Avonelle's Blog

Features I want for Azure DevOps

By Avonelle Lovhaug on 4/3/2021

I use Azure DevOps for my freelance software development work. It is (relatively) affordable, and combines issue tracking with source control management and continuous integration. Previous issue tracking systems I used did not have these other features, which meant trying to isolate the code that was changed for particular bugs or enhancements was difficult. I like that Azure DevOps provides an integrated solution, but frankly the issue tracking part of it is not that great. Here are some of the things I wish it would do:

More control over my Kanban Board

I like the boards in Azure DevOps, but I’m annoyed at some of the choices they’ve made. For example, I’d like to add tasks to my board that are not tied to specific bugs or enhancements. But there is no way to do that – the add option doesn’t allow for that, and even if I add them elsewhere, the board won’t show them.

More control over Notifications

Notifications is another area where it really falls down. For example: if I forget to tag a work item when it is created, I might go in and add the tag later. My team members don’t need to see an email that the work item has been changed just for that. Because it sends out notifications for things that (to me) are non-trivial, it is easy for team members to start ignoring them, which makes notifications less useful. More control over notifications would be really helpful.

Work Item Discussions can get confusing

Discussions in work items are not threaded. This can make conversations confusing when there are multiple issues being discussed in a single work item. Threaded discussions could help with that.

Overwhelming for non-technical users

While I use Azure DevOps for all my projects, I don’t always grant access to my client users to it. Frankly, it is too big and complicated for their needs. What I need is a simple user interface for them to add work items and check their status. But there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to do that. I can restrict their permissions, but it will show them all the options even if they don’t have access to them. For a non-technical user with limited time, the full Azure DevOps UI is too overwhelming for them.

I’m sure there are even more features I would like, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.