Time to Give Something Back

Due to the unusual circumstances of 2020, the 15th Developer!Developer!Developer! Day will take place virtually. That means no catering or venue costs to meet, costs that are usually met via sponsorship, as we keep the cost of entry free. And I’ll be covering any incidental costs incurred.

However, we are still looking for support and sponsors, with the aim of using the funds to support TNMOC (The National Museum of Computing) – it’s a tough time for TNMOC right now, and they do such great work preserving our industry’s heritage, we wanted to make sure we put something back. So if your organisation would normally sponsor DDD, please consider making a donation, it would be deeply appreciated. Or if you are a member of our community who wants to support the museum, please do so here: TNMOC.

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TNMOC Logo
The National Museum of Computing

The Return of Developer!Developer!Developer! for 2020!

DDD Logo
DDD Logo

We had planned to run a DDD in October, but due to illness, this didn’t happen (we are all well now, phew!). With Christmas so close, hadn’t expected to have time to run a DDD, but with the world being as it is, we wanted to do something to bring some cheer to the Dev and IT community.

Therefore we are running DDD (virtually) on 12th December! We are still formalising the details, but wanted to get the message out there, and looking forward to all the submissions!

Since opening up the Call for Papers on Sessionize yesterday, we already have 12 sessions from 9 speakers! Thank you all so much 😀

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Crowd scene for lunch at DDD in Reading
Lunchtime at DDD at Microsoft HQ in Reading.

Back to blogging…

I have been wanting to return to this blog for some time, but a combination of things kept me busy. Not least of which, was a period of illness for me at the beginning of Spring, and for family at the start of September. All good now, and glad to be OK!

Plus, I’ve been keeping myself busy producing articles over on LinkedIn, as well writing a series of White Papers (6 down, more to come!), but I’ll blog more about those over the next few days.

It’s been an interesting year all around, Black Marble still busy, on-boarding new staff, and many new customers, a vast improvement to the start of the year!

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Registration is open for the Global DevOps Bootcamp 2020 @ Black Marble

 

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I am really pleased to say that we at Black Marble are again hosting a venue for this year’s edition of the Global DevOps Bootcamp on Saturday May 30th 2020.

For those who have not been to a previous GDBC event at Black Marble, or any of the other 70+ venues across the work, what can you expect on the day?

  • A video keynote from an Industry Leader in the DevOps field
  • A local keynote developing the topics of the bootcamp
  • The remainder of the day is made up of team based hands on exercises.

Lat years content can be seen here, this years will be all new.

It is worth stressing that this event is not a competition. It is a day of learning for people of all levels of experience. We encourage the forming of teams that are cross skill and include all levels of experience. The key aims for the day are that everyone learns and has a great time.

Oh, and did I mention it is a FREE event and lunch will be provided.

For more details have a look at that the central GDBC 2020 site

We do have limited spaces so if you are interested in booking your place please register here

Registration open for free Black Marble events on modern process adoption using the cloud

Registration for the new season of Black Marble events have just been opened. If you can make it to Yorkshire why not come to an event (or two)

If you are stuck in the grim south, why not look out for us at Future Decoded in London at the end of the month

Still a few spaces left at the Yorkshire Global DevOps BootCamp Venue hosted at Black Marble

There are still a few spaces left at the Yorkshire Global DevOps BootCamp Venue hosted at Black Marble

Come and learn about all things cool in DevOps, including

  • Video keynote by Microsoft
  • Local keynote: Breaking down the Monolith
  • Hackathon/HandsOn DevOps challenges. The hands-on part with be based on a common application where we try to solve as many challenges as possible, including ideas like
    • How to containerize an existing application
    • How to add telemetry (app insights) to the application and gather hypothesis information
    • How to use telemetry to monitor availability
    • How to use feature toggles to move application into production without disrupting end users
    • How to use release gates
    • How to make DB schema changes
    • Use Blue Green Deployments

And there is free lunch too!

To register click here

Enabling Modern Apps

I’ve just finished presenting my talk on “Successfully Adopting the Cloud: TfGM Case Study”and there were a couple of questions that I said I would clarify.

