Azure Resource Manager intro presentation and workshop

I attended the Azure Saturday event here in Perth last weekend. Matt and I did a basic intro presentation on Azure Resource Manager and ran an associated workshop, which we have published to our GitHub organisation.

Azure Resource Manager is one of the most important things to understand about Azure if you plan on using it since it’s the platform that underpins the provisioning and management of all resources in Azure going forward.

Azure Saturday Perth 2015 presentation

On myself and FluentMVCTesting joining TestStack

I’d like to announce that I’m joining TestStack and my FluentMCVTesting library will become a TestStack library.

What is TestStack?

I think it can be summed up nicely by a post from one of the core TestStack team, Michael Whelan, in the blog post he wrote. tl;dr: TestStack is a collection of open source projects which mainly focus on making the left side of Marrick’s Agile Testing Quadrant easier!

Why am I joining TestStack?

I think that the libraries in TestStack are awesome and the core team are a group of people I trust and respect. It’s a pleasure to be invited into the core team and I think it’s really great for the FluentMVCTesting library to be present alongside the other awesome testing libraries.

What will happen to FluentMVCTesting?

The nuget package and namespace is changing to have a TestStack prefix for consistency with other TestStack libraries, but other than that nothing much – the library is the same library, but it’s more likely to have additions made to it and hopefully more people using it.

If you update the existing FluentMVCTesting package then it will include the new package as a dependency and wrap around the new classes, but mark the old classes as deprecated. This should provide a smooth transition to existing users of the package as well as letting them know there is a new package out there.

I’m also dropping the strong signing support for now to keep consistency with the other TestStack libraries. We will add that in due course to all the libraries if we feel there is enough demand for it.

Readify

Just a quick post to say that I have left Curtin University and I’m now working for a very cool company called Readify as a Senior Consultant.

Readify won the 2012 Microsoft Software Development Partner of the Year Award and has been on the BRW top 50 Best Places to Work in Australia list for the last three years running. To say I’m excited and humbled to be working for them is an understatement.

Readify has some very clever people working for it (I have already had the fortune to work with a couple of their consultants in the past, hence how I knew about them) and I’m extremely excited about all the amazing things I will learn working with them!

Curtin has been an excellent place to work and I will certainly treasure my time there 🙂

… A year later

It seems rather funny that it was exactly one year since I’ve done a post on my blog. Usual story of course, I started out with good intentions to regularly blog about all the cool stuff I discover along my journey, but time got the better of me. I guess they were the same intentions that I originally had to skin this blog :S.

One thing I have learnt over the last year is that prioritisation is one of the most important things you can do and abide by both personally and professionally. No matter what there will never be enough time to do all the things that you need and want to do so you just have to prioritise and get done all you can – what more can you ask of yourself. With that in mind I guess I haven’t prioritised my blog 😛

I really respect people that manage to keep up with regular blog posts as well as full-time work and other activities. I find that writing blog posts is really time consuming because the pedantic perfectionist in me strives to get every relevant little detail in there and ensure it’s all formatted correctly. Combining that with the insane number of things I seem to find myself doing and trying to get some relax time in somewhere isn’t terribly conducive. It’s a pity really because I enjoy writing posts and hopefully I contribute some useful information here and there.

So, that aside, what have I been doing for the last year. If you are interested feel free to peruse the below list, which has some of what I’ve been doing and is written in no particular order; it’s really just a brain dump ^^. There are a few posts that I have been intending on writing along the way with particularly interesting (to me at least) topics so I’ll try and write some posts over the next few days 🙂

  • Worked with out Project Management Office at work to come up with a way to use PRINCE 2 to provide high level project management to our Agile projects without impacting on the daily work that the teams perform under Scrum. Despite my early scepticism about PRINCE 2 it’s actually a really impressive and flexible project management framework and has worked well.
  • Learnt PowerShell – it’s amazing!
  • Wrote some interesting / powerful NuGet packages (not public I’m afraid) using PowerShell install scripts
  • Attended a really great conference
  • Discovered and started living and breathing (and evangelising) continuous delivery and dev ops
  • Started thinking about the concept of continuous design as presented by Mary Poppendieck at Yow
  • Created a continuous delivery pipeline for a side-project with a final prod deployment to Windows Azure controlled by the product owner at the click of a button with a 30-45s deployment time!
  • Started learning about the value of Lean thinking, in particular with operational teams
  • Started evangelising lean thinking to management and other teams at work (both software and non-software)
  • Started using Trello to organise pretty much everything (both for my team, myself personally and at work and various projects I’m working on in and out of work) – it’s AMAZING.
  • Delivered a number of interesting / technically challenging projects
  • Became a manager
  • Assisted my team to embark on the biggest project we’ve done to date
  • Joined a start-up company based in Melbourne in my spare time
  • Joined Linked in (lol; I guess it had to finally happen)
  • Gave a number of presentations
  • Became somewhat proficient in MSBuild (*shudders*) and XDT
  • Facilitated countless retrospectives including a few virtual retrospectives (ahh Trello, what would I do without you)
  • Consolidated my love for pretty much everything Jetbrains produce for .NET (in particular TeamCity 7 and ReSharper 6 are insanely good, I’ll forgive them for dotCover)
  • Met Martin Fowler and Mary and Tom Poppendieck
  • Participated in the global day of code retreat and then ran one for my team (along with a couple of Fedex days)
  • Got really frustrated with 2GB of RAM on my 3 year old computer at home after I started doing serious development on it (with the start-up) and upgraded to 6GB (soooo much better, thanks Evan!)
  • Participated on a couple of panels for my local Agile meetup group
  • Got an iPhone 4S 🙂 (my 3GS was heavily on the blink :S)
  • Took over as chairman of the young professionals committee for the local branch of the Institution of Engineering and Technology
  • Deepened my experience with Microsoft Azure and thoroughly enjoyed all the enhancements they have made – they have gone a long way since I first started in 2010!

Of course there is heaps more, but this will do for now.

Coding Naming Conventions: Australian (or British) vs. American English

I really dislike American spelling of words. Nothing personal, but I guess growing up with knowledge about how words are spelt and then seeing words spelt “wrong” is frustrating (particularly when you can’t turn off a US spell-checker and it keeps “auto-correcting” your words to incorrect spelling).

Something my team has a discussion on this week was what our naming convention should be for words that have different spelling in US English vs Australian English (the most common one that has come up lately is finalise vs finalize).
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iPad: Seven weeks on

So I’ve had the privilege of having an iPad for almost a couple of months now and I’ve spent a fair bit of time experimenting with a few different apps and thinking of ideas for uses of this interesting UI. I’ve also had numerous discussions with various friends and colleagues about some potential use cases for the iPad.

With that in mind I wanted to summarise my initial thoughts and ideas; nothing too prolific, but maybe over time I can refine my thoughts. I should also note I haven’t done a lot of research into innovative ways the iPad is currently being used apart from what I have observed within apps that I have used. If anyone has any good links to content then feel free to post them in the comments; in particular I am interested in any research being undertaken at Universities.

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New Blog!

So I’m starting a new blog, which is something that I have been planning to do for quite a while now.

I collect a lot of technical knowledge through my work and side-projects and I feel that this, combined with the fact I enjoy teaching people, leads to a good starting point for a blog. So I plan to disseminate my knowledge and experience through this blog and consequently reach a larger audience than I do during my day-to-day life. It will also serve as a good portfolio of sorts to compliment my CV (at least much better than my current website, which I did 5 years ago and will soon be redirecting to this blog!).
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