Andrew's Blog

Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

DDD North 2014 Announced

June 25, 2014 02:00 by Andrew Westgarth

This morning I am delighted to announce that DDD North 2014 will be held at the University of Leeds on Saturday 18th October 2014.  DDD North is a free one day technical event for developers. This is the fourth Developer! Developer! Developer! Community Event ever ran in the North of England and we are delighted to be hosted at the University of Leeds following on from our three previous events with registrations rising over 425 last year! DDD North is a day of learning, discussion, contribution and involvement in the community in the North East, North West, Midlands and Scotland. The goal of DDD North is to provide free technical education with the added benefit of the networking possibilities with peers and the development of relationships across the .NET Industry!

DDD North 2014 is now open for session submissions so get them in now!! – http://www.dddnorth.co.uk/sessions

The timeline for the event is as follows:

  • Session submissions open now till 00:00 on Friday 22nd August 2014
  • Session voting begins at 00:01 on Friday 22nd August 2014 and closes at 00:00 on Friday 29th August 2014
  • Agenda will be published (subject to speaker confirmation) at 08:00 on Monday 1st September 2014
  • Registration will open at 10:00 on Monday 1st September 2014

For more information and to stay up to date check out www.dddnorth.co.uk and follow the event on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/dddnorth

Telemetry on Cloud Platforms–Resources

May 28, 2014 03:26 by Andrew Westgarth

Last night I had the pleasure of presenting at Dot Net Notts (@dotnetnotts), a relatively new User Group in Nottingham.  Having been born in Nottingham, it was a really nice experience to go back visit some family and then present at this vibrant and welcoming new user group.

Last night I was talking about Telemetry and Logging experiences on a Cloud Platform (namely Microsoft Azure) and was trying to impart the benefit of some experiences running a large multi product platform.  Hopefully the talk was well received and everyone enjoyed it.  The talk was a different type to the majority I’ve given before and I’ve been wanting to deliver it for a while.  The content of the talk discussed mistakes that are easy to make, processes that can help, and some tips along the way for mitigating mistakes and providing a supportable approach to telemetry.  Here are some of the tips, conclusions and resources from the talk last night:

Logging Tips:

  • Instrument for insight into application
  • Capture inter-service application activity and latency
  • Ensure level can be altered at run-time
  • Abstract logging – gives agility to change framework
  • ALWAYS ENABLE LOGGING

Logging Level guides from a talk by Scott Guthrie at NDC 2013

Level Context

ERROR

Always on in Production. Any errors will trigger ACTION to resolve (automated or human)

  • Configuration issues
  • Application failures

WARNING

Always on in Production. Warnings will INFORM, and may signal potential ACTION

  • Timeouts or throttling in external service

INFO

Always on in Production. Info messages INFORM during diagnostics and troubleshooting

DEBUG (VERBOSE)

On during active debugging and troubleshooting on a case by case basis

NDC 2013 – Scott Guthrie: Building Real World Cloud Apps With Windows Azure PT2

Conclusions

  • Involve key stakeholders early in the design phase from a product and platform perspective
  • May have to tell them what they need
  • Consider telemetry needs at early stage of development
  • Consider SLA want to provide and how to prove it
  • Choose frameworks and services carefully
  • Iterate repeatedly – requirements evolve during lifetime of a product/platform
  • Telemetry is important – just as important as new product features

Resources

DDD North 2013 Announced and Session Submission Open

July 1, 2013 13:00 by Andrew Westgarth

On Saturday I attended the inaugural DDD East Anglia and took the ideal opportunity to announce the details for this year’s DDD North!  The event has been in the planning stages for a while and work continues apace.  I’m delighted to announce that we will be returning to the University of Sunderland on Saturday 12th October 2013 for DDD North.  The University of Sunderland’s Sir Tom Cowie’s Campus at St.Peters’ is a fantastic venue and was a fantastic place to study when I was studying for my degree many years ago.  We are working hard with the University of Sunderland, Sunderland Software City and Sunderland City Council to make sure this is the best DDD North yet! 

dddMedDDD North has launched a new site at http://www.dddnorth.co.uk and improvements and functionality is being added hourly at present as we ramp up our efforts.  The DDD North Call for Speakers is now open and will remain open till early-mid August before voting will commence so get your session submissions in now!  We’d love to see some new speakers submitting sessions as the original premise of DDD Events was to encourage and introduce new speakers.

