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Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

Awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for 2010

July 6, 2010 05:25 by Andrew Westgarth

As is the case with most of my blog posting of late, it’s well.. late and in a big queue, but seeing this is relatively time sensitive and the fact that I’m over the moon again.  I thought I’d jot a quick post.

Last Thursday (1st July 2010), I was very pleased to receive an email from Microsoft to inform me that I had been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for 2010 – Internet Information Services (IIS).  This is the third consecutive year I have received this and as I’ve mentioned before I am extremely humble to be associated with a great group of technical people around the globe.  I’ll be aiming to continue my efforts to help the community and deliver as much content as I can to aid and spread knowledge. 

Categories: MVP | Microsoft | IIS
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Three Great Events in The North East in April!!

March 24, 2010 13:50 by Andrew Westgarth

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As part of the Microsoft Tech Days UK 2010, a week of free events for Developers and IT Professionals, there are three great events of note running in the North East.  The Sharepoint User Group are hosting a great night at the Cinema in Stockton, and then NEBytes are pleased to welcome Jesse Liberty for a special evening of Silverlight in addition to the Monthly meeting covering Office 2010 and Preventing SQL Injection Attacks.  Best of all- all three events are FREE!!!!

Monday 13th April 2010 – SUGUK – Sharepoint 2010 and Free Screening of Clash Of the Titans at Stockton-on-Tees Showcase Cinema

sugukMicrosoft and Combined Knowledge have funded a great evening to celebrate the launch of Microsoft Office Sharepoint 2010.  Join the Sharepoint User Group at the Showcase Cinema in Stockton-on-Tees to see a short presentation on the new features in Office and Sharepoint 2010, followed by an Open Mic “Ask the Experts” session on general SharePoint topics such as business adoption, Sharepoint designer, VS 2010 and Office focussed development in general, before settling down with Popcorn to watch a free screening of the new blockbuster – Clash Of The Titans!

For more information and to register - http://suguk.org/forums/thread/23041.aspx

Friday 16th April 2010 – NEBytes – Jesse Liberty – Silverlight Geek – Newcastle-upon-Tyne

nebytes-logo-final On Friday 16th April 2010, NEBytes are pleased to welcome Jesse Liberty, the self styled Silverlight Geek and a Senior Program Manager in the Silverlight Development Team at Microsoft, to Newcastle as he makes his way round the UK as part of his UK Tour .  Jesse will be delivering the following session:

Building A Highly Extensible, Decoupled Silverlight Open Source Application with MEF and RIA Services using Lean, Test Driven Development, An International Team of Volunteer Programmers,  and lots of Advil.

This talk will use the Silverlight HyperVideo Platform open-source project on CodePlex as a case study in building highly extensible Silverlight applications. Among the topics we will focus on are:

  • New features in Silverlight 4 and how they made life easier
  • The Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) added to Silverlight 4
  • WCF RIA Services for connection to a back-end db
  • Handling inter-module communication when the requirements are that modules cannot assume which other modules will be created, there can be no dependencies on order-of creation and unanticipated modules must be able to communicate with existing modules.
  • Using Markers, Injected Markers and polling to trigger events while viewing a video.
  • A Quick introduction to Lean, TDD and Kanban.

NEBytes are also looking at putting on a Geek Dinner afterwards, so if you’d be interested in attending let us know when you register for the NEBytes – Jesse Liberty – Silverlight Geek Event

Wednesday 21st April 2010 – NEBytes -  “Office 2010” and “Preventing SQL Injection Attacks” – Newcastle-upon-Tyne

nebytes-logo-finalOn Wednesday 21st April 2010 NEBytes will be holding their regular monthly event and will be covering the topics of Office 2010 and Preventing SQL Injection Attacks.  We are pleased to welcome Colin Mackay to cover Preventing SQL Injection attacks and we are very pleased to have NEByte’s very own Jonathan Noble and Ben Lee covering Office 2010 at the event:

Office 2010 - Ben Lee and Jonathan Noble

This summer Microsoft will release Office 2010. While this is more of an evolution from Office 2007 rather than the revolutionary jump from Office 2003 into the world of the Ribbon UI, there are still a number of new features in the desktop applications that make this release interesting. In addition, 2010 sees Office head into the cloud with the all-new Office Web Apps. In this session, NEBytes' own Ben Lee (@Bibbleq) and Jonathan Noble (@jonoble) will highlight their favourite new features across the whole suite and also demonstrate how to manage, secure and deploy Office 2010 to the desktop, including delivery using App-V.

