Many upcoming speaking engagements

I seem to have been doing a lot of presenting lately, and the next few weeks are similarly busy. As a one-stop shop to plug them all, here is a list of upcoming events I will be presenting, co-presenting or supporting:


  • VMUG Leeds, 25th October 2012
    I am co-presenting with the marvellous Andy Fryer on a range of content around Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V. It’s the first time I’ve attended a VMUG so I’m looking forward to it!
  • Windows 8 IT Pro Camp Leeds, 13th November 2012
    The rolling thunder of IT Camps is back in Leeds for a day with Windows 8. Andy Fryer and Simon May should be there, with myself and Andrew Davidson chipping in and helping things to run smoothly. The last Leeds camp on Server 2012 was fully booked and really well received by attendees and presenters alike, so make sure you book for what should be a great day.
  • What’s New in SharePoint 2013, 21st November 2012
    When Andy gets back from the SharePoint conference we will make sure that we give you the latest information at the first of this year’s Black Marble events.
  • Architecture Forum in the North, 5th Dec 2012
    Black Marble are once again running the well received Architecture Forum and I will be speaking, once more with Andy Fryer, about how Windows Server 2012 can facilitate pragmatic cloud architectures with a mix of on-premise, hosted private cloud and public cloud hosting.
  • The Tenth Annual Tech Update, 30th January 2013
    See in the new year with our famous Tech Update. This year we’ve split the day into two, focused on IT Managers and Business Decision Makers in the morning and Developers and Technical Decision Makers in the afternoon.


I also have a raft of invite-only events I’ll be speaking at over the next few months. As always, please come and say hi and feel free to ask questions!

Speaking at Designing Beautiful Windows Apps in Dublin

I’m really excited to be presenting at a one day event on Windows 8 application design in Dublin on Wednesday 26th September. I’m excited because Bill Buxton is delivering the keynote at the event and I’m a big fan.

I’m delivering a session snappily titled ‘From 8 to 88 inches: designing for everyone’ and I’ll be talking about the challenges posed by the incredible variety of devices Windows 8 will be used with.

If you are attending the event, come up and say hi. It will do me good to chat, because the event is being streamed live! I’ve never presented to the entire planet before, so I’m unusually nervous about it!

It promises to be a great event, and I’m pleased to be involved with our friends from Microsoft Ireland, with whom the Black Marble irregulars have run many events on a wide range of topics over the past few years.

My Boss has brought his iPad! Consumer devices in corporate networks

There’s a new term in town – Consumerisation of IT. All of us who work in IT should care about this because it’s going to have a deep impact on the approach many of us have taken when deploying services to our organisations.

I don’t profess to be a thought leader on this topic, although I find it interesting that I have been dealing with the ‘problem’ here at Black Marble ever since we started up many moons ago. I may well post more about what we deliver in terms of services and solutions within the organisation later, but this article is intended to drive your attention to two important places.

The first is Simon May’s great article that briefly summarises some of the technology that’s already out there to help you embrace ‘unmanaged’ devices that want to access your services.

The second is to make you aware of the consumerisation-focused IT Camps that Simon May will be running, with the help of a few of the usual suspects (and myself). Simon’s plan is to take the same approach as we did at yesterday’s virtualisation camp – hand-on, grab the technology by the scruff of the neck and fasten together an example solution during the day. I’m really excited about this, because the area covers such a broad range of technologies, including Network Access Protection (NAP), Threat Management Gateway (TMG), Unified Access Gateway (UAG), Exchange, Forefront, System Centre and more. The first of those events is in Newcastle. Sadly I can’t make that one, but I will be at the Manchester event on May 9th. Take a look at the event series – there should be ones in a city near you. Register quick, though – they are filling fast.

IT Camp Leeds Roundup


Yesterday was great fun and I was really pleased to see so many Black Marble event regulars at the IT Camp. It was great to hear so many requests for more events like it in Leeds. We’re all keen to run more, but we need people to attend and give us feedback in order to be able to do that.