DDD North is a free event and would not be so if it were not for the support of our fantastic sponsors.  If you know of any business or groups who would like to sponsor DDD North, we have a range of packages available and are open to discussions about suggestions, please get in touch using the contact form.

In the meantime keep an eye on www.dddnorth.co.uk for more news and sessions being added daily.  I look forward to seeing you at DDD North 2013 at the University of Sunderland!

Global Windows Azure Bootcamp April 27th 2013

March 11, 2013 13:05 by Andrew Westgarth

bootcamp

Are you interested in getting started with Windows Azure and have are free on Saturday April 27th 2013?  Then why not join me in Bradford at the Global Windows Azure Bootcamp being hosted by Black Marble?  I’ll be joining Microsoft Integration MVP, Robert Hogg, Windows Azure MVP, Steve Spencer and Microsoft Alliance Manager, Linda Hogg to deliver a one day deep dive class which will help you get up to speed with developing for Windows Azure.  This is a great opportunity to get real hands on experience with developing on Windows Azure from professionals who are actively developing solutions on the Windows Azure platform.  Windows Azure is a fantastic platform to develop on and we hope to see many of you at the event getting up to speed with development.

To register for the Bradford event please go to - http://www.blackmarble.co.uk/Register.aspx?Event=Global Windows Azure Boot Camp&Date=27-Apr-2013 and make sure to check out the list of pre-requisites for the bootcamp - http://globalwindowsazure.azurewebsites.net/?page_id=171 – please arrived prepared as we hate for you to miss out on the good stuff and spend the day getting your laptop ready Smile.

If you’re not able to get to Bradford but would still like to take part in the Global Windows Azure Bootcamp be sure to check out all the locations worldwide where other events are running -http://globalwindowsazure.azurewebsites.net/?page_id=151

Windows Azure IaaS Slides

January 18, 2013 11:46 by Andrew Westgarth

On Wednesday we celebrated the third birthday of NEBytes, a user group in the North East of England for Developers and IT Pros which I am a co-founder of.  We were delighted to partner up with the SharePoint User Group for the event and welcomed Dr. Bill Ayers to speak on Agile SharePoint Development.

In addition we’d planned to have a speaker visit to talk about Windows Azure IaaS at the event but unfortunately had problems sourcing a speaker due to a number of issues.  I therefore stepped in and reviewed some content from Microsoft and presented it at our event.  This was an interesting way to prepare for a presentation and I hope those who attended found the material and demos interesting and easy to follow.

I am currently spending a lot of time on the PaaS (Platform as a Service) side of Windows Azure and it was interesting for me to delve into the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) elements of Windows Azure.  There is quite a comprehensive offering and whilst I haven’t spent a huge amount of time in Amazon Web Services, apart from using an EC2 instance for Load Testing, I feel it’s growing fast and new features are coming on board frequently.

A few people asked for the slides after the presentation and here they are http://www.andrewwestgarth.co.uk/presentations/WindowsAzureVirtualMachines.pptx

DDD North 2012 Accommodation Suggestions

August 28, 2012 04:18 by Andrew Westgarth

As we are under an hour away from registration opening for DDD North 2012, which is being held at the Bradford University School of Management I thought it would be useful to put together a few links to help with accommodation choices.  This list isn’t extensive as last year’s event as it was held in my home town, but I will keep adding to this list based on comments and recommendations.

As I say I’ll keep adding this as I uncover more options.   For the agenda and more details about DDD North 2012 please visit http://bit.ly/dddnorth2

Categories: Events | DDD North
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Winners of the 2012 Imagine Cup UK Final are from the North East!

