North East Bytes - Microsoft Technology Usergroup in the North East of England

NE Bytes - 6th December 2017: Building and Deploying Azure Serverless Functions

We're back for a Christmas special with Christos Matskas from Microsoft.  

Note the date as it's not on our usual monthly schedule - but it is at the same venue!

Building and Deploying Azure Serverless Functions 

Join Christos to learn what Azure Functions are and how to write them and deploy them using the Portal, CLI tools, VS Code, Github and VSTS for proper CI/CD.

Azure Functions are the young and cool cousin to our battle tested and much loved WebJobs. 

Azure Functions introduces an event driven, compute-on-demand experience that provides a radical new approach on how you set up and run tasks. Where they truly shine is in the great interoperability they provide with various services on and off the cloud, such as SaaS products and on-premises systems.

About Christos

Christos Matskas is a software developer, blogger, speaker and all around geek. He currently works at Microsoft as an Azure Engineer (PFE) helping developers and teams leverage the power of the cloud. Before joining Microsoft, he was a successful entrepreneur and has successfully collaborated with companies such as MarkIT, Lockheed Martin and Barclays. He's been building software for over 13 years and he's a passionate Open Source advocate. He contributes regularly to numerous OSS projects and works closely with the community to make the software development space bigger and better.

Please register at eventbrite

Food is sponsored by:

An Evening Of Tech Talks at Scott Logic

On Wednesday the 29th of November Scott Logic invites you to join us for an evening of tech talks at our Newcastle HQ. Three of our technical speakers will share their thoughts on current technology trends, ranging from data engineering to web technology. It’ll also provide a good chance to meet some of our team over refreshments.

Talk 1: Small Data™

Big Data has been selling consulting gigs, conferences and books for years now. You don’t even know you have a Big Data problem, but let the consultants in, and they will lift the floorboards of your organisation, and will surely uncover rising damp from where your data lake is, ought to be or where the firehose ought to terminate. 

In this talk we will examine the perils of Big Data, provide some alternative approaches and show how to embark on the journey towards sensible Big Data solutions.

Daniel Drozdzewski: 

Daniel started his passion for computation in the early 90’s with the purchase of Commodore 64. Technology took him on a journey with a stop over at Newcastle University finishing a great IT degree. Over a decade of career since has seen Daniel move through startups and big enterprises into diverse areas like rules engine and automated specs driven IT systems, mobile chat platform, online gaming and Big Data. Now happily consulting as a lead developer at Scott Logic.

Talk 2: WebAssembly and the future of JavaScript

For more than 20 years JavaScript has been the only 'native' language of the web. However, earlier this year that all changed with the release of the WebAssembly MVP. This talk gives a practical introduction to WebAssembly and asks what impact it will have on web development in the future.

Colin Eberhardt: 

Colin is Technology Director at Scott Logic and is a prolific technical author, blogger and speaker on a range of technologies. His blog includes posts on a wide range of topics, including HTML5 / JavaScript and data visualisation with D3 and d3fc. You'll also find a whole host of posts about previous technology interests including iOS, Swift, WPF and Silverlight. He's a member of Symphony Foundation, which is encouraging open source collaboration in the financial sector. Colin is also very active on GitHub, contributing to a number of different projects.

Talk 3: An Introduction to GraphQL

GraphQL provides a different approach to REST-based APIs, making your data queryable, explorable and interactive. We’ll take a beginner-friendly dive into the technology. Why was it built? How does it work? How can I start using it? And what are the challenges I’ll encounter along the way?

Sam Hogarth: 
Sam is a senior developer at Scott Logic, where he leads a team building an FX application for small businesses, with JavaScript and Java. He’s interested in new technologies, improving developer productivity and communicating new ideas to the developer community.

Get your tickets at eventbrite

NE Bytes - October 2017

Unfortunately, there will be no meeting in October. Work pressure and conflicting schedules have meant that we are unable to secure a speaker for the event. Watch this space for an announcement of the next event.

NEBytes - 20th September 2017 - Adventures with Typescript and Alexa

After a longer than anticipated break over the summer we're back with two talks in September.

TypeScript for the C# Developer

We're welcoming Peter Shaw for our first talk. Peter is a freelancer with his own consultancy in the North East of England, a Published Technical Author for Pluralsight and Syncfusion, and one of the driving forces behind LiDNUG, one of the most active .NET related virtual user groups on the LinkedIn platform.

