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

DDD North–Saturday 8th October 2011–Session Submission Open!

We are very pleased to announce that Session Submission has opened for DDD North, the first Developer! Developer! Developer! event to be held in the North East!

DDD North will be held at the University of Sunderland on Saturday 8th October 2011 –  We are looking forward to hosting a fantastic free community led event where you the community define the agenda.  So what are you waiting for, get your session submissions in now!!

Stay up to date with DDD North through the twitter account – and with the hashtag #DDDNorth.


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

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:



The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map - (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 - and follow Gary on Twitter -


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.

Register for NEBytes June 2011 - Online - Asymptotics and Algorithms with Gary Short on Eventbrite

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 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 and is @Bibbleq on twitter


The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Tower at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

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New Opportunities with Orchid Software!

Orchid Software, valued supporters of NEBytes, are looking to fill three fantastic roles!


Who are we?

We are Orchid Software, the North East-based development house behind Orchidnet - the UK's number 1 intranet product. Our software is used every day by over 150,000 people across a wide range of sectors, and organisations as diverse as ITV, Nissan, Pinewood Studios, Northern Rock and the Royal Academy of Music rely on Orchidnet intranet software to bring their business operations online.

What do we do?

We develop and build Orchidnet, our own proprietarily-developed intranet software. Orchidnet is a feature-rich intranet product, with 90 applications that let organisations bring their business operations online using nothing more than a web browser. Our applications include everything from traditional business tools to social media functionality, .

How do we do it?

Working closely with our customers is what sets us apart from the competition. Our success comes from creating software based on real-life requirements, and we take a long-term approach to each of our installations. As well as customer development, our commitment to wider R&D helps us adapt our software to new technologies and changing business practices as they arrive.

Who are we looking for?

We have three positions available:

· Senior Web Development Manager

· Head of Technical Support

· Web Developer

The Web Developer role is suited to candidates with good technical knowledge and software development experience; the other two roles also require technical ability and knowledge of development, in addition to experience of managing a team and coordinating projects to meet specific deadlines.

Our people tend have a few things in common: an incredible initiative, real intelligence and a passion for what they do; if you're clever, ambitious, and want a career with a company that is going places, then we would like to hear from you.

For more information check out

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 or follow him on twitter @KendallMiller.


The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Register for NEBytes May 2011 - Special - Natural Laws of Software Peformance in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

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


The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Pizza sponsored by Orchid Software


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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.



The event will be hosted in Room 120 of Claremont Tower (Building 32) at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map -

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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 -

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.


The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map -

Register for NEBytes February 2011 - Packages of Content in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

NEBytes December 2010: Searching in a Kinected Winter Wonderland

Join North East Bytes for our thirteenth 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!  Due to problems with speaker availability and the prevailing weather conditions we've had to change one of the sessions we were planning for this month.

Ba-da-Bing! Using the IIS SEO Toolkit to improve your site's ranking with Andrew Westgarth

Do you have sleepless nights worrying about the ranking of your site on Bing and Google? Do you spend hours trawling through SEO guides and implementing changes to your site to grab an extra ranking place? Constantly hounded by SEO experts offering their services?

The IIS Team has released the IIS SEO Toolkit, building on the great extensibility model built into IIS 7/7.5, to help you improve your site's search engine rankings. In this session we'll look at how to generate reports highlighting issues with your sites based on SEO Best Practices, use built-in tools to generate Robots.txt and Sitemap files.

Also as the toolkit takes advantage of the Extensibility of IIS 7/7.5 the toolkit can also be extended. We'll take a look at the options available and how to extend the toolkit.

Andrew Westgarth is a co-founder of NEBytes and Senior Consultant for an IT Consultancy in the North East of England. 

Andrew is very active in the UK Developer Community, attending and speaking at multiple events, supporting users and other User Groups.  Andrew was involved with VBUG for over 5 years, indeed he ran the North East region for over 4 years and was National Chairman for two of those.  In the past twelve months he has spoken at 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; ASP.NET MVC, VSTS, Windows Server 2008 R2 and IIS Media Services

mvp[1] Blog:

Get yourself Kinected!!!

Microsoft's latest addition to the Xbox 360 is the Kinect, this controller less method of interacting game system has to be seen and experienced to believe.  As a fun way to end the year, NEBytes have secured a Kinect for all attendees to witness and have a go with to see what it's all about.  We're looking forward to seeing our members bust some shapes and have some fun and laughs as they take part in this unique method of gaming.


The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map -

Stay up to date with North East Bytes

Check out our site at; follow us on Twitter - and become a fan on Facebook -


Due to the prevailing weather conditions please keep an eye on your email accounts and  our Twitter account for updates in case this meeting has to be cancelled.  Currently we are able to host the event and will continue to aim to do so but that will depend on the safety of our attendees and the quality of transport links throughout the region.

Register for NEBytes December 2010: Searching in a Kinected Winter Wonderland! in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite