to find various types of errors in multi-threaded programs. It can store the execution of the buggy thread, for the developer to play back and see just where the issue is happening. Currently, the Win32 version is available for academic evaluation, but other versions are in the works, including one to work with .NET apps.

If you get a chance to hear his talk, I’d highly recommend you check it out. Mark’s presentation is quite informative, definitely geared for developers to see what the testing suite can do.

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