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


North East Bytes (NEBytes) is a User Group covering the North East and Cumbrian regions of the United Kingdom.  We have technical meetings covering Development and IT Pro topics every month.

Meeting Format

We meet on the third Wednesday of every month except in December where we meet on the second Wednesday.  Each meeting consists of two excellent one hour long sessions from a stellar line up of speakers from the UK, Europe and beyond.  One session will cover a Development topic and the second an IT Pro topic.  In between there is a half an hour break for food, refreshments and time for you to chat with the other attendees.  Invariably we also follow the meeting with a drink in a local pub.

Meeting Location

Meetings are held at Campus North You can find directions here

Occasionally, meetings are held at Newcastle University.  We are very grateful to the University for providing this facility to us.

What Does it Cost?

Nothing, Zilch, Nada!  All of our meetings are free to attend, we don’t intend to charge for any of our meetings.  We provide our time for organising and arranging our events.  Speakers kindly offer their time for free.

We provide cold refreshments free of charge however we do operate an honesty/donation box whereby if you wish to partake in hot food (pizza etc), please put a small donation in the box at the beginning of the meeting to help us to cover the costs of the purchase of the food.  Any monies left over from this at the end of the year are used to provide giveaways and prizes for the group for the following year.

Who are North East Bytes?

North East Bytes was co-founded by Andrew Westgarth, Jonathan Noble, Damien Foggon and Ben Lee in late 2009.  They wanted to create a group which catered for Developers and IT Pros in the region and there key aim was to provide the group for free.

Damien Foggon

Damien Foggon is a developer, writer, and technical reviewer in cutting-edge technologies and has contributed to more than 50 books on .NET, C#, Visual Basic and ASP.NET. He is a multiple MCPD in .NET 2.0 and .NET 3.5 and is hoping that he can contribute something to the North East developer community. 


Derek Graham

Derek Graham is a Principal Developer at Sage UK, helping to deliver cloud-based business solutions in .Net on Azure. He has experience in real-time motion control, ERP stock control and barcoding systems, software licensing, developer tooling and shrink-wrapped software. His main areas of interest are in using agile methods to help improve what we ship, XP, TDD, continuous and deliberate learning, visual thinking, design and, of course, code.



Our Founders

Andrew Westgarth

andrew[1]Andrew Westgarth is a Technical Architect at Sage (UK) Ltd working on large scale web applications.  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 and Internet Information Services. Andrew's current technical interests include IIS 8.0/7.5/7.0, IIS Extensions and Windows Azure; Personal Performance Improvement and Best Practices.

mvp[1] Blog:


Jonathan Noble

jon[1] Jonathan 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. His primary focus is management and automation around Windows Server products, Active Directory and Exchange; mainly using PowerShell. A blogger for many years and Twitter addict, Jonathan became an active member of the PowerShell community from early in its life and received Microsoft MVP awards in July 2009 and January 2012. He is also a member of the TechNet UK Community Council. When he's not writing PowerShell scripts, he's a massive fan of basketball; both the NBA and the Newcastle Eagles.

mvp[1] Blog:


Ben Lee

Ben_profile_pic Ben is a Senior Consultant for an IT services and consulting company called Waterstons based in Durham. He specialises in Microsoft enterprise products such as System Center and ISA server. Ben also has an interest in automation technologies and network security; some of his recent projects have involved Configuration Manager and PKI implementations. Before joining Waterstons at the start of 2009, Ben worked as Systems Administrator for the North East Chambers of Commerce. Ben has not been officially involved in the IT Pro community before but is excited to be involved with NEBytes and is looking forward to helping from the community in the North East.