NEBytes

North East Bytes - Microsoft Technology Usergroup in the North East of England

NEBytes September 2011: BUILD like a brick…

In a slight departure from our normal event format (and time slot! THIS EVENT IS ON TUESDAY THE 13th!!!) we are pleased to offer a chance to watch the Microsoft BUILD conference keynote (almost) live! The idea is to display the BUILD keynote stream on the big screen with the opportunity to pause & discuss key points as they are revealed.

What is this BUILD malarkey you may well ask? Well it’s a one off event that Microsoft have cooked up to cover what’s new and coming in Windows 8 and by all accounts they are promising some pretty big things …

In 1995, Windows changed the PC. BUILD will show you that Windows 8 changes everything.

If you are a contemporary developer, a geek who thrives on the newest and coolest, who loves the freedom of the web and the power of all devices from mobile to desktop, you need to join us to help BUILD the future.

Our approach means no compromises—you get to use whatever kind of device you prefer to run the apps you love. This is sure to inspire a new generation of modern hardware and software development, improving the experience for PC users around the world. - www.buildwindows.com

So come along and join us on Tuesday for the live stream & remember try not to watch it in advance it’ll spoil the mood ;)

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NEBytes August 2011: Cross Device XAML and Office 365

Join North East Bytes for our ninth event of the year. Following on from the great events that we've had so far we've lined up another great event for your benefit. Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

Date: Wednesday 17th August 2011

Time: 18:30-21:00

Event Sponsored by Scott Logic

scottlogic

Who we are

Scott Logic is a financial software consultancy based in the United Kingdom and operating in the UK, USA and continental Europe.

We provide independent strategy advice and develop world-class bespoke software solutions for the financial services sector.

What we do

Scott Logic provides the very best in bespoke financial software and consultancy for the investment banking, stockbroking, asset management and hedge fund communities.

Scott Logic aims to be the very best in providing technology strategy and architecture advice. We also offer leading edge software development capabilities that deliver exceptional value to our clients.

Career Opportunities

Scott Logic offers a rare opportunity to work at the cutting edge of financial technology in roles seldom found outside the City of London.

Due to continuous growth Scott Logic is always looking to recruit talented Consultants and Developers.

Who are we looking for?

We have three positions available:

  • Senior and Lead Financial Programmers
  • Financial Programmers
  • Mobile Programmers

You must have a relevant degree from a reputable university and substantial commercial experience in an OO environment (Java EE or Microsoft .NET). We’re particularly interested in the following skill-sets:

  • C#.NET, ASP.NET
  • Java EE, JavaScript and AJAX

For more information check out http://www.scottlogic.co.uk/careers/.

WPF and Silverlight: Unifying the Development Platform for Desktop, Web and Mobile with Colin Eberhardt

The recent boom in mobile and tablet devices and the ubiquity of the web mean that we, as software developers, have found ourselves developing for a wide range of devices. All-to-often applications destined for the web, desktop and mobile are developed separately at great cost. This talk will look at how the XAML based technologies of WPF and Silverlight allow you to use your skills to build application for a wide range of platforms. Furthermore, with the use of simple design patterns, it is possible to share a common code-base for all three. In this talk I will cover the differences and similarities of WPF, Silverlight and Windows Phone 7, with a practical demonstration of cross-platform application development.

Colin Eberhardt - PhD BSc, Technical Architect, Scott Logic Ltd – is a prolific technical author who writes on Microsoft .NET and Silverlight related topics. Colin also provides technical direction for many of Scott Logic’s financial clients covering many technologies.

Office 365 with Jonathan Noble and Andrew Westgarth

Office 365 is Microsoft's major refresh of the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).  This new fantastic update provides an easy and affordable way for companies to remove the overheads of maintaining there own Exchange and SharePoint installations whilst guaranteeing maximum uptime.  The service also provides an excellent story for remote workers and has plans to cater for all sizes of organisations from the individual to the large corporation.  In this session Jonathan and Andrew (a paid user of Office 365) will guide you through the options and highlight the benefits and give a frank opinion on the feature set against costs.

Jonathan Noble started his career in IT early, being kept out of primary school assemblies in order to show teachers how to use BBC Model Bs. After watching Top Gun too many times, and a less than fun part-time job in PC World, he nearly gave up computing and became a fighter pilot, but was somehow drawn back to the keyboard and has spent the last decade managing Windows systems at Newcastle University. He's dragging himself away from Medal of Honor and NBA 2K11 on the Xbox to deliver this session. Jonathan blogs at http://jonoble.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/jonoble.

