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Barret

Husband, father, gamer, developer, manager, writer, creative, blogger, model railroader, Buckeyes fan

Hey Devs, You Are Not Expected To Know Everything

It seems one of the most basic concepts. Yet it gets completely hidden by the developer community. It doesn’t matter how many years of experience you have in a particular language. There are still things you will have to look up EVERY SINGLE DAY. I really started to think about it. Why are we ashamed to admit that publicly? A couple of reasons came to me pretty quickly: Ego and envy.

Mentoring Junior Developers

One of the biggest struggles of the development community is the mentoring, encouragement and development of entry-level and junior developers. A couple of years ago when I was adding people to my team, two of those I hired were women essentially right out of college. I found myself faced with a struggle that many dev managers and leads have faced over the years: How do I encourage, train and develop junior developers?

Deploy Database Updates With FluentMigrator and VSTS

One extremely handy open source library for .NET developers is FluentMigrator. This package allows you to script out your database changes as C# classes. The concept is similar to the code first migrations of EntityFramework, but allows you a bit more fine tuned control over deployments and doesn’t tie you to any specific ORM or other database interaction model. For example, it’s easy to control which environments the updates go to with tagging. This can help prevent accidental database updates to production and has already saved me from database restores on a couple of occasions.

Deploy To A Private NuGet Feed From VSTS

If you work with multiple related projects that exist in separate solutions, one of the more useful features of Visual Studio Team Services is the ability to easily implement private NuGet feeds. This service lets you keep development of various pieces more separate and yet still make it easy to integrate your private libraries into your other applications.

My Go-To Visual Studio Extensions

There are a number of extensions for Visual Studio that I always keep installed. Time and again they’ve proven their value for me. Maybe they can do the same for you. I haven’t made the full transition from VS2015 to VS2017 as i use 2015 at work and 2017 at home. Some of these have different versions between the two VS versions. The links below are all to the 2015 versions in those cases.

Running a Regularly Scheduled Task with Azure Functions

One of the more recent features of cloud computing is what’s called ‘serverless computing’. There are a number of different ways in which it is implemented, but for the most part it’s just a way to set up a code function to be able to run without needing to create an entire application and all it’s resources.

Deploying Service Fabric App with VSTS

Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) makes it incredibly easy to deploy Azure Service Fabric applications to your Service Fabric clusters as part of a continuous integration process. There’s just a few easy steps to get it set up and running.

My Favorite Podcasts

As developers, we need to receive frequent knowledge downloads from other sources to enhance our skillsets and help us think in new ways. There are all kinds of sources where this can come from: online training, YouTube, Pluralsight, books, classes, and so on. One of my favorite ways to help me think new thoughts are podcasts. What follows is a list of my favorite podcasts, the ones that I listen to on a regular basis. Some are developer focused and some are not. You shouldn’t limit your sources of knowledge

Avoid Burnout: Take Time To Unplug

One of the biggest struggles that developers face is burnout. I’ve seen it happen time and time and time again. We do too much. We work 40, 50, 60 or more hours a week in an office doing development work, then come home and spend another 20, 30 or more hours at home working on our personal projects or side clients. Add to all that the various levels of personal commitments we might outside of development, be it family, church, charity work, and so forth. All that time takes its toll and, if we’re not careful, it overwhelms us and we burn out. It happened to me.