Global Azure Bootcamp – Glasgow April 21st 2018

Saturday April 21st was the day for the Azure Global Bootcamp which say people attend user groups all around the world as you can see below, so we all spent a day as the Azure community learning all about Azure in many different ways from speakers all around the globe.

I took part and my talk was on learning Azure and becoming ready for the exams into the bargain.




As promised here are my slides:- HowToLearnAzure3

The Glasgow event was awesome and we also had Analben Mehta talking about serverless and Azure Functions and then we had Kenny Lowe talking about Azure Stack, great content and lunch and beers/soft drinks provided, all in all great to be apart of and hopefully people enjoyed they’re day.

Hope to see the people attended at the next Glasgow Azure User Group.

Investing in Yourself

I listen to podcasts and read twitter probably a lot more than I should – why you may ask?

Well for me it’s about investing in yourself, if you want to be smarter than you are currently it wont happen itself, you have to invest time in yourself.

Investing in myself for me means I have dreams which I will fulfil and I have set goals for myself – this year alone I’ve been promoted, done some internal talks, learned a lot about Azure and even enough to do an external talk on it. I plan to do many more talks on Azure going forward.

I’ve written a few blog posts and this will continue when I get some spare time after I pass the 70-532 Azure exam, which I will.

Part of the reason why I want to continue on investing in myself is so that I can surround myself with quality people who I can learn from. I have had my fair share of disappointments in my career and yet I keep going. I will never stop taking hits along the way, I’ve failed the 70-532 exam twice now but I will pass it.

Investing in yourself takes time and it takes commitment, I am committed to learning Azure and passing at least 2 certifications in 2018.

Why Azure you may ask, well I  know .Net and will continue to learn .Net core in my spare time and use it with Azure as I go.

Failure is what life is about, suck it up and get over it.

If you’re not happy in your job or it’s not giving you what you want out of it then move on, don’t hang around if it’s not what you want to do.

So I will continue to invest in myself, I have done throughout my career, but I think its worth talking about that if you have goals and dreams then you need to invest in yourself to achieve them, which I will.


Talk – Global Azure BootCamp, Glasgow 21st April

I’m excited to share with you that I’ll be doing a talk on How to Learn Azure and become certified into the bargain in Glasgow on April 21st 2018.

I’ll be joining the #GlobalAzure community around the world on the day to learn all sorts of Azure awesomesauce.

The Glasgow version includes:-

  • How to learn Azure and become certified – Gregor Suttie
  • Azure Serverless Computing – Analben Mehta
  • Chatbots, Azure and MS Cognitive Services (LUIS) – Jamie Maguire
  • Azure Stack and the Hybrid Cloud: Modernise Applications Anywhere – Kenny Lowe

I am very excited and looking forward to this event.



The Power of Logic Apps in Azure

Logic Apps in Azure is probably one of my top 3 favourite features in Azure at this time, if your software exposes api endpoints you can do pretty much anything.




“Out-of-the-box connectors reduce integration challenges. You can connect apps, data and devices anywhere – on-premises or in the cloud – with our large ecosystem of software as a service (SaaS) and cloud-based connectors that includes Salesforce, Office 365, Twitter, Dropbox, Google services and more.”

Find out more about Logic Apps here

The reason why I like Logic Apps so much is the almost endless possibilities, we all have systems running where we have some sort of logic, maybe its a service that runs and then sends an email as a very simple example.

Imagine you could write an application to do a lot of logical steps using almost anything you can possibly think of within reason and write the application without every writing a single line of code, sounds too good to be true doesn’t it?

Let me show you some of the connectors you can use and then I will talk about some examples when Logic Apps could be very useful indeed.











So the list on the right is just some of the connectors (there are a LOT)


Here are a few examples of where you could use Logic Apps:-

  • When Sharepoint is changed notify people via anything that has an api (chat, email, bot, etc)
  • When your build fails due to a test failing, email that person with a shame picture from the web.
  • When a new project is created, spawn off requests to do whatever you need to do.
  • When a new team member joins, automate adding them to AD groups etc

    The take away from Logic Apps is that if the software has an exposed api you can do pretty much anything you want and the logic is created via a designer which needs next to no training, its very very simple and has enormous potential.