Andrew Westgarth is an MVP (Internet Information Services) and Co-founder of North East Bytes, a free User Group covering the North East and Cumbrian regions of the United Kingdom having technical meetings covering Development and IT Pro topics every month.  He is a Senior Consultant for Waterstons Ltd, a consultancy based in Durham. Andrew is very active in the UK Developer Community, attending and speaking at multiple events, supporting users and other User Groups. In the past he has spoken at the Irish Microsoft Technology Conference, VBUG's National Two Day Conference; Developer Developer Developer Day 5 and local User Group meetings. Andrew has experience in VB6/.NET; C#; ASP.NET; MCMS 2002 and Internet Information Services. Andrew's current technical interests include IIS 7.0/7.5 and IIS Extensions; Personal Performance Improvement and Best Practices.

Location

The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/Campus-Map-Print.pdf (Identified by number 32 on the maps).

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NEBytes and SUGUK July 2011: SharePoint Performance on Broadway

Join North East Bytes as we partner with the SharePoint User Group for our eigth event of the year. Following on from the great events that we've had so far we've lined up another great event for your benefit. Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

Date: Wednesday 20th July 2011

Time: 18:30-21:00

Event Sponsored by ffA

ffA Logo

ffA creates astounding 3D images of the earth's subsurface from seismic data, our software gives geo-scientists and engineers the ability to see geological formations kilometres below the surface in incredible detail. We are looking for programmers who enjoy working in a team and have an ability to learn and adopt new technologies and techniques. Our codebase is a mix of (mostly) C++, Ruby and C# for Windows and Linux, and our development process is based on Scrum & TDD.

Our current work involves:

  • Gui design and development
  • 3D Visualisation, OpenGL
  • GPGPU (CUDA) and multi-threading
  • Signal & image processing
  • Making scientific software interactive and easy to use
  • Refactoring & working with legacy code

For more information check out http://www.ffa-geosciences.com/

SharePoint Best Practices with Simon Tyler

The session covers Infrastructure best practices for SharePoint deployments, revealing field learned best practices and planning for topics such as SQL Server, Networking, Virtualisation, Identity & Authentication hard won from “award winning” UK Government projects such as the “Information Workplace Programme” and it’s follow on project “G-CLOUD”, a 100,000 + seat, fully virtualised multi-farm MOSS 2007 platform evolving into a fully virtualised Multi-Tenant SharePoint 2010 platform scaled to 500,000 users. It is an enlightening view as to what you must consider if deploying virtualised Sharepoint 2010 and SQL Server instances at scale, with lessons that apply equally to smaller projects and programmes.

Simon is an Infrastructure Architect with 13 + years in the IT industry. He currently plies his trade for Capgemini UK within their Microsoft practice focusing on collaboration platforms & integration. His current technology areas of focus are SharePoint, Virtualisation, Unified Communications (Lync Server 2010, Exchange Server). He is an industry specialist is build, deployment management and platform governance.

Delivering High Quality Live and On-Demand Video to Multiple Devices with Andrew Westgarth

IIS Media Services 4 provides a platform on which to build applications to deliver high quality live or on-demand video content to viewers regardless of the quality of their device and network connection.
In this session we'll look at the problems which streaming media faces and we'll look at how we can make use of IIS Adaptive and Smooth Streaming to provide a great streaming experience to your consumers, be it through a web based Silverlight Player, Windows Phone 7 application and even an iPhone.

Andrew Westgarth is an MVP (Internet Information Services) and Co-founder of North East Bytes, a free User Group covering the North East and Cumbrian regions of the United Kingdom having technical meetings covering Development and IT Pro topics every month.
He is a Senior Consultant for Waterstons Ltd, a consultancy based in Durham. Andrew is very active in the UK Developer Community, attending and speaking at multiple events, supporting users and other User Groups. In the past he has spoken at the Irish Microsoft Technology Conference, VBUG's National Two Day Conference; Developer Developer Developer Day 5 and local User Group meetings. Andrew has experience in VB6/.NET; C#; ASP.NET; MCMS 2002 and Internet Information Services. Andrew's current technical interests include IIS 7.0/7.5 and IIS Extensions; Personal Performance Imrovement and Best Practices.

mvp[1] Blog: http://www.andrewwestgarth.co.uk/blog
Twitter: http://twitter.com/apwestgarth

 

Location

The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/Campus-Map-Print.pdf (Identified by number 32 on the maps).

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NEBytes June 2011–Online–Asymptotics and Algorithms with Gary Short

Join North East Bytes for our seventh event of 2011. This event will be different to any event we have ran in the past as it will be held ONLINE as unfortunately a black hole of work commitments has prevented the entire team from being able to attend an actual live event. So in order to provide yet another stellar event we have lined up a fantastic speaker and friend of NEBytes to give what we hope will be a fantastic session.

Asymptotics and Algorithms – What You’ve Forgotten Since University

Modern development environments have made us lazy! Well maybe that's an exaggeration, but sure as eggs is eggs they have dulled our knowledge of what makes good algorithms good. We've ridden the wave of Moore's Law for so long that we thought the good times would last forever. Well the party's over folks! In the coming days of multi-core chips and "Big Data" algorithmic performance is back on the menu.
This session - revision for some, enlightening for others - will focus on how to calculate the efficiency of an algorithm, before going on to show you how to set about devising your own algorithms. I can promise you a fun session, despite a little bit of maths. :-)

Gary ShortGary Short works for Developer Express as the Technical Evangelist on the frameworks team. He has a deep interest in technical architecture, especially in the areas of technical debt and refactoring. Gary is a C# MVP and gives presentations at user groups and conferences throughout the UK, Europe and the US.

As well as C#, Gary also has an interest in dynamic languages such as Smalltalk, Ruby and Python as well as iPhone development using Objective-C.

Read Gary's Blog - http://www.garyshort.org and follow Gary on Twitter - http://twitter.com/garyshort

Location

The event will be held online making use of Live Meeting. The joining instructions will be sent out on the day of the event so please make sure your registration details have the correct email address specified.

You can join LiveMeetings via a WebClient and Browser or by downloading the LiveMeeting client, check your machine's configuration ahead of the meeting.

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NEBytes May 2011 - Windows Phone 7 and the missing Lync

Date: Wednesday 18th May 2011

Time: 18:30 – 21:00

Creating a Beautiful Windows Phone 7 Application

Among the many gorgeous applications on Windows Phone 7, surely Cocktail Flow has to be right out at the front. A member of the Cocktail Flow team will take us through the evolution of their application, the challenges, design decisions and solutions they came up with.

Gergely is a .NET developer working at Scott Logic. He has been working with Silverlight the past two years on a day to day basis and developed for WP7 since day one. He has been involved in developing of Cocktail Flow, one of the top rated applications on the Marketplace and Visiblox Charts, a very performant WP7 / Silverlight / WPF charting library.  Gergely blogs at http://www.visiblox.com/blog/author/gorosz and an be found on Twitter @GergelyOrosz.

The 5 W's of Lync 2010

Lync is the latest generation of Microsoft’s real-time communication server. It picks up where Office Communication Server 2007 R2 left off with massive improvements in several key areas including voice, deployment and administration. Lync also provides deep integration across the rest of Microsoft’s product suite including Office, SharePoint and Exchange.

For those who haven’t used OCS or Lync before it is designed to enhance collaboration and information sharing among workers by providing presence, instant messaging, online meeting spaces and voice/video calling. Think of it as “corporate” Live messenger but with knobs on.

In this talk Ben will run through the “Who, What, Where, When, Why & How” of Lync Server 2010 complete with live action demos and a sliding technical scale to cater to audience requirements! However he does not promise to be able to talk meaningfully about API’s and the full range of development options in technical detail to a room full of developers!

As well as helping with NEBytes Ben is a Senior Infrastructure Consultant at Waterstons, Ben focuses on Microsoft enterprise products and technologies. His key specialisms include desktop management, security and Unified Comms. Ben’s blog is at http://www.bibble-it.com and is @Bibbleq on twitter

Location

The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Tower at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/Campus-Map-Print.pdf

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NEBytes May 2011: Special–The Natural Laws of Software Performance

Join us for our fifth event of 2011, where we are very happy to welcome Kendall Miller, Principal at eSymmetrix as he tours the UK.

Date: Tuesday 10th May 2011

Time: 18:30 – 21:00

The Natural Laws of Software Performance

Just like you can't defeat the laws of physics there are natural laws that ultimately decide software performance. Even the latest technology beta is still bound by Newton's laws, and you can't change the speed of light, even in the cloud!

Kendall will dive into examples of how technology has changed the tactics of high performance but is still at the mercy of these natural laws. Understanding them will help you create applications that scale without arcane tricks or endless hardware. No actual Physics will be abused in the talk, just bad software.