I hope those of you who were there took away useful knowledge from the event. Andy and Simon were very keen that it should not be a day of PowerPoint and canned demos and we certainly delivered that. Did we have technical issues that meant we had to change plans on the fly? Sure! Certainly nobody we spoke to seemed to mind. All of us from Black Marble thought the concept for the day – one of interaction, audience participation and trying to build systems on the fly – should be fun and we thought it was.

I believe that the TechNet UK folks were tweeting and posting links to some of the things we talked about yesterday but I thought it would do no harm to round some of them up here.

  • When we were talking about configuring remote management of hyper-v servers I mentioned HVRemote. This is a script written by John Howard that has been really useful for Andy and myself in the past. John’s blog has lots of really useful information about hyper-v and management, although he’s not posted for a while now.
  • Also a great source of information on hyper-v and virtualisation is Ben Armstrong (VPC-Guy).
  • The Virtualisation Team Blog is a good place for product info, announcements and knowledge.
  • Richard Fennell posts regularly on Lab Manager, which builds on Hyper-V and SCVMM to deliver great things for your dev and test teams. I thought either he or Andy had blogged about how we got Lab Manager 2010 working with a hyper-v cluster but it appears not. We’ll see if we can get something written up in that space.
  • Core Configurator  (currently at version 2.0) was something that was shown as a handy tool to control some of the settings on your Hyper-V server.
  • The Microsoft iSCSI Target is a free download. The Virtualisation Team blogged on it’s release.
  • For those of you who played with the Surface, we have some videos on YouTube of the Retail, Concierge and O7 game that were filmed at NRF 2012.

I’m really looking forward to other camps. Andy and Simon want to keep the hands-on approach so you can look forward to playing with an installed SCVMM solution in the follow-up virtualisation camp, and the consumerisation of IT camp should be wild as we try to cover how IT pros can deal with the variety of devices that our staff (and our bosses) want to use!

As always, the page of details about the events is here!

Hands-on Microsoft IT Camps–we’ll be there and you should too!

Andy and I are really pleased to be able to help our friends at Microsoft with their latest idea for engaging with IT Professionals. Next week (Tuesday 28th February) sees the first in a series of new IT Camps taking place in Leeds. The idea is to run a full day event that is very light on PowerPoint and heavy on the hands-on, roll up your sleeves and install things as a group.

You can find information about the series of camps online. The magnificent Simon May and Andrew Fryer from Microsoft will be leading the camps, with support from myself, Andy and a range of great IT Pro MVPs. For instance Jon Noble, PowerShell MVP and NEBytes organiser will be helping with the Newcastle event.

Tuesday’s camp is all about Virtualisation and promises to be both engaging and educational. You’ll also find Black Marble faces assisting with a Virtualisation camp in Manchester on April 25th and also in Manchester on May 9th where the subject will be on consumerisation of IT and how we can manage mobile and desktop devices securely.

See you there!

Demonstrating Avviso at NEBytes on 23rd February 2011


I am really chuffed to have been invited back to NEBytes for a follow-up to my last session on content publishing with SharePoint 2010. This time I’ll be demonstrating Avviso and talking about the thought processes that lead to its development, the problems we are trying to solve and where we’d like to go next.

If you’d like more information about Avviso, take a look at my recent post. To see more about NEBytes and their events, check out their web site.

Speaking at NeBytes in November on SharePoint for Content Publishing

On the 17th of November I’ll be keeping Richard company on the drive up to Newcastle to speak at the NEBytes user group. My session will be a shortened version of the Using SharePoint for Content publishing I will deliver at the Black Marble event on November 3rd. I will be showing what can be done with SharePoint 2010 when the brief is for a content publishing site, be it internet- or intranet-facing and I will talk about the things we have learned along the way whilst delivering such projects – things to avoid as well as things that work well.

Richard is talking about using Typemock Isolator in testing, providing the developer half of the usual NEBytes Developer/IT Pro split. The guys at NEBytes put a huge amount of effort into the community and it will be great to see Andy et al again.