April 25, 2012 12:38 by Andrew Westgarth

Yes that’s right, today when I was at Microsoft UK Headquarters attending a day full of content on Visual Studio 11 and Team Foundation Server 11, the results of the 2012 Imagine Cup UK Finals were announced!  I heard the results were being streamed live at 4pm so when the time cam I hooked up to the broadcast and watched with bated breath for the results.  I’m delighted that both of the finalists from the Imagine Cup North East finals finished in the top two places, a fantastic achievement in the first year that the North East Colleges and Universities have been involved!

Teeside 0x32 came a very, very close second with their Cloud Doctor idea, a method of linking medical expertise around the world to provide help and assistance to those who don’t have access to medical treatment.  I remember seeing this idea presented impeccably at the Imagine Cup North East final a couple of weeks ago and I was blown away at how polished and ready the Web Application, Architecture and Windows Phone application was!  Well done to the guys for their fantastic idea, effort and hard work and I know that the judges had a very hard job in picking a winner because the ideas from both of the winners of the Imagine Cup North East finals were awesome!

The 2012 Imagine Cup UK Final winner is Team EyeWorks and they have created a combination of hardware and software to provide a Mobile Intelligent Retinal Analysis solution.  Combining Neural Nets, Windows Phones, Custom Lenses and Windows Azure they have come up with a fantastic idea to help with the early detection of diseases which cause loss of sight!  Again this is another fantastic idea and if you attended the NEBytes event in March you will have seen the team present their idea.  I honestly don’t know how the judges chose between the two because both ideas are fantastic!  Well done to everyone involved in Team EyeWorks and wish you all the very best at the 2012 Imagine Cup World Finals in Sydney later this year, do the North East and the UK Proud!!!

NxtGenUG Manchester Slides

April 23, 2012 14:59 by Andrew Westgarth

Thanks to all the attendees who came to my talk on IIS8 last week at NxtGenUG Manchester Daresbury.  Apologies for the delay in posting the slides, you can now get them on my Slides & Resources page and the direct link for the IIS 8 Presentation slides is - http://www.andrewwestgarth.co.uk/Presentations/IIS%208%20–%20Platform%20for%20the%20Future.pdf

Imagine Cup North East Final Looms

April 2, 2012 12:54 by Andrew Westgarth

The Imagine Cup is a great competition for students to get involved in and something I’ve covered previously http://www.andrewwestgarth.co.uk/blog/post/2012/02/01/You-Can-Change-the-World-Through-Technology.aspx. Well 2012 is the first year that the North East has got involved and the competition is really hotting up as the teams hurtle towards the deadline for submitting their Round Two entry in the Software Design competition.

Last month we had three teams present their ideas to the group at NEBytes and in return all of the attendees gave each team lots of useful feedback ahead of Round Two.  All of the teams were asked some very searching questions about each of their respective entries and gave them a great exposure and practice in presenting their idea and answering questions, they all handled it very well and we all hope they benefitted from the experience.

The final of the North East regional Imagine Cup competition will be held on Tuesday 10th April and I am delighted to have been invited to join the panel of judges along with David Dunn, from Sunderland Software City, Ben Nunney, from Microsoft and Ajay Sood from Orchidsoft.  The panel will have the task of selecting the team(s) from the North East who will go forward to the UK Final and who knows then on to represent the UK in the World Final in Sydney, Australia!

This is the first time the North East has got involved and the buzz at the hack day and subsequently seeing some of the teams at NEBytes last month has been amazing and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the teams have come up with at the final next week.  I hope this is the start of a long association between North East students and the Imagine Cup.

Want to Hear About IIS8?

April 1, 2012 13:59 by Andrew Westgarth

With the recent release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and the Windows Server 8 Beta I’ve been looking at the new features in IIS8 such as:

  • Web Socket Support
  • Application Initialization
  • Configuration Optimization
  • SNI Support
  • and many more…

If you would like to know more and are in the Manchester area why not come along to NxtGenUG Manchester on Wednesday 18th April 2012 where I’ll be giving my first in a number of sessions on IIS8.  For more information or to signup please visit the NxtGenUG Website

iis-8



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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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