Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 25th - A Triple Treat to Close Out the Year

This will be the last Alt.Net meeting for the year unless you want to meet on Dec 30th. No? You don't want to? OK then.

In that case, to wrap up the year and take us into the silly season we're going to have three talks as follows:

Docking, varnishing, and fiddling - Jason Stangroome (@jstangroome)

Jason will explain what Docker is, what it enables and how it's relevant to the Microsoft platform. He'll also demonstrate an open-source project he's recently built and released which leverages the power of Docker.

Removing the need to stab people over estimation - Luke Drumm (@lzcd)

Join Luke as he outlines his personal preferences for how teams can survive the treacherous waters of estimation and planning.
Be amazed as Luke describes how even a cynical, angry developer such as himself can survive such processes without resorting to career limiting bouts of gurning, screaming or violence.
Come for unnerving imagery. Stay for the blissful inner peace.

What just happened?! - Richard Banks (@rbanks54)

In case you missed it, Microsoft made a range of announcements at this month's Connect() conference. Chief amongst these being the open sourcing of the .NET framework, and the non-knobbled Visual Studio 2013 Community edition.
Richard will give you a run through of these and other recent announcements and open a discussion about what they mean for you, for the .NET community and the future of software development in general.

So with all that content, all that shiny, and all that silly, why wouldn't you come along? Get yourself a free ticket (only if you're genuinely intending to come), and we'll see you next week!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 28th - Alt.Net gets Func-y

For something a little different this month we're going to get our Func on, and have two talks on F# to help answer your "What the F#?!" questions as well as showing you how you can use F# in your normal day to day development.

Intro To F# - Jorge Fioranelli (@jorgefioranelli)

Jorge co-organises the Sydney F# User Group, and the title really tells you all you need to know about this talk :-) And if you're someone who played with F# a few years ago, you'll still want to see this talk since the language and it's usage has grown a lot over the last few years and continues to do so.

F# Type Providers - Hadi Eskandari (@hadi_es)

Want to learn how to work with diverse information sources on the internet and modern enterprise environments? Type providers exist for JSON, XML, SQL, CSV, Twitter, WSDL, Excel, R, Regex, RSS and many, many more. While all of these won't be covered in the talk, once you understand how they work it is easy to start using others and creating your own.

Grab a ticket to let us know you're coming. We're looking forward to seeing you on the 28th!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 30th - ZAP and Xam!

It's September! The nights are shorter and the days are warmer, so what better way to celebrate spring's arrival in true coder style by staying indoors, having some fun with others in the community and maybe even learning something to take your awesomeness level to 11!

For you this month we're going to have a Xamarin and MVC Mashup talk and a talk on the open source security tool, ZAP.

.NET MVC and Xamarin.Forms Mashups - Michael Ridland (@ridooz)
The best of all worlds - native, hybrid and offline. Sharing ASP.NET MVC Razor Views and Business Logic with Xamarin.Forms! It even works offline...

Zap yourself with the Zed Attack Proxy! - Paul Theriault, Mozilla  (@creativemisuse)

Paul will be starting with a brief, short skim over the basics (just in case) and then jumping into the juicy stuff and showing you:
- Elite haxoring techniques with Zap
- Integrating Zap into continuous integration

We're expecting a full house given the levels of interest people have in both Xamarin and security, so let us know you're coming by booking a ticket. We'll even make sure there's a slice of pizza and a beer for you when you arrive :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

DocumentDB screencast from our August meeting

This was meant to be posted this earlier than now. Honest!

Richard's talk from last month's meeting on the new Azure DocumentDB offering is now available for your viewing pleasure.

Azure DocumentDB Preview at Sydney Alt.Net, Aug 2014 from Richard Banks on Vimeo.


P.S. If you want to see it in a bigger window, you can view it on Readify TV, or click the title in the video player... or just hit the full screen button. Duh!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 26th - Powershell on *nix and Dialling Lambdas up to 11!

For your delectation and delight this month, we are gifting you with the following two topics. Time to get excited! :-)

Dialling C#'s Lambdas Up to 11 with Functify - Philip Laureano (@philiplaureano)

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you could, say, overload the semicolon operator in C#? What if I told you that there was a way to extend C#'s lambdas so that they behave as if you overloaded the semicolon operator, and made it behave more like F#? Functify allows you to do some very useful things in C# with reflection and lambdas that would be impossible to with just C#'s lambdas alone.

If you're a hardcore C# dev, or just want to get your feet wet with using C# as a functional language, then this might just be the session for you!

Moving to *nix but not without my PowerShell - Jason Stangroome (@jstangroome)

Powershell kicks bash/csh/ksh and all the other *nix shells floating around out there, but when you move from Windows to *nix, Powershell can't make that journey with you. This will be a look at the challenges of trying to get PowerShell running on Ubuntu, what I learnt about how the Microsoft platform does development better in some ways, and what ideas and tools Microsoft development could adopt from the other side.

