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

NE Bytes - January 2018: It's Our Birthday

It's our 8th Birthday this month and in celebration we've lined up a double session with one of our original co-founders Andrew Westgarth! Looking forward to seeing you on the 17th!

Andrew Westgarth

Andrew Westgarth is a Senior Program Manager on Microsoft Azure App Service dealing with public cloud offering, Azure App Service and Azure Functions on Azure Stack, Microsoft Azure Functions Runtime preview, and the on-premises Microsoft Windows Azure Pack Websites product. Andrew is a familiar face to UK Community events as the founder of the DDD North events, Co-Founder of NEBytes, former VBUG Chairman, and a former Microsoft Most Valuable Professional.

Session 1 - Deploy and Run Container Based Applications at Scale with App Service on Linux

Hosting more than 1 million cloud applications, Azure App Service helps developers quickly build, deploy and scale applications without having to maintain the underlying web servers or operating systems. Now we are excited to bring these proven capabilities to Linux developers lowering the barriers to entry for building container based web applications. Come to learn how to use App Service on Linux to deploy your container-based web applications to the cloud in seconds. We will also share how you can use the open source tools that you are already familiar with while leveraging the built-in CI/CD, auto scaling and Web SSH features from App Service on Linux. Bring your code or bring your container, we have a solution for you to increase your productivity and run your applications at scale easily.

Session 2 - Azure Stack and Azure App Service, an overview for IT Professionals and Developers

What is Azure Stack? How does it offer customers and organizations a true Hybrid cloud? Add in Azure services such as Azure App Service and Azure Functions and using consistent tools and processes across public and hybrid cloud and developers suddenly have a highly productive platform on which to deliver applications and experiences. In this session I'll give an introduction and overview of Azure Stack and dive into how Azure App Service provides a consistent experience for developers wishing to deploy to the hybrid cloud, and I'll also show how an Azure Stack Cloud Admin can manage their Azure App Service Resource Provider deployment.

Please register at eventbrite

Food is sponsored by sage:

NE Bytes - 6th December 2017: Building and Deploying Azure Serverless Functions

We're back for a Christmas special with Christos Matskas from Microsoft.  

Note the date as it's not on our usual monthly schedule - but it is at the same venue!

Building and Deploying Azure Serverless Functions 

Join Christos to learn what Azure Functions are and how to write them and deploy them using the Portal, CLI tools, VS Code, Github and VSTS for proper CI/CD.

Azure Functions are the young and cool cousin to our battle tested and much loved WebJobs. 

Azure Functions introduces an event driven, compute-on-demand experience that provides a radical new approach on how you set up and run tasks. Where they truly shine is in the great interoperability they provide with various services on and off the cloud, such as SaaS products and on-premises systems.

About Christos

Christos Matskas is a software developer, blogger, speaker and all around geek. He currently works at Microsoft as an Azure Engineer (PFE) helping developers and teams leverage the power of the cloud. Before joining Microsoft, he was a successful entrepreneur and has successfully collaborated with companies such as MarkIT, Lockheed Martin and Barclays. He's been building software for over 13 years and he's a passionate Open Source advocate. He contributes regularly to numerous OSS projects and works closely with the community to make the software development space bigger and better.

Please register at eventbrite

Food is sponsored by:

An Evening Of Tech Talks at Scott Logic

On Wednesday the 29th of November Scott Logic invites you to join us for an evening of tech talks at our Newcastle HQ. Three of our technical speakers will share their thoughts on current technology trends, ranging from data engineering to web technology. It’ll also provide a good chance to meet some of our team over refreshments.

Talk 1: Small Data™

Big Data has been selling consulting gigs, conferences and books for years now. You don’t even know you have a Big Data problem, but let the consultants in, and they will lift the floorboards of your organisation, and will surely uncover rising damp from where your data lake is, ought to be or where the firehose ought to terminate. 

In this talk we will examine the perils of Big Data, provide some alternative approaches and show how to embark on the journey towards sensible Big Data solutions.

