Cloud Cover Show Visit

While I was at MVP Summit 2011, I was invited to join Steve Marx and Wade Wegner on my favourite Channel 9 Program – Cloud Cover Show. The show featured Corey Sanders from the Windows Azure Fabric Controller Team, he talks about his role in the Windows Azure VMRole.

It was great to be able to provide the tip of the week, which I chose to highlight Microsoft Research Project – [Windows] Azure Throughput Analyzer.

The [Windows] Azure Throughput Analyzer is a tool that can be used to test the performance of transactions to Windows Azure Storage Services from your On-Premise Application.

Enjoy the Show…

Do you want to Develop on Windows Azure without a Credit Card?
The Cloud Cover Show now gives you the ability to do so, head over
to Windows Azure Pass and use the promo-code: cloudcover

The Future is Here: 2010 in Review

When planning for the future, studying one’s past achievements can help organize and motivate an individual. With 2011 upon us, I’m taking this opportunity to reflect on my experiences, goals and achievements from 2010.

The Blog Sphere

Although I didn’t get the chance to blog every month this year, this is my first full year that I’ve been writing on my own blog. This in itself is an achievement that I’m rather proud of and I look forward to continue to provide some great content into 2011.

Here’s a few stats on this years blog posts:

Blog Entries 56
Unique Visitors

7 020

Page Views

11 704

RSS Feed Subscribers 33 [Subscribe for SyntaxC4.Net Blog]
My Favourite Blog Post Life Refactored: Going from 9-5 to Dedicated Technologist
Most Viewed Post

You asked, Microsoft Delivered. Free Time on Windows Azure

Least Viewed Post

Windows Azure Firestarter Event: April 6th

Public Speaking

In 2009 I started Speaking at Technical Communities and Events. I continued the trend in 2010 and finished the year off with 8 presentations (that I could track down). What an amazing experience! The majority of my talks were in Ontario, but I was also lucky to have travelled to Quebec and Regina to speak at 2 different events.

Public Speaking combines two things I enjoy most: Talking about my Passion for Software Development and meeting new and interesting people.  I will continue down the path of speaking at events in 2011.

Here’s a list of Events I presented at over the course of this year (hopefully I didn’t forget any):

Event Topic Date Follow-up Entry
CTTDNUG Windows Azure February 24  
FCDNUG Windows Azure February 26  
Confoo Windows Azure
SQL Azure
March 10-12 Everybody was Confoo Fighting
TVBUG Windows Azure May 13th Windows Azure Chat at TVBUG
PrairieDevCon Windows Azure
SQL Azure
June 3-4 Clouds as far as the eye can see
TechDays 2010 Windows Azure October 26-27 Presentation Notes from TechDays 2010 Toronto
Windows Phone 7 Developer Briefings XNA on WP7 December 2, 9  
AzureFest Windows Azure December 14 Post #AzureFest Follow-up Videos
Part1 | Part 2

Unforgettable Moments


Reviewing the past is not only about achievements, it’s also about learning from your experiences. Although 2010 seems like an epic year from my accomplishments above, I also experienced hardship and sleepless nights.

Know Your Limits and Work Within Them

Between working a typical work day, writing blog entries & presentations, presenting and other learning; my schedule got rather hectic at times. I’ve always worked hard and taken the time to learn Best Practices and other  Technologies at home after hours, but I’ve never really burnt out before this year.

Although it was a rather painful experience, I feel that hitting my breaking point was completely necessary. I now know the importance of time off, even if it’s taking a weekend off to hang out with friends, or just take some much deserved “Me  Time”.

Appreciate Your Accomplishments

When you’ve made a career out of something that you love, sometimes you forget that the work you do is still a series of accomplishments.

Stop, Take a Breath, Step Back, Recognize and Reward your Accomplishments!

Happy 2011!

Post #AzureFest Follow-up Videos: Part 2

In our last set of Videos [Post #AzureFest Follow-up Videos] Barry and I talked about how to Register for a Windows Azure Account, Setting up a Hosted Service, Deploying your first Azure Application, and tearing down the Application.

In this set of videos Barry and I walk-thru setting up a SQL Azure Database using the Windows Azure Platform Portal, as well as Generating Script files for the existing NerdDinner Application for Deployment into the Cloud.

