Monday, April 7, 2014

All the new and shiny from \\BUILD 2014

So \\BUILD for 2014 has been and gone, but in it's wake is a whole lot of new toys for us to get to know and make the most of.  Thing is, so much new means we're going to need volunteers to make this month happen and do lightning talks on some of the various subjects.

So, if you'd like to have a go talking through one of the announcements at \\BUILD and why you think it's cool and sexy, and why we should care then drop either James or Richard a line and let them know you want to talk, or just drop a comment on the Facebook page.
By the way, don't worry if you've never talked in public before - you're among friends and we'd love you to have a go. Plus it's OK if you don't really know much about your chosen topic either - you only need to cover 10 minutes or so and we probably don't know much about it either :-)

P.S. If you want some inspiration then here's some, but not all, of the things covered at \\BUILD:

  • Windows 8.1 Update 1
  • Universal Apps
  • Touch version of Office
  • Cortana (Windows Phone) - if you have one, bring it!
  • IE11 Enterprise Mode (for those of us wanting to kill off IE8!)
  • IE11 Dev tools [TAKEN]
  • Windows and The Internet of Things
  • Azure - Puppet, Chef and Powershell
  • VS Browser Link updates
  • ASP.NET MVC 5.1 and Web API 2.1 new bits
  • Identity 2.0 new bits
  • TypeScript 1.0
  • .NET Native Compilation
  • Node.js projects in Visual Studio
  • Azure Webjobs
  • Xamarin and Microsoft love in [TAKEN: talk on Xamarin & Native interop see below]
  • .NET Foundation (Open Source .NET projects)
  • Roslyn
  • The new Azure portal & VSO
  • Application Insights
  • Kinect for Windows v2
  • DirectX 12 [TAKEN]
...or you could choose something else completely!

It would be great for us to get through as many of these as we possibly can on the night, so either volunteer or just come along and be part of the fun. RSVP by grabbing a free ticket from the event page (or just click in the event box on the right of the page) and we'll see you there.

Abstracts so far....

Jessica Brazelton - Binding Java & Objective-C Libraries in Xamarin Studio
Most 3rd party libraries for mobile applications are designed to work with the native programming language for that application. This presentation will give an overview of how to bind those libraries so that you can use them in Xamarin Studio.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March Madness with some Crazy Cecil and Immutable Databases

After a little speaker wrangling we have the following talks lined up for this month...

The Dark Art of IL Rewriting for Fun and Profit - Philip Laureano (@philiplaureano)

In this session, we'll talk about how to use Mono.Cecil to modify .NET assemblies to do some useful (and unusual) things, such as:

  • Intercepting third-party method calls, including calls to libraries that you don't own (like the System.* namespace in the BCL) for mocking purposes
  • Swapping/replacing method bodies at runtime
  • Intercepting property getters and setters for caching purposes
  • Making all public methods virtual for use with your favourite ORM
  • Unsigning "signed" assemblies

We'll also talk about why you would want to do something like this, as well as introduce a IL-rewriting library named Fody, which you can use to do all of this stuff for you.

Killing the U in CRUD with Immutable Databases - Richard Banks (@rbanks54)

In an act of practicing what he preaches, Richard follows that thinking that the best way to learn about something being to do a talk on it. Time to see if this actually works.

The subject? Immutable Databases. What they're all about, the problems they try and solve and why you might actually want to use an approach to data storage that most people would think is completely and utterly bonkers. Probably the same people that said NoSQL would never take off.

So step out of your comfort zone and spend a Tuesday night hanging out with other like minded nerds and geeks, and see what you all the fuss is about.

Grab a ticket so we know you're coming, tell your friends (if you have any) and we'll see you on the night!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Feb 25th - February Fun

Remember those holidays back at Christmas? Yeah, neither do I. Well, since we're all back in the swing of things, then there's no excuse not to get over to your friendly, neighbourhood user group, right?

To entice you along, not only will we have food and drink, but also a few topics that might just pique your interest.

