Serverless Parallel Selenium Grid Testing with VSTS and Azure Container Instances

I’ve written before about Selenium testing (Parallel Testing in a Selenium Grid with VSTS and Running Selenium Tests in Docker using VSTS and Release Management). The problem with these solutions, however, is that you need a VM! However, I was setting up a demo last week and decided to try to solve this challenge using Azure Container Instances (ACI), and I have a neat solution.

Terraform all the Things with VSTS

I’ve done a fair amount of ARM template authoring. It’s not as bad as XML, but the JSON can get laborious. A number of my colleagues use Terraform templates and I was recently on a project that was using these templates. I quickly did a couple PluralSight Terraform classes to get up to speed and then started hacking away. In this post I’ll jot down a couple thoughts about how we structure Terraform projects and how to deploy them using VSTS. The source code for this post is on Github.

Managing Credentials and Secrets in VSTS Release Management

Releases almost always require some kind of credentials - from service credentials to database usernames and passwords. There are a number of ways to manage credentials in VSTS release management. In this post I’ll look at a couple of common techniques. For brevity, I’m going to refer to secrets as a proxy for secrets and credentials.

Auditing VSTS Client Access IPs

Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) is a cloud platform. That means it’s publicly accessible from anywhere - at least, by default. However, Enterprises that are moving from TFS to VSTS may want to ensure that VSTS is only accessed from a corporate network or some white-list of IPs.

VSTS, One Team Project and Inverse Conway Maneuver

There are a lot of ALM MVPs that advocate the “One Team Project to Rule Them All” when it comes to Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) and Team Foundation Server (TFS). I’ve been recommending it for a long time to any customer I work with. My recommendation was based mostly on experience - I’ve experienced far too much pain when organizations have multiple Team Projects, or even worse, multiple Team Project Collections.

Tip: Creating Task Groups with Azure Service Endpoint Parameters

I’ve been working on some pretty complicated infrastructure deployment pipelines using my release management tool of choice (of course): VSTS Release Management. In this particular scenario, we’re deploying a set of VMs to a region. We then want to deploy exactly the same setup but in a different region. Conceptually, this is like duplicating infrastructure between different datacenters.

Using Chrome to Solve Identity Hell

This week at MVP summit, I showed some of my colleagues a trick that I use to manage identity hell. I have several accounts that I use to access VSTS and the Azure Portal: my own Microsoft Account (MSA), several org accounts and customer org accounts. Sometimes I want to open a release from my 10th Magnitude VSTS account so that I can grab some tasks to put into CustomerX VSTS release. The problem is that if I open the 10M account in a browser, and then open a new browser, I have to sign out of the 10M account and sign in with the CustomerX account and then the windows break… identity hell.

Using VSTS to Test Python Code (with Code Coverage)

I recently worked with a customer that had some containers running Python code. The code was written by data scientists and recently a dev had been hired to help the team get some real process in place. As I was helping them with their CI/CD pipeline (which used a Dockerfile to build their image, publish to Azure Container Registry and then spun up the containers in Azure Container Instances), I noted that there were no unit tests. Fortunately the team was receptive to adding tests and I didn’t have to have a long discussion proving that they absolutely need to be unit testing.


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