Category: Uncategorized

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn in my eyes is highly under rated, I want to show you why there is more to it than you have probably realised.

Learning Paths
Learning paths are a great way to explore a topic, there are currently around 1000 learning paths, so what are you waiting for, there is something for everyone in there, which means you. #alwaysbelearning

Filter
You can filter your learning by –

  • Product
  • Roles
  • Levels
  • Type (Learning Paths or Modules)

Bookmarks
Bookmark your learning choices and come back to them, you owe it to yourself to have learning goals and to finish the learning path or module, don’t start it and leave it, become good at finishing and not good at starting.

Collections
Collections are where you can group your own collection of learning paths and modules which might relate to a specific learning goal you have. This is perfect if you are studying for an exam or want to know more about a more general topic like server-less as an example.

Achievements
If you complete a module within a learning path you earn points and badges along the way and you can see these listed under achievements which can be found under your profile and looks like so: –

I myself have realised I haven’t been using Microsoft Learn for a while and there is a lot of great new content which I am off to check out now.

Let me know which level your on – I’m currently on level 8.



Azure Resource GitHub Repository

I have started a GitHub repository for a place to put the following so that the community can benefit from resources I have came across from the community.

  • Azure Exam Guides
  • Azure Useful Resources
  • Azure Policies
  • Azure DevOps Resources

I’m looking for others to contribute to this so that the community has a place to find helpful info.

If you have an Azure Exam Study guide let me know and I’ll add a link to it from the Exam folder to your blog or create a quick pull request.

If you have any useful Azure Resources which aren’t listed then please either let me know or create a quick pull request.

I’m gong to be adding to this over time throughout the year, I’m looking for contributors so we can grow this out to be something useful to a lot of people.

Link to the GitHub Repository:- https://github.com/gsuttie/AzureResources




How I had a successful 2019

This year has been an amazing year for me, too many good things to recall if I’m honest and I’ll keep it short, below are some of the highlights for me (in no particular order)

  • Invited to meet Scott Guthrie at an ask me anything session in London
  • Awarded MVP in Azure in August
  • Helping run the Glasgow Azure User Group
  • Ran the Azure Global Boot Camp, Glasgow Edition
  • Attended my first ever Microsoft Ignite in Florida
  • Attended my first ever Experts Live Europe in Prague
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
  • Helped work become Gold Certified in a few more competences
  • Blog has had over 200,000 hits this year (50 posts this year)
  • The Azure Advent Calendar has been a huge success, more info on that later this month.
  • Joined TechSnips.Io
  • Started a YouTube channel
  • Named in Nigel Frank International in the Top 20 Azure influencers on Twitter
  • 3 podcast appearances

Looking forward to 2020 which will bring the following :-

  • Ignite the Tour London
  • Ignite the Tour Zurich
  • Scottish Summit (doing a talk and helping out)
  • Azure Global Boot camp (organising & more on that next week)
  • MVP Summit 2020
  • Ignite 2020
  • Hopefully lots more travelling
  • Hopefully attending conferences
  • Reach 5000 twitter followers
  • Recording some training material

It has been a huge amount of fun, learned more a lot about myself, visited a number of places.

My number one highlight might sound corny but meeting the people who make up the community has been incredible, Ignite and at Experts Live I met so many awesome people that I have chatted to on Twitter. I’ve met people I’ve looked up to and asked for advice from and the people who inspire me.

If you need help or have questions about anything please reach out to me on twitter or LinkedIn, always happy to help with anything I can.

I could never thank everyone but trust me I’m thankful for meeting each and every one of you.

This #azureadventcalendar has been a fantastic way to end the year and soon I’ll be at Ignite the Tour London and then the Scottish Summit here in Glasgow at the end of February.

Huge waves and thanks to everyone who I chatted to throughout 2019 and lets do it again next year.

Happy Holidays! – Gregor.