Kendall Miller is one of the founding partners of Gibraltar Software, an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) that develops & markets commercial applications for .NET developers including: Gibraltar – an application logging & monitoring platform; and VistaDB – a small-footprint, SQL Server-compatible embedded database engine. Both products are used by customers around the world ranging from individual consultants through Fortune 100 companies and governments.

Before starting Gibraltar Software, Kendall worked for multiple startups leading their technology development from concept through profitability. In each case, he's focused on translating Enterprise-level performance and capabilities down to smaller companies. Using multiple generations of Microsoft technologies over the past 15 years, Kendall is experienced with the details of modern .NET development as well as the challenges that have stayed the same for generations. You can follow his blog at rocksolid.gibraltarsoftware.com or follow him on twitter @KendallMiller.

Location

The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/Campus-Map-Print.pdf

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NEBytes April 2011–Performance on the Web and Desktop

Don't Make Me Wait, Faster Websites 101

Gone are the days when we were willing to sit and wait five, ten, fifteen seconds for a webpage to load. We're all paying good money for lightning fast broadband connections but still often find ourselves frustrated with a site that takes an age to appear. Good news is there are plenty of techniques, tweaks and configurations we can apply to get the experience of browsing are site much like flicking through the pages of a magazine. Page speed doesn't just impact user experience. There are plenty of analytics metrics that could benefit from a boost while we're at it.

In this session I aim to:

● convince you speed matter to a number of stakeholders

● cover some best practises we can apply to our code and servers

● show you some tools to help you test the speed of your site and how to identify where to focus your efforts when your short on time.

Duncan McDougall is web application developer at Equator, a Glasgow based digital agency. He specialises in website performance optimisation and frequently blogs on the subject. Though mostly working in .Net he has helped improve the performance of websites on a number of setups.

To contact Duncan please visit his blog’s contactform or get in touch via Twitter @duncanmcdougall.

Windows Performance and Problem Troubleshooting Made Easy with Richard Diver

In this session Richard will share with you some of the most common Performance issues faced with
Windows servers, both Physical and Virtual. Richard will show you the key performance counters to
monitor along with their acceptable thresholds along with some other tools that can help with the
diagnosis of problems with applications running on Windows.

Richard has developed his career as an IT Pro over the last 11 years, 4 of them have been working directly for Microsoft in Belgium, UK and Australia. Richard has developed and reviewed several books and training courses on the topics of Windows Performance and Troubleshooting, the main highlights of his career have been presenting at Microsoft events and working with Mark Russinovich.

As promised Richard has very kindly provided his handout and slides for download:

Date: Wednesday 20th April 2011

Time: 18:30 – 21:00

Location

The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/Campus-Map-Print.pdf

Pizza sponsored by Orchid Software

OrchidSoftware

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NEBytes March 2011: Automation extravaganza

Computer, Earl Grey Tea, Hot - John Price

Ok, so this is a little more difficult to arrange with home automation, but controlling lights, heating, curtains and just about every other device in your house just by talking to it, is actually Science Fact! Take a tour around our automated house and see what’s possible with a little effort.

John’s background is in Point of sale for the retail sector, in particular petroleum. He has been working as a developer for as long as he can remember, in fact his first development job was at 15, whilst still at school!

John worked for 10 years at Wella GB as a developer developing systems for hairdressers before doing 4 years designing hardware for various platforms. John even had a hand in designing a 286 motherboard!

John then worked for Meggitt Petroleum Systems as a Technical Architect designing Point of Sale terminals and Back Office systems for major oil companies across the world. John says he has been lucky enough to visit 26 countries as diverse as South Africa and Japan doing this.

John has developed some desktop and enterprise level applications using an obscure 4GL called Omnis.

Since then he has been working with .NET since its inception and was part of the beta program for 1.0 and have built a web site in ASP.NET

Numerous projects later John has specialised in media devices for XP and XP embedded and media center, along with mobile applications for devices ranging from symbian hardware through Pocket PC to Windows Mobile 6.1, the Vista versions and some Windows 7.

John is also a pilot and is fortunate to have an aeroplane at Coventry airport, at the flying club. John can usually be found on the airfield most Saturdays either flying the 'plane if the weathers good, or flying the bar if its not!


PowerShell: Beyond the Blue Command Window - Jonathan Noble

When PowerShell first came along, a lot of people simply saw it as cmd.exe with a different background colour. Familiarity is a double-edged sword: it makes people comfortable, but it also breeds contempt. With the release of PowerShell v2, Microsoft added the scripting environment they really wanted to release from day 1, but PowerShell is running in many other places beyond the blue command window.

Join former PowerShell MVP Jonathan Noble on a tour of PowerShell hosts; from the basic shell, to SSIS and the web.

