The proposal for Visual Studio ALM was closed as a duplicate of SQA.

Is this to mean we are to accept virtually any ALM question that comes up? If that proposal was closed as a duplicate of SQA, it seems that we are supposed to welcome any questions that would have applied to that proposal. In additional, it would seem that we are to also welcome questions that apply to other ALM tools, even if they didn't receive enough popularity to warrant their own proposal.

Would it be possible to get a solid answer from Community Management on this? (Obviously I welcome feedback from SQA users about potential issues with that policy, as I'm sure the CM's would too!)

UPDATE: it appears the community consensus is that we would prefer only questions related to the QA aspects of ALM software be asked here, and that "the powers that be" confirm that we are the ones who get to choose the content.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

… it seems that we are supposed to welcome any questions that would have applied to that proposal.

No. Not at all.

The Visual Studio ALM was closed as a duplicate of Software Quality Assurance as one example of where topics were already covered. ALM is made up of multiple, inter-disciplinary products. As such, their questions could be asked on a myriad of technical sites across the Network.

Read the moderator message at the top of the ALM propsal:

Visual Studio ALM consists of four products, each of which who's scope is covered by an existing site or another proposal.

My justification for closing the ALM proposal was based on the total lack of content not already found in the Network. I copied the Wikipedia description of Visual Studio ALM below. Tell me if you see anything not already thoroughly and expertly covered by another Stack Exchange site?

Visual Studio Application Lifecycle Management consists of four products:

  • Visual Studio, which provides an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for development and client side interfaces for the other products.
  • Visual Studio Test Professional, which provides an IDE for software testers to create and execute tests.
  • Team Foundation Server, which provides Source Code collaboration and data storage.
  • Visual Studio Lab Management, which provides a way for software testers to create and manage virtual environments.

I looked to the the top example on-topic questions from the ALM proposal. After nine months of example questions, I don't see much not already well-covered on another site. Cross off the questions that can easily be answered on Server Fault, Stack Overflow, Software Quality Assurance, Programmers SE, Project Managmenet, and you're left with virtually nothing at all.

It was a poor fit for a stand-alone site.

So where does that leave ALM questions on SQA?

Define your site. You decide what types of questions are on- and off-topic based on scope you defined. If a Visual Studio ALM question happens to be applicable to this community, answer it. If it isn't, close it as off topic. You are not under any obligation to answer every conceivably question that could ever be asked about any particular product.

It's all about defining your scope and considering the context of the questions asked.

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thanks for this walk through. It really helps understand what the thought process was for closing that, and how you expected things to fold out. –  corsiKa May 7 '11 at 19:24
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can you please ensure that this info is fed back to that closed proposal. Thanks. –  Bruce McLeod May 8 '11 at 5:57

This is interesting. Were it gets fuzzy is where you start talking about things like say unit testing, and even test automation as they have a programming element and that is currently on stack overflow, do they all belong here, on SO.

You could also argue that the server side install and config belongs on ServerFault (which I think it does)

So I think that we should define that Visual Studio ALM as a whole definately does NOT belonmg here IMHO, however quesitions releated to Defect Management, Testcases, Microsoft Test Manager would definatley belong here.

I do feel sorry for anyone that wanted the Visual Studio ALM proposal to get up, thinking it would belong here because I don't think it does.

UPDATE: We have our first contender How can I change the dates used in TFS 2010 SharePoint portal's burndown excel chart?

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I think ALM questions are a bit of a stretch.

If, for example, the question is about bug management in TFS or Jira, then I could see a strong correlation - but if it's about TFS in general, or a TFS topic farther out of scope (e.g. source control questions), I'm worried about our ability to answer the questions.

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That was my thinking when I woke up this morning. Seeing their decision to merge the TFS into SQA makes me think they may want SQA to be the catch-all for all software-process management questions. I do feel that QA is typically the team with the most experience in software-process management, but I wouldn't expect a QA expert to be, say, a deployment expert, even if they are familiar with the processes involved. –  corsiKa May 6 '11 at 1:47

I had a horrible feeling this would happen when I did drop some burning TFS 2010 issues here.

This was done because the pending TFS ALM beta was closed as a duplicate of this site proposal. Whilst I can sympathise with the views posted here so far (coming by inference from original supporters of the SQL proposal)

Where else would the SO community have TFS ALM queries go since communty decided TFS ALM is a duplicate of SQA?

I guess my question is; I took the SO comunity "closed as dup of SQA" response to implicity widen the scope of the SQA beta site to include all TFS ALM. If it doesnt then is not the beta proposal closing in error?

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That's exactly what I'd like to determine. I don't think it's necessarily the right move (or the intent of anyone) to tell the TFS crowd "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here." What we do want to do is to clearly define what our acceptable topics are. I know people weren't pleased with the Selenium merge, I'm sure they weren't pleased with the TFS merge. I'd just like to try to reach a consensus. I'd love to get input from the community managers who were involved in the merges. sigh... even away from work, we can't avoid merge issues... ba-dum, crash! –  corsiKa May 7 '11 at 8:55
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You can feel free to downvote every post of mine for that last pun, it was really, really bad. :-} –  corsiKa May 7 '11 at 9:05
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That was a bad pun :-) The problem I see it is the whole on topic thing. E.g. Source control whilst on topic for ALM is very off topic for SQA. I work with TFS daily so personally I dont mind, but the site should not really be called SQA then. –  Bruce McLeod May 7 '11 at 12:13

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