Codemash 2019

Earlier this month I attended the Codemash developers conference at the Kalahari Waterpark in Sandusky, OH. This was my 11th time going to the conference and I always come back with a list of things I want to learn more about. This year was no different and overall it was probably the best one I have attended. Following are a few of the more interesting sessions I attended.

 

Best Practices for Robust API Development in ASP.NET Core

This was full day workshop that went through in detail a typical API architecture written in .NET Core and including other common packages for Dependency Injection (Autofac), Testing (XUnit), Logging (SeriLog), Mocking (Moq), API Documentation (Swagger), Object Mapping (AutoMapper), plus a working example of using MongoDB with .NET Core. Lots of good takeaways from this.

 

A Hands-on Intro to Containers

Although Docker is not new, I have not really done anything with it before. This ½ day session included an AWS instance with the prerequisites already setup so we were able to go over creating a Docker image, and using DockerHub to find existing images to work with. It was a perfect to getting-started workshop for my level of Docker experience.

 

Database Devops in Docker

This session, in addition to the Docker pre-compiler, went over some cool uses of Docker images.  The most interesting one to me was where the speaker described how each night that take a backup of the their production database, scrub the data of private information, and update an internal Docker image with the database backup.  Then each morning all of the developers can pull the new image and do their development with data that is essentially production data.

 

Service Workers and Intro to Progressive Web Apps

These were two separate sessions but they are very much related technologies.  Service Workers are a key part of Progress Web Apps. I have many years of web development experience and PWA’s are something I have been interested in learning more about.  The PWA session was a great introduction and included details on when a PWA is the appropriate choice for an app, and a lot of good examples on how to setup a PWA.

Overall I feel like the time at Codemash was well spent and as usual I have a list of new tech to on my list of things to learn more about this year.

 

What’s New in Office 365 (January 2019)

Happy New Year! January is here – new year, new you, right? Personally, I don’t believe in all that new year’s resolution stuff. Every day is a new opportunity to live your best life. How about we stick to new year, new updates for Office 365? There are some changes that will increase security, a change that may affect network traffic, best practice guidelines, and as always, an exciting new feature to highlight.  Regarding security, Microsoft is retiring 3DES in Office 365, and sharing links that block download have begun rolling out.  If you have configured your network to restrict resource access to Azure AD IP address ranges, make sure to read the piece on Azure AD updating IP Addresses. PowerApps users will be happy to see the release of a white paper on coding guidelines and standards. And finally, the exciting new feature we are highlighting this month is reminders in SharePoint.   

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WHAT’S NEW IN OFFICE 365 (NOVEMBER 2018)

October was a great month for those of us in the IT Pro space in Office 365, especially with the SharePoint Online Admin center enhancements. Unfortunately, we have yet to see the Teams Administration Dashboard in our tenant or any of our customers tenants but hopefully by typing this up we will assure ourselves of sticking our foot in out mouth and it will pop up. While many of the “big” developments from October are geared towards IT folks, there were still a couple noteworthy updates for the user base as well.

Side-note: If you plan to be in or around Chicago, IL in the beginning of December and want to increase your knowledge on Office 365/SharePoint head over to the SharePoint Fest Chicago event being held 12/3/2018 – 12/7/2018. Don’t let the name mislead you, they cover a lot of SharePoint items, but you will also see many other Office 365 applications covered as well as Azure topics. The event has different levels of sessions for end users, power users, IT professionals and developers so it really is for everyone. Continue reading “WHAT’S NEW IN OFFICE 365 (NOVEMBER 2018)”

SharePoint Conference 2018 Day 1 Recap

I was watching the SharePoint Conference North America 2018 Keynote (#SPC18 on Twitter) and I must admit, I “geeked out” a little bit about SharePoint Spaces and started to contemplate how I could convince the executive team to sign off on a Commercial Duane OdumHoloLens. If you are not familiar with SharePoint Spaces head over to the GeekWire article on SharePoint spaces by Nat Levy.  Essentially Microsoft is using Office 365/SharePoint Online to bring mixed reality creation to the masses.  The astute reader will notice that you don’t need the HoloLens but to you good reader, I say phooey…go big or go home.  If you or your organization want to get in on the private preview you can nominate your organization using the SharePoint Spaces Form (love that they are using MS Forms for this😊).  Continue reading “SharePoint Conference 2018 Day 1 Recap”

Codemash 2018: Drone Racing

AJThis year at Codemash I thought it’d be fun to do a “precompiler” session (aka an in-depth session before the conference gets started), despite the fact it may not specifically help in my software development area. But I hadn’t done any sort of embedded systems work since college and I thought this would be a great opportunity to get back into it.

As you may know, drone racing has been picking up a lot of steam lately. In fact, they’re even broadcasting it on ESPN these days. It’s actually very exciting to watch: Drones fly at impressive speeds through complex courses that require an amazing amount of maneuverability that takes nothing less than a wiz to handle.

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What really grinds my gears at conferences

Duane OdumYes, it is that type of blog post.  I have been attending conferences for almost 20 years now in varying industries and for the most part, I truly enjoy the experience. However, there are a couple things that simply infuriate me that I keep noticing more and more frequently.

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React Starter Kits

Duane OdumReact in itself is pretty easy to pick up if you have a good background in JavaScript, and that is ultimately one of its biggest selling points: simplicity.  Whether you choose to use JSX, ES6, or even TypeScript is completely up to you, but because React is meant to handle the View layer, you need to bring in other technologies to really get a full-fledged application up and running. This has lead to a plethora of React starter kits being created and published. So the great question is “Do I create yet another React starter kit or use an existing one?” As is the case in most other development exploits, it depends.

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