Help me know there is an image in the Work Item

Dear Work Item team,

Help me know there is an image in the Work Item.

When you get an email after an @mention – – we don’t know there is an image


Figure: I would not have guessed there was an image in the Work Item… Please improve the email to show the image or include some text “Image redacted – Click here”

Figure: There is the image

Auto-Tagging Project Languages & Technologies

[Published on Adam’s Blog – Azure DevOps wishlist: auto-tagging Project Languages & Technologies]

When you’re working, you’re usually working on a single project, and Azure DevOps and Github are great to use. However, I often find myself needing to look across all the active projects that are going on in a company, and that is the stuff that’s hard to quickly see what they are. There are gaping holes to being able to see what the current projects are and what the tech inside them are. This post is about the tech we currently use, and what we’d like to see.

Going to a company and seeing the current projects and what tech is in them is not a particularly easy process – it’s a lot of manual work, and it’s easy to miss a couple.

Say your project is basically a Vue.js, .NET Core 2.1, Azure Logic Apps and Azure AKS. I think it would be wonderful to see that straight away in the tags.

Some NuGet packages are important. e.g. Entity Framework or Azure Table Storage. These tell you a bit about the project before you even have a look at it. An amazing feature would be to improve the Auto Tag feature (for both products). I also think showing these tags would be good advertising for Azure.

More info

For any project, we would like to know the Languages in use (e.g. C#, TypeScript, JavaScript) and Technologies in use (e.g. ASP.NET Core 2.2, Hangfire 1.6).

GitHub has Topics to represent Technologies. The Topics can come from the most popular Topics or can be custom, but they are not automatically added to the project.

Figure: The technologies are displayed, but are not automatically added

Azure DevOps has Languages and these are awesomely automatically added (see figure below). It also has Tags, and these can be used for Technologies, but this is completely manual and you can’t choose from a list of common Tags.

Figure: The Languages are added automatically and include percentage of usage. Tags can be added to represent Technologies

Ideally, we would like to see the best of both worlds as follows:

  1. GitHub and Azure DevOps should work the same.
  2. GitHub:
    1. Technologies and Languages should be auto-added based on the source code.
    2. We can also add them manually.
  3. Azure DevOps:
    1. Technologies should be auto-added based on the source code (as is the case for Languages).
    2. We can also add them manually.
  4. This information should be able to be analyzed across *all projects* for an organization.
    eg. A button “Analyze all projects” to the right of Languages / Tags (in the whitespace).

Wouldn’t it be awesome to use this for comparison across the organization.

PS: Maybe a future relation will be the Analytics Extension (when Code and Build is added)

Of course, if I got this granted, my next wish would be to be able to see bug regressions, number of deployments to staging, number of releases to production.

Comments – Help me see a summary of everyone’s comments?

Eg. 3 comments from 5 team members should show 15 comments.

Would it make sense to add a menu: Repros | Comments ?

Then I would see a grid of those 15 comments.

In addition, it would be great to be able to hit a button “Send Email” to let your boss get an email:

“Hey, just did this bunch of comments on the code. It would be good if we could get this project prioritized next week.”

Figure: Allow us to see the current comments to resolve

Help Chinese Android users know how to download Teams

In China, everything is hard and amazing. Chinese users on an iPhone have no trouble downloading Teams.
Android users, talk about plenty of pain if they go down the wrong route.

Basically, they find it hard to download. The Teams website, tells you to download it via the Google store which is bad advice in China (all Google services are blocked by the Great Firewall of China 🇨🇳).

Here is one example of a senior developer:

  • It took me about 4 hours to install Teams, more specifically to download it
  • I tried to install it via Google services first, but obviously, it failed.
  • Then I searched and downloaded 3 APK files from my PC, but all of them are too old.
  • Finally, I installed it from Mi store (aka Xiaomi store).

In summary:
In China, no you don’t need a get on a VPN to get Teams downloaded. For an Android user, you have 2 options to install. You can install it via the Mi store or AppChina. The Mi store is the best approach – Eden Liang (from SSW in Hangzhou) has recorded a video to help others. Here is the video:

Help me move part of a conversation

I am on a mobile device a lot E.g. iOS and often people send tasks on it.

Currently, I can only select 1 message at a time and copy and paste somewhere else.


Allow me to select a bunch of messages and pop up the menu and see:

  • Copy and paste
  • Send to a new email
  • Send to OneNote
  • Send to Azure DevOps work item
  • Send to Trello

Figure: I want to combine these 4 messages and send to an email

What does ‘ok’ mean?

During a sprint review, I watched Alvin enter a whole lot of data, close the form, click ‘ok’ and then lose all his work. Grrr!

Let’s change the OK button!

See below…

Figure 1: The default OK button tend to lead people not save the changes

The default ‘OK’ button led me to not save the changes. Which was very confusing!

On the other hand, most apps have the default button as Save the changes (e.g. Microsoft Word).

That is much more user-friendly.

Figure 2: The default button always saves the changes

This is important and in my opinion, I hope Microsoft fix this to make more sense.