Using Azure Recovery Vault to backup SQL Server within your Virtual Machines

In this blog post I’ll show you how to go about baking up SQL Server within your VM’s on Azure. I’m going to assume you have created an Azure Recovery Vault already.


Step 1 – Log into Azure and go into your Recovery Vault.


Step 2 – Click Backup.


Step 3 – Choose SQL Server in Azure VM (Preview).
Step 4 – Choose Start Discovery and that goes off to discover your VM’s which have SQL Server on them.
Step 5 – Select the Virtual Machine name(s) from the list and then hit the Discover DB’s button.
Step 6 Select Configure Backup.
Step 7 – Select from the list the instance(s) and then select the DB’s you wish backed up, you can also change the AutoProtect to ON from the drop down and this will always backup each new database added going forward.


Step 8 – Select Ok.



Step 9 – Choose your Backup Policy Options.

And that should be that, you now have your SQL Server’s within your VM’s on Azure backed up using a Policy which you can configure to suit your needs and change ant any time you wish.



What I learned last week – 13th August – 17th August

This week I have been busy mostly busy with bug fixing some code we have which used to be a windows service but is now a TopShelf service – if you use windows services you’ll know that there hard to debug, enter TopShelf

TopShelf is almost identical to a windows service but runs like a console app and that allows you to debug the code you would have within your windows service. To change your code from a windows service to a TopShelf service is minimal code indeed and well worth the small amount of effort.

What I learned this past week

  • Visual Studio 2012 and Windows 8 are available, if you use Visual Studio 2012 then check out a fantastic extension called Web Essentials – go check it out.
  • RavenDB – the guys who bring you Raven are hard at work on a 1.2 release which will bring a number of great changes, I have upgraded my home-brew project to the latest unstable version and the upgrades to the front end are cool and most welcome – more soon when I get more time hands on.
  • Select2 is a very neat little javascript library which you use to make your select boxes on web pages far sexxier – take a look here.
  • Elmahr 0.91 is out – more here.

What did you find useful this week? – please let me know by leaving a comment after the beep.



6 months into the job

Monday 11th May will see be me 6 months into my new job, my last place I was there for 11 years so it was quite a big thing for me moving on.

The new job is going well, I like the way we go about our work, we talk about it, we plan it, then we try as best we can to do proper test driven development.

Last week saw us starting a new RavenDB based MVC 3 project which will be using Agile techniques using sprints – it will also include some new tools which I havent yet used such as initializer and twitter bootstrapper – more on them to come as I get hands on during the project.

Starting a new project is always great, although we are under pressure to get this out the door, were luck to not having paying customers demanding software releases as soon as possible, this means we don’t cut corners and can produce code which has been thoroughly tested and due to the tools we use we know it’s of decent high quality.

Testing driven development has been quite a mind shift from what I have been used to, in the past I would have written the code and then done some manual testing usually from the front end, so this has been a great leap forward – it’s not the be all and end all of course and code can still contain bugs, however, changing code and knowing if you broke something is very nice.

The main difference has been using Resharper, style cop and unit tests along with a great build system – all checked in code has the same style and formatting which is rather nice.



I feel fortunate where I work

I moved jobs a little under 3 months ago and I know work for Maclean Electrical as a developer in a small team.

At Maclean’s I work in an Agile development team working on a number of projects which we use to drive the business forward and make the company more productive.

Maclean Electrical

Our code base is a made of a number of different projects including some windows service projects, some MVC web apps, a Windows Forms application and even an ASP.NET 2 web app.

The development team strive for a number of goals a couple of which are below as below:-

  • Test Driven Development – write a failing test, write the code tp make the test pass, refactor your code.
  • Code Coverage – the code you write should meet a high level of test code coverage, each project had individual levels but should be around 70% as a minimum.
  • Refactor where possible – refactoring the code you come across so that you always leave it better than you found it where possible.
  • If you break the build, its your responsibility to fix it, yeah it’s normally me I know.

