Figure: Not a garden yet, but everything starts small
On every project that I am part of, I setup an email alert that sends me an email for each check-in that happens.
This helps me to follow what's going on on the codebase and to watch the application grow. I say "grow" because we construct software by growing it like a garden, and *not* constructing it like a building.
"Architecture is a bad metaphor. We don't construct our software like a building, we grow it like a garden."
from Craig Larman, http://www.infoq.com/articles/large-scale-agile-design-and-architecture
Figure: You can easily follow how your application grows - GERMAN screenshot
Figure: TFS2010 alert emails - Follow how your application grows - English screenshot
To get those emails in your project, you have to
- Install TFS Power tools http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/bb980963
They contain the "Alert Explorer" that we need later
- Open VS2010
- Go to  Team explorer
-  RIght Click on your Team Project
- Select  Alerts Explorer
- Add „New Alert“
- Select "Check-in to a specific folder happens"
- Enter your email address and you are Done!
- I would recommend to create an Outlook rule to move those emails out of your inbox… Otherwise you get flooooded…
Tip: We use these emails as private little code review mechanism as well, but all developers in 1 room with 1 beamer is much better!
Note: I am strong believer in "small check-ins" as I mentioned already on my Keyboard tips
- Focus your work on small tasks
- Easier to describe what you did in your check-in comment
- Clear code history
- Easier merging if you really need to branch and merge
- Fast code reviews
- and more…