 

Location

The event will be hosted in Room 120 of Claremont Tower (Building 32) at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/Campus-Map-Print.pdf

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NEBytes February 2011: Packages of Content

Good Things Come in Small Packages – Package Management on .Net - Sebastien Lambla

Sebastien will be giving us an introduction to Package Management on the .Net platform with OpenWrap.  He will demonstrate it's capabilities, uses and how it measures up against other solutions on other platforms

Sebastien, is the director of Caffeine IT, a consultancy he created to help companies adopt the right technologies for the right reasons, has been obsessed with .net since 2000, and has secret love affairs with anything geeky.

Avviso: A Content Management Framework for SharePoint 2010 with Rik Hepworth

As a follow-up to his session last year on using SharePoint 2010 for content publishing, Rik will demonstrate and discuss Avviso – a content publishing framework for Microsoft SharePoint 2010. Avviso allows content authors  to create highly visual, impactful pages without technical skills. At the same time it enables quicker creation of site-specific designs and templates by web professionals. Suitable for internal and external web sites, Avviso takes the basic publishing functionality in SharePoint 2010 and enhances it, delivering a more user-friendly, flexible toolset. Rik will demonstrate Avviso and talk about some of the thought processes behind its inception and development.

For more info on Avviso check out Rik's Blog Post - http://blogs.blackmarble.co.uk/blogs/rhepworth/archive/2010/12/21/avviso-a-content-publishing-framework-for-sharepoint-2010.aspx

Rik is the IT Director of Black Marble, a Microsoft Gold Partner based in the North of England. Black Marble specialises in Biztalk and SharePoint-based business automation.
In addition to making sure Black Marble's own systems deliver, Rik leads the IT side of Black Marble's SharePoint practice. Rik has been delivering SharePoint solutions since Black Marble’s involvement in the beta of SharePoint 2007 and presents regularly for Black Marble and their partners on this and other topics.

Location

The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/Campus-Map-Print.pdf

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NEBytes January 2011: It's Our Birthday!!!

What's New in ASP.Net MVC 2.0 and 3.0 with Andy Gibson

ASP.NET MVC has been making waves over the past 2 years within the ASP.NET community and quite rightly so with features such as promoting separation of concerns, strongly typed views and a great routing system but it doesn't stop there. ASP.NET MVC 2.0 is now publicly available and is also being shipped with Visual Studio 2010 and hot on its heels is version 3.0 which adds Microsoft's new Razor view engine to the mix. But what new features have been brought to the table? What has changed? And most importantly, how will you be affected by upgrading from 1.0 or even 2.0?

This session will bring you up to speed with all the information you need to know delivered through slides and more interestingly, live demos. Topics covered include (but not limited to)

- Razor

- Model-Validator Providers

- Optional URL Parameters

- Template / HTML Helper improvements

- Improved Dependency Injection / Inversion of Control integration

- NuGet Package Manager

- Additions and updates to MVC Attributes

- Visual Studio integration improvements

- Breaking changes from MVC 1.0/2.0

- Pros and cons to MVC

- To upgrade or not to upgrade (or simply, Advice)

We will look at features brought in by both v2.0 and v3.0 of the MVC framework and provides a good source of information for those looking to learn more or to upgrade existing projects.

Andy Gibson is a .NET Application Developer at Equator in Glasgow with a background in web application development including ASP.NET MVC, PHP and jQuery. He is always on the lookout for new technologies to play with and loves to learn what he can about things especially in the web development arena.

Keen to give back to the community, Andy has spoken at a number of community events including DDD8, DDD Scotland 2009 and Epicenter 2009. He is currently the chairman of Scottish Developers, a user group for programmers all across Scotland, for which he organises various talks and events including DDD Scotland.

In his spare time (not that he has much), Andy enjoys table-top wargamming, computer games, Formula 1 and writing more code.

What's coming in 2011 and Windows Phone 7 discussion with ...You!

In a change to the normal event format rather than having a dedicated topic and speaker we're going to split the talk into two parts.

First up Ben Lee and Jon Noble will take you on a rollercoaster view of what's coming down the pipe for ITPro's in 2011/2012… including:

  • Forefront Endpoint Protection
  • Lync
  • System Center Configuration Manager 2012
  • Azure for the IT Pro

And then for the second half we'll open the floor and get some discussion / debate going. Topics include:

  • CES - what looked cool
  • Windows 8 ARM
  • Windows Phone 7 - 3 months on

Think of it as Bytecast - Live!

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