We have a very nice setup at work using TeamCity as our build server and we have ported over a few things as Nuget packages to make life easier going forward – I can push a deployment of the code which runs all the unit tests from the build server to deployment or the test environment in one click.

At work we are about to start looking at using RavenDB and the developers are all being sent on a course in London for training on a 2 day course.

Working for a company who listens to their developers and has fantastic communication with everyone in the team is always good in my book. The developer’s in the team often chat about what technologies are new and who’s looking at what and what they have thought about it. We don’t stick with what we know and are always looking at new technology as a way of sharpening our skills which I love to do anyway.

I guess we have a team of passionate developers who communicate well and who really enjoy their jobs – if you enjoy your job it makes a huge difference. If you want a book on a particular subject then it’s ordered, if you come across a tool that you find helpful its bought.

Do you enjoy your job as much as I do? – I do hope so.



Steps for improving my development skills in 2012

Note:- This will be an on going blog post.

My plan is as follows:-

Firstly I plan to write a lot more code at home, to me that’s definitely the best way to learn. My first goal this year is to get better at writing unit tests/tdd and learning how to use mocking properly.

January: Watch all of John Skeets Tekpub series on C#, go through Roy Osherove’s Unit Testing Kata’s and watch the @tekpub and @pluralsight videos on Unit Testing.

How did I fare in January?:

  • having set out my goals above for January I would say I have learned a lot when it comes to TDD, still got a lot to learn especially when it comes to mocking.
  • I have watched the first 6 of the 25 video series so still got a lot to watch and learn about. The detail in this particular series is exceptional and if you want to learn c# in detail then this is for you.
  • I bought the following book on Dependency Injection :-

February: Get up close and personal with RavenDB.

March: Time to start an app using RavenDB.

I shall update as we go but this is a good start. Let me know if you come across something you think is worth learning.



My Review of 2011

In 2011 I started blogging and this post will be a review of the year which is about to come to an end.

At the start of 2011 I was working on a windows mobile 6.5 project up until around April, which was the first time I have even looked at any windows mobile development – the project itself was a good one and I enjoyed working on it – my overall feeling from it though was that windows mobile 6.5 was old and clunky and things seem to have gotten a lot better with the latest version including the mango release.

From April to August I was working for Barclay’s Stockbrokers in Glasgow working on moving their entire code base from windows server 2003 to server 2008 and re-writing the way al off this software was built and packaged using MSBuild and WIX.

From August to the start of November I was back at base which was Pulsion Technology working on various projects.

In mid November I resigned from Pulsion and took a job at my new employers Maclean Electrical in Cumbernauld, where I am now working. Moving jobs after 11 years was a little daunting at first but I am so so glad I made the move.

During the year I have purchased Tekpub and I also have a subscription to Pluralsight training which are both fantastic – I am also a Friend of Redgate and have been looking at their most recent releases which look very interesting indeed.

In 2012 I hope to travel to one of the big conferences at some point as I didn’t travel abroad this year – I also hope to get stuck into RavenDB soon and learn more about Agile and see what else 2012 brings with it.

Thats it folks enjoy 2012!



Dev and Build process

Good processes are something that I take a lot of interest in and something that I always like to read about to see how other people implement thei.

The following is a list of practices we currently follow:-

Visual Studio 2010 runs with ReSharper 6 which also uses StyleCop with certain rules by which the code written must adhere to before Subversion will allow us to commit the code – now this is really nice indeed, it means that everyone who checks code in must use an issue number for the issue tracker we use.

Unit Tests are ran when a build is triggered within TeamCity and the code coverage must reach a certain level on a project or the build fails – this also highlights areas that the code hasn’t got unit tests for and helps to promote the idea of writing unit tests, also for any new code as well as when you write code to fix a bug.

Having around 2000 unit tests run quickly and the code built in around 5 minutes is just sweet.

Who knows what will change in the future but for now I like the way things are done.