Time Cockpit Blog

At Microsoft TechEd 2013 I do a session about Continuous Integration with Team Foundation Services and Windows Azure Websites. In this blog article you find the source code and a video of the sample.

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Time tracking in agile projects is a controversially discussed topic in many project teams. Some people – typically the developers – argue that time tracking is at least unnecessary if not unwanted when following agile principles. They refer to documents like the Scrum Guide which says that “Scrum does not consider the time spent working on Sprint Backlog Items. The work remaining and date are the only variables of interest”. On the opposite side of the spectrum there are people – typically managers – who insist on detailed time tracking. They work according to the famous saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. Agile is fresh, it is new. Therefore asking for time tracking might seem old-fashioned and somehow related to the often criticized waterfall model. However, there are a lot of valid reasons why you might still need time tracking even if you decide to work the agile way. Let’s take a look at six of the most important reasons.

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Time cockpit can work online or offline. All changes are synchronized to a local database for offline use. For the next version (July 2013, 1.14) we have dramatically improved the performance when syncing large amounts of signal data, greatly reducing initial synchronization times for new users or devices.

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Time cockpit allows you to take notes during your daily work. Such a note often acts as a reminder for a certain action, task switch or event that is not automatically tracked but important for your time booking. Notes are typically created for the current point in time. This article shows how you can configure time cockpit to allow arbitrary timestamps in user notes.

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Recently, Microsoft launched their hosted Team Foundation Service which includes the ability to use customized workflows including custom code activities. Last week, I gave the feature a spin and here’s a few things that I tripped over.

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Today one of our customers reported an issue that time cockpit's Silverlight client would not load on his computer. The fabulous thing about this: The customer solved the problem himself AND gave us the root of the cause. We definitely have the best customers in the world.

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From the very first day of our time cockpit project we wanted to support knowledge workers who travel a lot. Finally this vision has become reality. The latest time cockpit version makes booking your time sheet records for business travels a piece of cake.

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If you are using Team Foundation Server for your daily development and planning work time cockpit can provide you with some information from TFS via the signal trackers (e.g. checked in code). Using python scripting and the TFS client SDK you can also query the work items for your projects and store them as time cockpit tasks. This will allow you keep track of your working time based on TFS projects and work items.

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In the newest version of time cockpit we introduce a new signal type for locations. For that we use data collected by the Google Latitude location service.

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In the first entry discussing C++ inheritance, I covered how basic inheritance works: A hidden pointer to a virtual function pointer table is used to dispatch to the correct method. I pointed out that the addresses of the objects, no matter how I casted them around stayed the same. Now this was pretty straightforward for single inheritance, but you will see why this becomes quite special with multiple inheritance.

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