Keeping Trendy

My session on MVC 5 & Angular went pretty well. It ended up being more of a show and tell of some of my code, and then a quick demonstration of how easy it is to implement a very simple application with angular. Essentially I just tied the content of an input box to a Div, but the fact that it takes all of 3 lines of code was seemed to impress. The actual room that I do it in is quite nice, but the screen is terrible. It’s old and is a 4:3 ratio that feels like 800×600 resolution, which had me collapsing toolbars left and right. Based on the impressions I got from the meeting, I’ve decided to split it into two courses. The first one on MVC5 and EF6 to show how to get started developing web applications, since there are a large number of people that don’t have web development backgrounds. The Second one will be using Angular with SignalR in an MVC application which was the big interest from the crowd. I am hoping to make both courses oriented as a crash course to show how quickly you can get up and running using the technology to show the appeal of why one might want to use it. There is a lot of sessions I want to do for the benefit of developers, I’m thinking of doing one of event driven programming next to show how to leverage delegates to create a subscriber model. Functional Programming is also on my to do list, so I’m thinking of fiddling with both F# and Node.js to see which I think would be easier to pitch in one of these sessions.

Outside of my crusade to get our developers to make more modern applications, I’ve been working on integrating our Custom TFS workflows with Microsoft Release Management. I’ve been leveraging the Rest API and have us set up to solely be a VNext Deployment setup. To get started I made use of the release template and PowerShell script made available by Microsoft ( but ran into an interesting issue. The XAML by default will trigger a release regardless of whether or not the compile step succeedes, which I hadn’t thought to check before using it on a test environment. Granted since it was a test environment it’s was hardly a serious issue, but it did cause me to modify the script to detect whether or not the compile had failed before allowing it to continue. I stashed my Script here ( for my own reference, along with anyone else should they be implementing vNext templates as well.

We have a few contractors from Incycle Technology working for us who complimented me on having our setup completely vNext, which made me feel great. In that same vein I’m thinking of scrapping my idea of setting up azure pack, and instead setting up server 2016 running Azure Stack since launching new services seems to take so long. I want to keep the configuration managment automated in some way, so I’m thinking of finally getting around to brushing up on Chef this weekend. That way I can quickly spin up and put down the new environment, so when the next version of Server actually hits RTM I can quickly spin it up and have the infosec guys start tearing it apart so I can go live as fast as possible. I also want to get up to speed on chef, as we may start  leveraging that for Release Managment as an alternative to PowerShell since the RM software supports it and I’ve got my fingers crossed that our configuration management will be done with it. It’s kind of funny being a Microsoft fan lately, as more and more it seems like Microsoft is attempting to pitch itself as the new Sun Microsystems. The more Oracle closes down Java, the more Microsoft trys to position .Net as the obvious alternative. Since 5 is open sourced, I’m all for it, if something goes awry you can always defect to Node, Ruby, or Python, but all of those come with a steeper curb for a Java Dev.

A Coursera course has caught my eye on financial analysis, so I thought I’d give it a try to see if I might perhaps improve my overall knowledge of the field I am serving. ( It’s been a while since I’ve done something on Coursera and I’ve noticed they are now really pushing for the certificates to sell them. I’m tempted, if only because it appears to come with a capstone project to attempt to apply the knowledge which seems to be interesting. But at the same time I think saving my money for something like my Security+ certification (Likely the next certification I’ll go out for) seems more alluring, along with F# Deep Dives, published by Manning. Granted this just comes from a my frugality, if I had more cash to burn I’d likely just buy in no questions asked, as the cost is nominal. I’m the learning vein I also started a contest at work to try and promote sharing of knowledge around PowerShell since all of our technology teams use it. I am offering small 3D printed toys as prizes, with the hope that it instigates people to collaborate and share if only a little bit. I’m trying to promote using Pester, the BDD testing framework, good code commenting, and designing modular/reusable code through functions and parameters.


This week at work has been pretty crazy at work, I’ve been scrapping together our Release Management Environment to integrate it with our TFS environment. My coworker and I have come to an agreement on how we think it should be implemented, which means we might actually start getting deployments up and running inside the next month! I’ve also been doing a fair amount of programming to automate our SQL Deployments. I’ve completed the component that verifies the contents of the package to ensure nothing in there should be flagged for review, and I’m now onto the portion that does the heavy lifting.

Aside from that I’ve decided to start giving a monthly segment at work on new technologies to help improve our developer’s skill sets. I’m starting with MVC5 and Angular.js web applications with the hope that it will inspire our developers to get rid of the client footprint. Our developers have a lot of applications that use grids to view and edit information, so I’m thinking of using the MVC Grid, and then an example using NG Grid. I’m likely going to start working it up this weekend, leveraging entity framework. I’m considering trying to connect to an oracle DB, and perhaps trying to give samples with SignalR and D3.js if I can find the time. In the mean time I’ll probably whip up an azure environment to start testing with a new Git Hub Repo.

Now MS Build has also been going on which I’ve been watching. The event has been pretty cool, the highlight in my opinion being the Hololens. I can see myself living in an near empty apartment with just a bed and a couch, then building the rest of my environment virtually. Given I can just stretch a video across my wall, there’s no need for a TV. Attach photos to the walls, plants and organic videos throughout, I can have a view even in the basement. Docker and .Net VNEXT looks great for both development features and deployment, although explaining the benefits of of docker for our business use may be a battle. But paired with Azure pack, I have high hopes for our environment in the future. I look forward to catching up on MSDN and build this weekend, since there’s so much going on I can hardly process it all.

Now just to take a step back to note that where a frothing fan boy, there were a few notable thing that were also worrying. The machine learning (where technically speaking very cool) is also that sort of terrifying where statistical evaluation of habit results in what feels like a violation of privacy. Granted we all aren’t that unique, so perhaps that’s just the angst of having to admit that which inspires my discomfort. The second thing was the carrier billing across all platforms, which I’m sure will lead to all sorts of issues as kids can run up a bill without a credit card.