Daniel Drozdzewski: 

Daniel started his passion for computation in the early 90’s with the purchase of Commodore 64. Technology took him on a journey with a stop over at Newcastle University finishing a great IT degree. Over a decade of career since has seen Daniel move through startups and big enterprises into diverse areas like rules engine and automated specs driven IT systems, mobile chat platform, online gaming and Big Data. Now happily consulting as a lead developer at Scott Logic.

Talk 2: WebAssembly and the future of JavaScript

For more than 20 years JavaScript has been the only 'native' language of the web. However, earlier this year that all changed with the release of the WebAssembly MVP. This talk gives a practical introduction to WebAssembly and asks what impact it will have on web development in the future.

Colin Eberhardt: 

Colin is Technology Director at Scott Logic and is a prolific technical author, blogger and speaker on a range of technologies. His blog includes posts on a wide range of topics, including HTML5 / JavaScript and data visualisation with D3 and d3fc. You'll also find a whole host of posts about previous technology interests including iOS, Swift, WPF and Silverlight. He's a member of Symphony Foundation, which is encouraging open source collaboration in the financial sector. Colin is also very active on GitHub, contributing to a number of different projects.

Talk 3: An Introduction to GraphQL

GraphQL provides a different approach to REST-based APIs, making your data queryable, explorable and interactive. We’ll take a beginner-friendly dive into the technology. Why was it built? How does it work? How can I start using it? And what are the challenges I’ll encounter along the way?

Sam Hogarth: 
Sam is a senior developer at Scott Logic, where he leads a team building an FX application for small businesses, with JavaScript and Java. He’s interested in new technologies, improving developer productivity and communicating new ideas to the developer community.

Get your tickets at eventbrite

NE Bytes - October 2017

Unfortunately, there will be no meeting in October. Work pressure and conflicting schedules have meant that we are unable to secure a speaker for the event. Watch this space for an announcement of the next event.

NEBytes - 20th September 2017 - Adventures with Typescript and Alexa

After a longer than anticipated break over the summer we're back with two talks in September.

TypeScript for the C# Developer

We're welcoming Peter Shaw for our first talk. Peter is a freelancer with his own consultancy in the North East of England, a Published Technical Author for Pluralsight and Syncfusion, and one of the driving forces behind LiDNUG, one of the most active .NET related virtual user groups on the LinkedIn platform.

There's little doubt that JavaScript is eating the world these days, everywhere you look it's JavaScript, from the server through to the browser.

The problem is, JavaScript is a nasty, horrible unforgiving language, not at all like our nice strongly typed safe languages, such as C# and others we use in the back-end and on the server.

Because of JavaScripts popularity, many of us that have spent most of our Careers in the world of C#, are finding that to stay current we have to make the move to front-end and the world of JavaScript.

Enter TypeScript. Typescript allows you to quickly get to grips with the world of JavaScript, while still retaining your knowledge, skills and most importantly Strongly Typed way of doing things, in this session I'll show you why as a C# developer you need to seriously consider using TypeScript, and what the language has to Offer over Regular JavaScript. Oh and I might even throw in a little bit of Aurelia along the way ;-)

Adventures with Alexa

Our second talk this month comes from Peter Davies. In his session Peter will cover session will cover how he built a home-brew Alexa device with a Raspberry Pi and 2 BBC MicroBits with his kids, and what their future plans are for it. He'll also delve into writing custom skills for Alexa.

Peter is Technical Director at Zerolight - heading up the development of their online media creation service. Zerolight provides digital, online and VR experiential retail solutions to the automotive industry. Peter also runs an independent and not-for-profit coding dojo in Hexham. Previously Peter owned a web-development and programming services company, has operated as a freelancer, and began his career in the console computer games industry.

Please register at eventbrite

Food is sponsored by:

NE Bytes - July 2017

Unfortunately, there will be no meeting in July. The recent hot weather has meant we have had a hard time persuading speakers to put down the ice cream, come indoors out of the sun and talk to us. We hope to be back in August with our regular schedule.

NEBytes - 21st June 2017 - AI Evolution and Groups vs Teams

AI Evolution and Groups vs Teams

After the Lightning Talks in May we're back with two full sessions in July.  We're looking forward to seeing you all there.

The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence

We're welcoming Gaving Payne for out first talk.  Gavin is the head of digital transformation for Coeo, an analytics and data platform consultancy, where he focusses on innovation and providing thought leadership.