There's little doubt that JavaScript is eating the world these days, everywhere you look it's JavaScript, from the server through to the browser.

The problem is, JavaScript is a nasty, horrible unforgiving language, not at all like our nice strongly typed safe languages, such as C# and others we use in the back-end and on the server.

Because of JavaScripts popularity, many of us that have spent most of our Careers in the world of C#, are finding that to stay current we have to make the move to front-end and the world of JavaScript.

Enter TypeScript. Typescript allows you to quickly get to grips with the world of JavaScript, while still retaining your knowledge, skills and most importantly Strongly Typed way of doing things, in this session I'll show you why as a C# developer you need to seriously consider using TypeScript, and what the language has to Offer over Regular JavaScript. Oh and I might even throw in a little bit of Aurelia along the way ;-)

Adventures with Alexa

Our second talk this month comes from Peter Davies. In his session Peter will cover session will cover how he built a home-brew Alexa device with a Raspberry Pi and 2 BBC MicroBits with his kids, and what their future plans are for it. He'll also delve into writing custom skills for Alexa.

Peter is Technical Director at Zerolight - heading up the development of their online media creation service. Zerolight provides digital, online and VR experiential retail solutions to the automotive industry. Peter also runs an independent and not-for-profit coding dojo in Hexham. Previously Peter owned a web-development and programming services company, has operated as a freelancer, and began his career in the console computer games industry.

Please register at eventbrite

Food is sponsored by:

NE Bytes - July 2017

Unfortunately, there will be no meeting in July. The recent hot weather has meant we have had a hard time persuading speakers to put down the ice cream, come indoors out of the sun and talk to us. We hope to be back in August with our regular schedule.

NEBytes - 21st June 2017 - AI Evolution and Groups vs Teams

AI Evolution and Groups vs Teams

After the Lightning Talks in May we're back with two full sessions in July.  We're looking forward to seeing you all there.

The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence

We're welcoming Gaving Payne for out first talk.  Gavin is the head of digital transformation for Coeo, an analytics and data platform consultancy, where he focusses on innovation and providing thought leadership.

These days, artificial intelligence is always in the news and on technology roadmaps, yet the idea of it is older than modern computing. So why the increased interest in it? Why has it suddenly become the next big thing and how should we expect it to make decision making easier?

This session:

  • starts by looking at the history of modern AI, back to when Alan Turing first dreamed of machines
  • considers why new data storage and processor hardware technologies are letting it take off
  • suggests how it might shape the future of business analytics and the world we live in


Group vs Teams

Our second talk this month comes from Alan Eardley.  Alan is a solution architect at CPS (Corporate Project Solutions) with over 20 years' experience with Microsoft products and the design and implementation of web-based solutions.  Alan has a broad range of experience of collaboration, project management, development and data and reporting working with commercial and public sector clients to apply Office 365 and Azure technology to business challenges with a focus on the adoption of the solution. Alan's passion is trying to stay on top of the continuous stream of new and improved tools and technologies that are coming from Office 365 and Azure.

Microsoft have provided some great tools to enable us to collaborate in Office 365. We can use calendars, files, distribution lists, Skype, files … the list keeps growing.

With the release of Teams, we have a new way to work with these different tools.

In this presentation I will compare and contrast the capabilities of Office 365 Groups and Teams, and even some of the capabilities found in more traditional SharePoint team sites.

You will learn what the differences are, what the benefits are and even what some of the teething pains are, and be enabled to choose the most appropriate tool for your teams to use.

Please register at eventbrite

Food is sponsored by:

NEBytes - 17th May 2017 - Early Summer Lightnin'

Early Summer Lightnin'

We're trying something a little different this month and we want you to be part of the event! It's lightning talk time!

We've already got a few talks lined up but we'd like to see more. After all the last thing you want is for Damien, Derek and John to waffle for two hours!

Do you have a topic close to your heart? A pet project, discovered a new technology or language, have a pearl of wisdom you'd like to share? If so come along and talk.

If you want to talk for 5 minutes then do so. 10? That's good as well. We'll have to draw the line somewhere but it's negotiable.