SQL Injection Attacks and Tips on How To Prevent Them - Colin Angus Mackay

In light of some recent events, such as the man who was convicted of stealing 130 million credit card details through a SQL Injection attack, it is imperative that developers understand what a SQL Injection Attack is, how they are carried out, and most importantly, how to defend your code against attack.

In this talk Colin Mackay will demonstrate a SQL Injection Attack on an application in a controlled environment*. He’ll show you where the vulnerable code lies and what you can do to harden it.

Although this talk uses C# as the application language and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 as the database engine many of the concepts and prevention mechanisms will apply to any application that accesses a database through SQL.

* Demonstrating an attack on a system without the owner’s consent is a breach of the 1990 Misuse of Computers Act, hence the controlled environment.

Colin Angus Mackay is a Software Developer living in Glasgow. He has been programming since the age of 9 starting with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. He became a professional software developer in 1994, using a Smalltalk based language called Magik. In 1996 he started using C++ commercially and in 2002 migrated to the emerging language of C#.

Colin has received a number of awards including Code Project MVP (for 5 years) and Microsoft MVP (for 3 years). He is a member of the British Computer Society and a Member of the Institution of Analysts and Programmers. He is currently the chairman of Scottish Developers and has organised the last two Developer Day Scotland conferences (with a third in the works).

You can find out more on his blog at: http://blog.colinmackay.net.

Go to the NEBytes April Event Registration Page and sign up now!

Black Marble and Microsoft – Free Visual Studio/ALM Event in London 17th Dec 09

December 8, 2009 05:46 by Andrew Westgarth

Black Marble and Microsoft have announced details of a FREE event covering Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and Application Lifecycle Management in London on Thursday 17th December 2009.  Full Details are below:

Microsoft and Black Marble present Visual Studio 2010 and Managing the Application Lifecycle.

Click here to register for this event

Date - 17-Dec-2009

Session - All Day

Time - Registration from 9:30am, Event Starts at 10:00am. Lunch at 12:30pm. Event ends at 4:30pm.

Location - Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Place, London NW1 4LE

Type - Seminar

Welcome to the Microsoft/Black Marble exploration of developer tools and application lifecycle management, now taking place in London for your convenience.

Visual Studio 2010 is being designed inside and out to give developers and development teams every advantage in getting the next ground-breaking application to market – quickly. The upshot is that your business gets to reap the rewards of tomorrow's efficiency today.

Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2010 will deliver new capabilities that embrace the needs of the users in the application lifecycle – from architects to developers, from project managers to testers.

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is the coordination of all aspects of software engineering - including the formulation and communication of business and technical requirements, code design and architecture, project tracking, change management, coding, testing, debugging, and release management - by using tools that facilitate and track collaboration among and within work teams.

Application development is one of the most strategic activities in IT. Whether the business goal is improving customer satisfaction, streamlining operations, or extending into a new market, the applications that underpin business initiatives and provide differentiation are critical to success. Application development teams that predictably deliver business-critical applications can help a company maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace and drive top-line growth.

Come along and find out how Microsoft's Developer Tools are changing as well as how Team Foundation Server, Best Practice and Testing can be implemented to help your business manage its application lifecycle successfully.

Sparkling Websites and New Enhancements for the MS Web Platform Announced

September 24, 2009 14:42 by Andrew Westgarth

This morning Scott Guthrie announced a new program to help Small Web Development Companies (10 employees or less) and individual Web Developers who develop Web Sites and Services.  The program runs for three years is free to join, all that is payable is a $100 fee on exit.  Benefits of the program include:

  • Windows Web Server 2008 R2 – licenses;
  • SQL Server 2008 licenses;
  • 1 Expression Studio 3 license;
  • 2 Expression Web licenses;
  • 3 Visual Studio 2008 Professional licenses
  • and more…

For full details of the announcement see Scott Guthrie’s blog post and to register visit the WebsiteSpark portal.

Announcements from the IIS Team

Today has been a day for announcements with the IIS Team also announcing a list of new releases – Bill Staples has full details of the releases – which are:

For more information refer to iis.net and to Bill’s blog post, I’m off to read up on today’s great announcements.

Categories: ASP.Net | IIS | Microsoft
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Awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for 2009

July 1, 2009 15:53 by Andrew Westgarth

Today I received an email from Microsoft to tell me I’d been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for 2009, to follow the award which I received in 2008.  I am very pleased, and once again extremely humble to be associated with a great group of very clever people around the globe.  I hope I can continue to server the community in the best way possible over the next year!  First thing on my list is more blog posts as I’ve been neglecting my blog over the last six months and I have lots of content to cover!!