Setting Up a SQL in the Cloud using SQL Azure

As explained at AzureFest, there are very few steps required to set up a Database on SQL Azure. The main thing to watch for in this video is the Firewall settings, this is important to keeping your data secure in the cloud. If you set up Firewall rules for Cafe’s or Restaurants, be sure to remove the IP Address Range from the Firewall before you exit the establishment.

Setting up a SQL Azure Instance for Cloud Based NerdDinner Deployment

Generating Scripts against On-Premise Database to Deploy to SQL Azure

In this Video, Barry and I explain how to script the existing on premise databases from the NerdDinner Application and run those scripts against our newly created SQL Azure Database. We also venture into the new SQL Azure Database Manager [Built on Windows Azure with Silverlight].

Scripting Database Tables and Running Script against SQL Azure

Next Steps…

Look for some additional content coming in the New Year! Barry and I will be covering Setting up your environment, and deploying the full NerdDinner Application to the Cloud!

Post #AzureFest Follow-up Videos

On Saturday, I presented how to Register for Windows Azure, Install and Configure the Azure Tools & SDK; as well as Deploy an application to Windows Azure. This presentation was part of a joint effort between Microsoft Canada and ObjectSharp called AzureFest.

Microsoft Canada has made a great offering to Canadian User Groups. For each member that deploys an application to Windows Azure and submits a Screenshot of their Application, the User Group is awarded $25.

To make the process easier for your members Barry Gervin and I have created some easy to follow, step-by-step videos of the content.

Registering for the Windows Azure Introductory Offer

In this video, Barry Gervin and Cory Fowler walk through the Introductory Offer Registration Wizard [Credit Card Required].

Signing up for the Windows Azure Introductory Offer

Deploying Nerd Dinner via Windows Azure Portal

To demo how simple it is to upload a Cloud Service Package using the Windows Azure Platform Portal. Barry and I have compiled and bundled a demo Cloud Service Package and Cloud Service Configuration file (Windows Azure Deployment Bundle Download) and have explained how to deploy this package. Don’t forget to send your email off to cdnazure @ Microsoft [dot] com with the name of your user group, and the screenshot.

Deploy Nerd Dinner Cloud Service Package via Windows Azure Portal

Removing your Deployment

The Windows Azure Introductory Special only offers 25 (small) compute hours per month, you’ll want to remove your deployment so you don’t end up getting charged.

Removing your Deployment from Windows Azure Portal

Barry and I will be creating 3 more videos to complete a series with more content from AzureFest. Be sure to check the ObjectSharp Events Page for Upcoming Windows Azure Training Sessions.

Windows Phone 7 Developer Briefings Tomorrow


Have you heard? Windows Phone 7 is growing rapidly in popularity. Now is the time to pull out that Idea book that has been collecting dust over the past few years. Come out to Windows Phone 7 Developer Briefings and learn to write some application for a Market Place that isn’t littered with Fart Apps and Make your mark on the Windows Phone Platform.

Sl_v_rgb_rMark Arteaga from RedBit Development will be showing off the Silverlight Development Environment on the Phone. You’ll get a great overview of how to interact with the features programmatically.

xnalogoI will be covering the XNA Framework Development Environment on the Phone. Walking you through how to use XNA, Leverage Phone Features in your Game, and cover off some optimization techniques for games programming.

For more information on the Developer Briefing head over to the Canadian Developer Connection Blog.

Microsoft + ObjectSharp = AzureFest

Windows Azure - We're All In

Microsoft is All in with the cloud, and with their Cloud offering and I am too.

Microsoft has been very aggressive building out their Cloud and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon.

You may want to think about your future, what am I planning on working on over the next 3-5 Years of my Career. If you’ve thought of Start-ups, or Enterprise Solutions you might want to consider diving into the cloud RIGHT NOW.

ObjectSharp Presents AzureFest

Not to worry though, ObjectSharp has teamed up with Microsoft to deliver AzureFest, a *FREE* 3hr mosh-up [pun intended] of the Windows Azure Registration, Configuration and Development Process.

When is this Rocking Journey you ask?  December 11th, 2010 9am-12 & 1-4pm.

Yeah, that’s right, 2 sessions. We’re hardcore like that!