Easy Spec Reviews with GitHub & Bots

As a Program Manager, part of my job is to write technical specification documents. Our team recently switched to using our very own system (yes, we use the docs.microsoft.com infrastructure internally too) to write technical specs – content is on GitHub and Markdown-based. As part of that came the question – how do we aggregate comments when people review them?

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Command line and vso-agent

Written to the tune of:

A while ago Microsoft released this wonderful thing called the VSO agent – a cross-platform build agent that you can set up on MacOS X and/or Linux and hook it directly to a VSO or TFS instance to handle automated builds with a lot of customization options. You can get it here.

So here comes the challenge Рmore often than not, the build agent should be automatically set up, but the documentation mentions that the instance details, such as the service URL, username and password are manually entered. Not exactly what you want to do in an automated scenario. The good news is that there is a (not so) secret option to use command line parameters for the vso-agent:

node agent/vsoagent.js --u YOUR_USERNAME --p VSO_ONE_USE_TOKEN --s https://VSO_URL.visualstudio.com --a AGENT_NAME --l AGENT_POOL_CAN_BE_DEFAULT

Voila! All of a sudden, you can include this in your deployment scripts.