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 (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudioalm/archive/2014/10/10/trigger-release-from-build-with-release-management-for-visual-studio-2013-update-3.aspx) 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 (https://github.com/wildbillcat/PowershellAutomation/blob/master/ReleaseManagment/InitiateReleaseFromBuild.ps1) 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. (https://www.coursera.org/course/financialanalysis) 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.