1. What are the limits for the numbers of subscriptions per service bus topic. the answer is 2000. further details can be found at:http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ee732538.aspx

2. what are the differences between Windows Azure SQL database and SQL Server 2012. The following pages provide the details:

Supported T-SQL: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee336270.aspx

Partially supported T-SQL: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee336267.aspx

Unsupported T-SQL: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee336253.aspx

Guidelines and Limitations: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff394102.aspx

3. Accessing the TfGM open data site requires you to register as a developer at: http://developer.tfgm.com

Thanks to everyone who attended I hope you found it useful.

Imagine Cup NE Hackathon

We’ve just come back from the Imagine Cup NE hackathon in Newcastle. We had a great time with all the students from Universities and Colleges around the NE of England. Rik has written a good blog post about it. As always I am impressed by the young talent there and there was a number of good ideas. This year the Imagine Cup world finals are being held in St. Petersburg in Russia with three main competitions:

  1. Games
  2. Innovation
  3. World Citizenship

There were entries in all three categories. The two day hack consisted of a series of talk/presentations from MVPs and other industry experts who also provided support and guidance for the teams throughout the 2 days.

At the end of the two days the teams had 10 minutes to present their ideas and be “grilled” in a Q & A session. All teams equipped themselves well.

Helping out with the Imagine Cup not only helps the new generation of software developer, it also inspires us to be better at what we do. There’s some good young talent that are going to give us a good run for our money in a few years time. We’d better be ready for them Smile

Imagine Cup NE

Just finished at the Hacking Imagination event in County Durham. My role was to help mentor and encourage the students from Universities and Colleges in the North East of England to help them to develop their ideas for their Imagine Cup entries.

The event was held in a secret location in county Durham and the students were bussed in.

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A number of us from Black Marble attended and performed workshops in Migrating to Azure (me), ALM/TFS (Richard), WPF, SilverLight, Phone 7 101 (Leon), Planning Poker (Me, Leon) & Software War Stories/How to Run a Software Business(Robert, Me). The students were all enthusiastic and asked a lot of sensible questions. The students were put into teams if they hadn’t already formed them, which was interesting to watch as an outsider as it was a bit like a recruitment fair with students walking around from team to team where both sides were deciding whether the person or the team were a good fit. This seemed to have worked well with everyone having a team. the age and skill levels range from college students doing their A levels to MSc.

The aim of the two days was to get the teams in a position where they had an idea that is more than just a software app with a good justification for it. This was a difficult task for a lot of teams as they either had a technology solution and tried to find a problem to solve or a really wide problem that they were trying to solve. Most of the discussions were around getting the teams to think about the whole solution including who it is aimed at and how they are going to deliver it rather than just the software side of the solution. It was also about getting some of the teams to focus down on to a specific area rather than being general. Some of the ideas changed each time I spoke to the teams!!

The (long) 2 days ended with each of the teams doing a presentation of their ideas to the whole group. The whole 2 days was enjoyable and the students seemed to gain a lot from the experiences, bringing some out of their shells.

The thing that impressed me most was the amount of young talent that is around and the abilities they have. One group of students were from a 6th form college doing their A Levels/BTEC and the college had around 15 – 20 attendees, all working hard to deliver a good thought through ideas and presenting their ideas to a group of about 50 people. That is something I used to avoid as much as possible when I was at that age. It is this talent that is the future of IT. Credit must go to the teacher/lecturer who has encouraged this amount of A Level/BTEC students to attend an event like this. Its not an easy task to get teenagers to do anything (he says from experience).

Events like the Imagine cup helps these guys (and girls) to gain real world experience and advice from experts in the field. Getting a chance to influence and help this talent has been rewarding for me and I want to try to help some of these young people more. So thanks to all the people who organised and mentored the event and thanks to the students that attended.

There was a lot of information being passed around and to finish off this post, I’ve put together a list of some of the areas that we were talking about in my sessions. I hope they are useful.

Video of wiring the Windows Azure Access Control service into an ASP.NET website. My bit is at the end and its a no code demo to allow users to login to you website using Live, Google or Yahoo accounts.

The Windows Azure Platform training Kit

The Windows Identity training Kit

Windows Azure Pricing& MSDN subscription allowances

Team Foundation Server in the Cloud

Books

Don’t Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability : Steve Krug (ISBN: 0321344758)

The Art of Unit Testing – Roy Oshrove