Reasons to get Azure Certified

Lets face it folks the cloud is where its at, you should be at the very least looking to gain cloud skills as it won’t be long before most software is deployed to the cloud.

So the following is a list of why you should get certified in the cloud and I decided to go for Azure certification so I will be covering Azure but the same principles apply to AWS, Google cloud etc. (sign up free for a trial)

  • In 4 months I have went from knowing absolutely nothing about Azure to knowing how, when and why you would want to use the features of Azure, I am far from knowing about all that Azure has to offer but by studying several courses and by doing hands on labs etc I have the knowledge to know what to use and when.
  • If you’re a Microsoft Developer then it makes sense to take a look into Azure and get familiar with Azure as you’ll be able to pick it up and follow very easily, that said Azure is very easy to get going with and the learning curve for most of it isn’t steep, being able to write code and deploy it to Azure is very straightforward.
  • Having to wait on servers being provisioned is painful, having to keep them up to date with patches etc is no fun, as a developer you want to write code and create new features and ship them fast, with the cloud this is the way forward, embrace new technologies and you and your team will reap the benefits. The cloud doesn’t have all the answers and there is no silver bullet but it’s definitely the right way to go.
  • Azure has some fantastic options for hybrid cloud, use your own sql server and keep the data on premise or use your own existing active directory etc and use the features of Azure which make sense to you and your team. There are so many options available nowadays, Azure has various ways of ensuring your data is secure such as encryption at rest in Azure SQL, secure Network Groups, access policies, Shared Access signatures when using API’s and storage and even an API management feature.
  • Having a certification doesn’t guarantee anything but it looks good on your resume and shows you at least know what you’re doing when it comes to Azure, it also shows that your keen to learn and no harm ever came from learning new skills. Plus its good fun learning new stuff right?
  • Getting certified means you’ll study and learn all about Azure and the huge benefits of cloud computing in general, and you’ll be able to suggest features of Azure your company can take advantage off going forward. You’ll also learn about cool stuff like cognitive services, machine learning and ai which are all hot topics right now.
  • And last but not least, you’ll become a Microsoft Certified Professional if you pass your first Microsoft exam. Then you can look into getting a more specific certification and you can find out more info here.

70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions Study Notes

Hi folks, the following is a little insight into what I have been studying the past 4 months, when I decided it was time to start learning Azure, this is just some of the stuff I have been learning.

The content below is from the 70-532 exam page and the links I have pasted in below each section to help people studying for the exam, the content is also useful for anyone looking for links on a particular area of Azure.

Feel free to share this link out an I hope you find the content useful.

Update: either use the links below or use the GitHub page I have created here:

Create and Manage Azure Resource Manager Virtual Machines (20-25%)
Design and Implement a Storage and Data Strategy (25-30%)
Manage Identity, Application, and Network Services (10-15%)


Design and Implement Azure Compute, Web, and Mobile Services (35-40%)

Azure CosmosDB – Quick Start Demo App

So one of the hottest thing in Azure these days is without doubt CosmosDB, Cosmos DB is

A database for extremely low latency and massively scalable applications anywhere in the world, with native support for NoSQL

To get started with your very first Azure CosmosDB

  • go into the portal and click ass on Azure CosmosDB
  • give your new database an id
  • choose an API from the options available
    • SQL
    • MongoDB
    • Casandra
    • Azure Table
    • Gremlin (graph)
  • select your Subscription
  • select a resource group / create a new one
  • choose a location
  • optionally turn on geo-redundancy
  • click pin to pin this to your dashboard

For this blog post I chose the SQL API and left geo-redundancy off.

Ok so once you’ve done this click on Quick Start


Now you’ll see that you can download a sample app using .Net, .Net Core, Xamarin, Java, node.js and Python which will download code for you to play around with and create a to-do app.

I chose .Net and downloaded the code to my machine and opened it up with Visual Studio, run the code and you have a working to-do application hitting your newly created Azure CosmosDB up in Azure.

Time to go play with Azure CosmosDB, enjoy.