We have four prizes to give away for the best talks:

2 1-year individual subscription to a JetBrains Toolbox product of their choice, thanks to sponsorship by the fine folk at JetBrains.
2 £25 Amazon gift vouchers, thanks to sponsorship by Ronald James Recruitment

Either email or complete the section on the event brite form.

Please register at eventbrite

Food is sponsored by:

NEBytes - 19th April 2017 - Office 365: The Digital Workplace & What to expect from C# 7

Office 365: The Digital Workplace

Tony Hughes, from the well known I.T. consultancy firm TSG, will be here for our april event to talk about how organisations large and small can utilise Office 365 as the foundation for a modern Digital Workplace, after all it much more than Email in the Cloud and the latest versions of Office.

Microsoft Teams – It’s so much more than Chat
Microsoft Planner – Task Management and Planning
Office Groups – The foundation for collaboration
Yammer – Is this now all I need for my Intranet, or do I even need one
PowerApps and Flow – Forms and Workflow for the masses
Security and Compliance – You're safe in their hands

Tony has an extensive background in the industry, and some of you would have heard him speak before, so please invite your friends and colleagues to what will be an enlightening session.

What to expect from C# 7

Phillip Steele will be here to tell us all about the new features in the latest version of our favourite curly bracket lanuage, where they came from, why they are there and if you really need them.

Phillip is a senior developer at Sage and has many years experience with .Net and C# in particular.

Please register as usual at eventbrite

Once again food is sponsored by:

NEBytes 17th May 2017: Summer Lightning

17th May - Summer Lightning

To offer some variety (and something we have been thinking about for a little while), we're going to run occasional lightning talk sessions. So, if you'd like to give a shorter talk (about 10-15 minutes long), we would love to hear from you. If you have a pet project, are playing with a new platform, language or technology, or just learned something cool that won't fill an hour, please get in touch!

The May meeting will be our first lightning talk session so please contact us at with your ideas.

The best talk of the evening (voted for by the audience) will win a 1-year individual subscription to a JetBrains Toolbox product of their choice, thanks to sponsorship by the fine folk at JetBrains.

NEBytes February 2017: Tools Galore and a Private Cloud

After a brief hiatus we're back in February.  And we're also back at Campus North.  We've got two talks for you this month.

Building your own Private Cloud on a Shoe String

"During this talk I will offer an alternative to AWS and Azure, a little known provider that also happens to have the third most hosting servers in the world (According to Netcraft 2015). 


What if I also said this company was also was often much cheaper than Azure or AWS while offering similar SLA’s?   What about an easy to use REST API that covers pretty much everything they do?  Interested yet?  I was.    The company is called OVH.


I will discuss the benefits and limitations of using OVH to build a cloud infrastructure.

Discussions and Demonstrations will include:

·         Virtual Instances on the OVH Public Cloud

·         Dedicated Servers

·         Setting up Microsoft Hyper-V Core on Dedicated Hardware

·         Microsoft System Centre Virtual Machine Manager

·         Firewalls and Load Balancers

·         Private Networking and World Wide Data Centres

·         Using Object Storage with Open Stack and C#

The costs - How to get it for £30 a month (Or free)


Mark Thompson is the Head of Product Development at Global Data Sentinel. 

Mark’s software development experience includes everything from Military Communications to Factory Automation to Accountancy products all using predominantly C / C++ / C#.

Global Data Sentinel provides secure data solutions including strong encryption and biometrics in both on premise and cloud hosted scenarios.

The Global Data Sentinel Research and Development Team are based just North of Newcastle in Gosforth.  Their products are used world wide by organisations of every size.

Git, Gulp, Grunt, Node and Code: Making Sense of the Modern Development Toolchain

Our second talk is from Dr Bill Ayers...

"JavaScript was once just a scripting tool for "front-end" developers. Now it's gone mainstream. And along with it comes a new set of tools that the cool kids use. In this session I'm going to look at some of the new tooling that is being used by web and open-source developers and increasingly in enterprise development and by engineers at Microsoft building the next generation of SharePoint and Office 365 technologies and the SharePoint Framework. We'll look at the tools, when you would use them, and how they relate to more traditional IDEs like Visual Studio. We'll also look at JavaScript as a language, including its shortcomings, and how it is changing, along with the role of transpilers like TypeScript. If you are planning to build solutions for Office 365 and SharePoint over the next few years, you need to get up to speed on the modern development toolchain."

Please register at EventBrite

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