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.


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 😀


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!


Tech Update

It is that time of year, our Annual Tech Update is upon us.

if you are an IT manager or IT pro come to the morning and find out what happened in 2013 and see a roadmap for all Microsoft Technologies for 2014 from Windows to SharePoint, from SQL Server to Azure

register here Tech Update for Microsoft Technologies for the IT Pro

if you are a Development Manager or Developer come to the afternoon and see the update and Roadmap for developers and development technologies

register here Tech Update for Microsoft Technologies for Developers

I look forward to seeing you all in a few weeks



I am all packed and ready to head off to sunny Dublin with some of the Black Marble Design group to see the good folks at Microsoft Ireland and present on some of the great things Black Marble and Microsoft are up to. Expect two days of Expression, Phone 7 and Windows 7 goodness with Black Marble flair Smile


EPICenter 2010 : Microsoft Phone 7 Summary

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking at EPICenter Ireland at Trinity College Dublin

This blog contains many of the links and subject information from this talk however here is a useful quick summary

The Tools for developing Microsoft Phone 7 applications are free (see below), Applications are either built as Silverlight or XNA however a lot of the components are common. The phone chassis is set by Microsoft allowing us all to receive updates and have a consistent platform. The phone screen size is 800×480 or 480×320, Capacitive touch:4 or more contact points,Sensors: A-GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, Light, Proximity, GPU: DirectX 9 acceleration, Camera 5 mega pixels or more.

Microsoft provide a Market place approx 100USD ( 57UKP+VAT ) , Unlimited paid apps , 5 free apps, 70% revenue share (in your favour) , customer payments by credit card and mobile (all done by Microsoft), device unlock and a great sales support infrastructure

from the main site http://developer.windowsphone.com you can download all the tools and links to forums.


EPICenter 2010 : SQL Modelling Service Summary

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking at EPICenter Ireland at Trinity College Dublin

This blog contains many of the links and subject information from this talk however here is a useful quick summary

Repository Database

Built on SQL Server 2008

Stores model definitions (structure)

Stores model instances (data)

“M” language

Declarative text-based modelling language

Aimed at “curly-brace” programmers

Can be used to define models for repository database

““M” is to TSQL what C is to assembly” – Don Box

“Quadrant” modelling tool

Graphical tool used to edit model instances

Targeted at End users “Business Analysts” and architects


SDK Download


Repository database

“M” modelling language (MSchema, MGrammer)

IntelliPad editor



Speaking at SQLBits The 7 Wonders of SQL


I am really pleased that I will be speaking at SQL Bits The 7 Wonders of SQL on SQL Modelling Services. SQL bits 7 is running from 30th September – 2nd October 2010 at the Heslington Campus of York University

You will have the first chance to see features from the next release of SQL Server – Denali. The first two days have a nominal charge and day three is free.

The agenda is here it is looking like it will be a great event


AIC 2009

Black Marble was down at AIC yesterday, not only were we proud to sponsor such an event but we also ran some sessions and breakouts.

Thanks to everybody who attended sessions I was involved in.

For those of you who attended the discussion on Architecting Quality, I thought it was a good session with a set of fairly solid outcomes

i) Good reliable tooling is essential, but it should not be the answer to everything

ii) Communication between people is the biggest problem, again tooling has a part to play in making that easier but people skills are key

iii) Don’t just plan to drive quality for a fixed process start to end , make sure that you can revisit and change earlier assumptions and then move forward again.

I was really happy to see so many people attend my Oslo overview session, I offered to add some slides with notes in and that should be up early next week. After the session I managed to chat to quite a few delegates and I realised that I was talking more about the potential of Oslo in the future, rather than what it can do now. I think that this comes from the general point that asking the question ‘what is Oslo’ produces the answer of ‘a framework’ and people aren’t great at understanding a framework without some initial concrete examples. After a few examples people begin to broaden their scope and work out new scenarios themselves. So once I have some videos sorted I have offered to write up usage scenarios for Oslo as well.

As promised in my Oslo Session and my demo, I will be recording the demo, to make the process faster I will be putting up the demo in parts.

Again apologies for the VPC failure during the Quadrant demo, I will have a video up soon of that demo.

I also had the chance to catch up with Charles Young who I hadn’t seen for a while, which was great.

I really enjoyed AIC despite being fairly unwell, but the downside is that I seem to come away with more work than when I started.

And finally a big thanks to Matt Deacon and the AIC crowd for producing a really good day ( with great guacamole :))



I recommend a look at Hatay’s Session on the AIC site, until then check out his video on Channel 9

I maintain a set of up to date list of useful links for Oslo Here

Security given the Ed Gibson edge

Microsoft’s CSA Ed Gibson returned to Black Marble on the 21 January to impress the importance of security on another roomful of IT professionals and developers.  Another excellent presentation, raising some key points that everyone needs to address.