Last minute addition - Azure's DocumentDB

Assuming we have time, Richard Banks will be doing a semi-blind run through of the new Azure DocumentDB offering to see how it works. This will likely be a shared learning session where we try some things together. It should be fun :-)

As usual, get your act together, grab yourself a ticket, and then tell your friends, colleagues and even random strangers on public transport that you're going and they should too! We'll see you there on the night.

Friday, July 18, 2014

July 29 - A Month of Magic

This month, we have two magical talks for you.

Collaborative Filtering - the magic of recommendations (Weiming Chen, @mingstar)
Ever wonder how Amazon generate its book recommendations? Do you want to do the same for your site? Introduce Collaborative Filtering (CF), one of the commonly used technique deployed by recommender systems. CF helps you to dig out the values of server logs, transaction history, and increase user engagement and loyalty. In this talk, sample C# code will be presented to illustrate the guts of CF.

Weiming works on data-driven products in Fairfax Media that serve millions of users, his expertise is on data analytics, recommender systems, Hadoop, and MapReduce

Aaron presents something magical* (Aaron Powell, @slace)
Have you ever implemented elementary arithmetic in code? What happens at a code level when you add two numbers? Come for a journey on some of the most pointless software there is and learn the magic of numbers!

* HINT: think surreal numbers and JS... And yes, he asked for that title :-) 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Links from June meeting

A quick follow up post with some links from the presentations..

Add a Billion Row Data Warehouse to your App.. with Redshift, sql and duct tape!
Presentation Slides
For more info on the code demos, tweet / email James.

The Power of the Elephant in the Microsoft Cloud
Presentation Slides

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 24 - BIG data

Big data is all the rage.. there's a lot of competing options which cover off different areas of the space; from AWS Redshift at the SQL end, to Mongo to Hadoop and Lucene at the other. So.. you guessed it! This month is BIG DATA theme night. We'll have talks on the technology and real world implementation & code.

Add a Billion Row Data Warehouse to your App.. with Redshift, sql and duct tape!

Started to hit the point where your transactional database is not the right place for running reporting queries and experimental data science? Keen to chuck in more data from web logs, CRMs, facebook, etc so you can start learning more about your users? James Crisp (@jtcrisp) will show you an easy way to do it with AWS Redshift, mapping SQL and some simple scripting duct tape.

The Power of the Elephant in the Microsoft Cloud

Jibin Johnson and Simon Waight from the Azure User Group and Kloud Solutions will walk us through the cloud-based Big Data pipeline from Microsoft looking at how Azure’s HDInsights and Office 365 Power BI can deliver insights out of raw data.

Jibin Johnson is a cloud development consultant who has worked on some the largest on-premise and cloud-based solutions in Australia. Simon Waight (@simonwaight) is a cloud architect with almost 20 years’ experience in delivering online services for a range market verticals.

Remember to RSVP too please to help us get the right amount of food and beer!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Links from the May 27th Meeting

Just as a follow up from last night's fun, here's a few links for you.

Sydney Xamarin Hack Day:

.NET vNext
Official site:

Official site:

And finally, a quick snap from last night for fun,

Aaron Powell (@slace) waxing lyrical about .NET vNext

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 27th, 2014 - .NET vNext and Edge.Js

There were some significant announcements made at this month's TechEd North America, especially those related to .NET vNext, Roslyn and the way we build applications. The changes will impact each and every .NET developer in the future and the sooner you understand what's happening, the sooner you can prepare yourself for the future and adjust the direction of the projects you're currently working on.

.NET vNext - Aaron Powell (@slace)

14 years ago the .NET framework was released at version 1.0 and since then a lot has changed.

Single monolithic frameworks are no longer the name of the game. The rise of NuGet has seen our .NET projects get more modular, being comprised of small specialised dependencies that do one job and do it very well.

Other platforms have also risen up, with Ruby and Node.js we have small, light-weight application being built, and being built in a way that we can load multiple versions of the runtime at the same time.

And lastly there's a new compiler in town, Roslyn, a C# & VB.NET compiler-as-a-service that now underpins everything .NET at Microsoft.

With all these changes it's time for the .NET framework to evolve with it.

Edge.JS - Richard Banks (@rbanks54)

Node and .NET living together? Sacrilege! Horror! Awesomeness! Sweeeet! Your reaction may vary, but it's possible, it's here and it's really kinda interesting and potentially useful.

So let's take a short trip into the trippy land of round tripping between Node and .NET and see where and how this rabbit hold might lead and if there truly is a pot of gold at the end of these mixed metaphors I've been abusing.

RSVP if you're coming and we'll see you soon!

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 [TAKEN POWERSHELL]
  • VS Browser Link updates
  • ASP.NET MVC 5.1 and Web API 2.1 new bits
  • Identity 2.0 new bits [TAKEN]
  • 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 & talks 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.

Jason Stangroome - Exciting new powershell

Aaron Powell - updates to the IE11 dev tools

Adam Korczynski - Identity 2

Luke Drumm - Direct X 12.

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.