Categories: MVP | Microsoft
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24 Hours of Firsts

February 28, 2009 20:45 by Andrew Westgarth
The 24 hours I'm currently writing this post in are all about firsts. First I've just got back from my first ever live gig, and first ever experience of Metallica live! I've been to the Sheffield Arena for the latest leg of Metallica's Death Magnetic tour, it was f***ing AWESOME!!!! Can't wait to do it again! Note to self - why has it taken 28 years for this to happen???? WTF!!

Secondly I'm currently sitting in the departure lounge at Newcastle Airport waiting for my flight to Amsterdam and then onto Seattle for my first MVP Summit! Looking forward to catching up with old friends and making new ones in what looks to be a packed week ahead!!

VBUG NEWCASTLE : REARRANGED Parallel Programming in .Net (VS2010) with Eric Nelson Now 24th February

February 8, 2009 12:52 by Andrew Westgarth

I’m pleased to announce that we have rearranged Eric Nelson’s session on Parallel Programming in .Net (VS2010), which was unfortunately cancelled due to the poor weather, and the event will now be held on TUESDAY 24th FEBRUARY at the same venue.  Please register for the event, even if you had register for the previous date, at http://www.vbug.co.uk/Events/February-2009/VBUG-NEWCASTLE-REARRANGED--Parallel-programming-in-NET-VS2010-with-Eric-Nels.aspx I look forward to seeing you there!

VBUG Newcastle: Parallel Programming in .Net (VS2010) with Eric Nelson – 3rd February 2009

January 29, 2009 02:22 by Andrew Westgarth

VBUG Newcastle kicks off 2009 on Tuesday 3rd February with Eric Nelson, Microsoft Developer and Platform Evangelist, visiting to cover Parallel Programming in .Net using Visual Studio 2010.

Session Overview:

The next version of the .NET Framework will come with new classes that start to remove the difficulties in building multi-threaded applications that are able to take advantage of the modern multi-core processor architectures and the future many-core architectures that are coming over the next few years. In this session, we will look at why we will all need to start thinking about parallelism and drill into what is available in the current previews for managed code development.

Eric Nelson:

ericcaricatureAfter many years of developing on UNIX/RDBMS (and being able to get  mortgages) Eric joined Microsoft in 1996 as a Technical Evangelist (and stopped being able to get mortgages due to his new 'unusual job title' in the words of his bank manager). He has spent most of his time working with ISVs to help them architect solutions which make use of the latest Microsoft technologies - from the beta of ASP 1.0 through to ASP.NET, from MTS to WCF/WF and from the beta of SQL Server 6.5 through to SQL Server 2008. Along the way he has met lots of smart and fun developers - and been completely stumped by many of their questions! In July 2008 he switched role from an Application Architect to a Developer Evangelist in the Developer and Platform Group. Currently Eric’s interests include digging into LINQ to Entities, ADO.NET Data Services and switching from C# to Visual Basic development. At home, he battles rat infestations, comes second to the family dog and uses any spare moments he has after 10pm to team up and play online with and against friends - keep an eye out for 'erknel' and say 'hi'.

Location: Room 118, Claremont Tower, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 7RU, GB – Map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/travel/maps/navigator.php?type=&bldg=16&go.x=12&go.y=10

Price: FREE

To Register - http://www.vbug.co.uk/Events/February-2009/VBUG-NEWCASTLE-Parallel-programming-in-NET-VS2010-with-Eric-Nelson.aspx

I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new friends at our first meeting of the year!

Categories: VBUG | Events | Microsoft
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Flash Chance to Win an Xbox 360 Elite

October 14, 2008 13:57 by Andrew Westgarth

180x150_MSDN_Flash_Signup_v2_150908 If you don’t already subscribe to the MSDN Flash newsletter, first of why not?? and secondly sign up now to have the chance to win an XBOX 360 Elite.  Microsoft are running this competition until 28th November 2008 for all who sign up to the MSDN Flash Newsletter which is crammed with useful information, articles and event listings every fortnight

Sign Up Now for the MSDN Flash Newsletter

Categories: Microsoft
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More Great Software for Free to Students From Microsoft

September 9, 2008 12:19 by Andrew Westgarth

In follow up to my previous post, Students!!! - Get MS Office Ultimate 2007 for 39 Quid! An Absolute Steal!!, I was reminded this morning about Dreamspark which is a great offer for Students to get hold of some excellent development and design software.  On offer for free to students who match the eligibility requirements are:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Expression Studio
  • XNA Games Studio 2.0
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition - shortly to be updated to Windows Server 2008 (which includes IIS 7 ;))

This is an excellent offer and one which represents a massive saving for students wanting to develop on the Microsoft Platform.  For more information visit the Dreamspark Section on Channel 8.

Categories: Microsoft
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