Event Sourcing: What, Why and How! - Mohammed Abed  (@moh_abed)

Just as the title says. What it is, why you'd use it, how it helps and how to actually put it into action in a way that doesn't just add overhead and feel like architecture for the sake of it :-)

Building a Web Site with Visual Studio Online - Richard Banks (@rbanks54)

We're going to do a run through of how you can use Visual Studio Online (VSO) to build a website without needing anything more than a browser (I hope!) as well as talking about why you'd use this and what this might mean for how Microsoft is engaging developers.

Book yourself a ticket so we know you're coming and we'll see you on the night!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Jan 28 - ElasticSearch and Real Neo!

To kick off in 2014, we have found you two tasty talks on interesting new tech. Both talks will be on how these tools work in real life - no shiny demoware here!

Elasticsearch for .NET - Adam Korczynski

The success of online businesses often hinges on the ability to find what a user is looking for (or didn’t know they were looking for) but search services are often an afterthought.

Elasticsearch uses the popular search engine Lucene and drops an enticing dollop of distributed goodness on top, but all things come at a cost. Adam will share his experience implementing Elasticsearch in a .NET world.

Moving to the graph - Nat Young

At GetUp, we are exploring Neo4j as an alternative model to replace complex SQL queries and sharding. We will take a look at the resulting difference in performance and usability under the polyglot persistence model.

We'll cover designing a graph model, tuning the model, importing options for gigabytes of relational data and real queries with cypher rather than SQL.

As usual, please RSVP for catering.

Friday, November 15, 2013

November 26th - Google Glass and Neo4j Graph Database

To wrap the year up, we've got two talks for you. Both should be really interesting.

Developing for Wearables (Google Glass) - Lewis Benge

The emergence of wearable devices is accelerating rapidly in the majority of first world economies. Born out of our passion for mobile devices, we are now placing more technology on our person than ever before. So how do we as developers tackle this technological evolutions? This session will look at how things have progressed from fitness and health, to smart watches, through to Google Glass – and as a .NET developer how we can take advantage of this emerging trend… And yes you get to try out Google Glass.

A talk on Neo4j - NeoTechnology

One of the NeoTechnology team members will be in town to give us a run through of Neo4j and answer all your questions, so if you've ever wanted to get to grips with graph databases and the problems they can help you solve you should come along.

Personally I love graph databases and I'm itching to see how Glass works in real life so I'm excited by both talks.

RSVP using, and yes, that's a typo in the EventBrite link. #sigh

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 29th - MVVM Cross and Advanced Async with Boiling Eggs

This month's talks come to you from topics suggested by people at last month's meeting. I love it! And just like these topics, we'd love you you to suggest your own too, either in person or using the UserVoice site. What's stopping you? :-)

On to this month's potential awesomeness:

MVVM Cross - Michael Ridland (@rid00z)

It's clear that the future of applications is multi device and multi platform. Not only are users demanding high quality applications,  they also want them to look and behave like their other native applications. Visual Studio and Xamarin allow developers to easily create native apps for Windows Phone/8/Store, iOS and Android in c#. Now thanks MvvmCross developers can easily have the code nicely separated and shared between all platforms using the Mvvm design pattern. 

Michael will be giving a introduction to MvvmCross and talk about some things he's learnt in 2 years of building mobile apps.

Advanced Async and Egg Boiling - Filip Ekberg (@fekberg)

This is an in depth async talk by Filip, covering some of the problems and fun you can have with it. As for the title? Well, that comes from this short explanation of the difference between parallel and async: "If you boil eggs, you have multiple eggs boiling at the same time, they're boiling in parallel to each other. While the eggs are boiling you stroll around the kitchen and clean up, you're doing this asynchronously to the egg boiling because as soon as the egg timer goes off you're going back to the boiling process to get the eggs off the stove." Let's get cooking!

UPDATE: Filip posted a recording of his talk on his blog -

This will be a fun meet up so don't forget to RSVP by getting a free ticket, tell your friends about it and then turn up on the night :-) We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wed 2nd Oct - Co-Hosting a YOW! Night with Joe Albahari

In addition to our normal meeting (it's on tomorrow night - go RSVP if you haven't done so already!) we're having an extra get together on Wed 2nd October in conjunction with YOW! Australia.

We've got Joe Albahari (creator of LinqPad, author of C# in a Nutshell, and all round good guy) in town talking about functional programming. Get yourself a ticket from and we'll see you there!