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Devs: Are you giving back, or only taking?

A couple of weeks ago I attended my favorite annual developers’ conference: Stir Trek. The reasons I like Stir Trek are many. It’s a fantastically run conference. It’s entirely a volunteer, non-profit effort. Over its history I have only missed two Stir Trek events. This year, as the time for Stir Trek registration approached, I made a decision. I was going to attend, as usual. This time I intended to do something more. The dev community has been good time. I thought it time to give back more.

The Problem with StackOverflow/StackExchange

The StackExchange sites are a collection of websites on various topics where people can ask questions and get answers from members of that community. People can also up-vote or down-vote both the questions and the answers, as well as add comments regarding either. People receive ranking points, called ‘reputation’, for asking questions and on how many up-votes/down-votes their questions and answers receive. It’s intended to drive an active (and interactive) community of people around each subject area. The first and most popular of the sites is StackOverflow.

C# Advent Calendar 2017 – Using C# and Azure Cognitive Services Text Analytics to Identify and Relate Text Documents

One of the tasks that developers sometimes face in large companies (or even small ones) is trying to figure out how large sets of data relate to each other. If that data is text based, C# and Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services Text Analytics functions make this extremely easy to accomplish. In this post, I’ll walk through identifying language and parsing out key words and phrases that we can use to help match blocks of text together.

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.

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.