These days, artificial intelligence is always in the news and on technology roadmaps, yet the idea of it is older than modern computing. So why the increased interest in it? Why has it suddenly become the next big thing and how should we expect it to make decision making easier?

This session:

  • starts by looking at the history of modern AI, back to when Alan Turing first dreamed of machines
  • considers why new data storage and processor hardware technologies are letting it take off
  • suggests how it might shape the future of business analytics and the world we live in


Group vs Teams

Our second talk this month comes from Alan Eardley.  Alan is a solution architect at CPS (Corporate Project Solutions) with over 20 years' experience with Microsoft products and the design and implementation of web-based solutions.  Alan has a broad range of experience of collaboration, project management, development and data and reporting working with commercial and public sector clients to apply Office 365 and Azure technology to business challenges with a focus on the adoption of the solution. Alan's passion is trying to stay on top of the continuous stream of new and improved tools and technologies that are coming from Office 365 and Azure.

Microsoft have provided some great tools to enable us to collaborate in Office 365. We can use calendars, files, distribution lists, Skype, files … the list keeps growing.

With the release of Teams, we have a new way to work with these different tools.

In this presentation I will compare and contrast the capabilities of Office 365 Groups and Teams, and even some of the capabilities found in more traditional SharePoint team sites.

You will learn what the differences are, what the benefits are and even what some of the teething pains are, and be enabled to choose the most appropriate tool for your teams to use.

Please register at eventbrite

Food is sponsored by:

NEBytes - 17th May 2017 - Early Summer Lightnin'

Early Summer Lightnin'

We're trying something a little different this month and we want you to be part of the event! It's lightning talk time!

We've already got a few talks lined up but we'd like to see more. After all the last thing you want is for Damien, Derek and John to waffle for two hours!

Do you have a topic close to your heart? A pet project, discovered a new technology or language, have a pearl of wisdom you'd like to share? If so come along and talk.

If you want to talk for 5 minutes then do so. 10? That's good as well. We'll have to draw the line somewhere but it's negotiable.

We have four prizes to give away for the best talks:

2 1-year individual subscription to a JetBrains Toolbox product of their choice, thanks to sponsorship by the fine folk at JetBrains.
2 £25 Amazon gift vouchers, thanks to sponsorship by Ronald James Recruitment

Either email or complete the section on the event brite form.

Please register at eventbrite

Food is sponsored by:

NEBytes - 19th April 2017 - Office 365: The Digital Workplace & What to expect from C# 7

Office 365: The Digital Workplace

Tony Hughes, from the well known I.T. consultancy firm TSG, will be here for our april event to talk about how organisations large and small can utilise Office 365 as the foundation for a modern Digital Workplace, after all it much more than Email in the Cloud and the latest versions of Office.

Microsoft Teams – It’s so much more than Chat
Microsoft Planner – Task Management and Planning
Office Groups – The foundation for collaboration
Yammer – Is this now all I need for my Intranet, or do I even need one
PowerApps and Flow – Forms and Workflow for the masses
Security and Compliance – You're safe in their hands

Tony has an extensive background in the industry, and some of you would have heard him speak before, so please invite your friends and colleagues to what will be an enlightening session.

What to expect from C# 7

Phillip Steele will be here to tell us all about the new features in the latest version of our favourite curly bracket lanuage, where they came from, why they are there and if you really need them.

Phillip is a senior developer at Sage and has many years experience with .Net and C# in particular.

Please register as usual at eventbrite

Once again food is sponsored by:

NEBytes 17th May 2017: Summer Lightning

17th May - Summer Lightning

To offer some variety (and something we have been thinking about for a little while), we're going to run occasional lightning talk sessions. So, if you'd like to give a shorter talk (about 10-15 minutes long), we would love to hear from you. If you have a pet project, are playing with a new platform, language or technology, or just learned something cool that won't fill an hour, please get in touch!

The May meeting will be our first lightning talk session so please contact us at with your ideas.

The best talk of the evening (voted for by the audience) will win a 1-year individual subscription to a JetBrains Toolbox product of their choice, thanks to sponsorship by the fine folk at JetBrains.