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

Developer opportunities with ffA - July pizza sponsorship

We are very pleased to announce that our July event's pizza will be sponsored by ffA. ffA are currently recruiting so read on to find out about them and what they are looking for…



ffA creates astounding 3D images of the earth's subsurface from seismic data, our software gives geo-scientists and engineers the ability to see geological formations kilometres below the surface in incredible detail. We are looking for programmers who enjoy working in a team and have an ability to learn and adopt new technologies and techniques. Our codebase is a mix of (mostly) C++, Ruby and C# for Windows and Linux, and our development process is based on Scrum & TDD.

Our current work involves:

  • Gui design and development
  • 3D Visualisation, OpenGL
  • GPGPU (CUDA) and multi-threading
  • Signal & image processing
  • Making scientific software interactive and easy to use
  • Refactoring & working with legacy code

If you have interest or experience in some or all of the above, get in touch with steve at ffa-geosciences dot com

ByteCast 12: <Insert Title Here>

(yes that actually is its title, not a mistake I’ve made!)

Lots of conferences & product/service announcements since last month. Andy and Ben give you a run through of some of the main highlights & interesting points


Get the file here: ByteCast 12: <Insert Title Here>

(Don’t forget you can subscribe to NEBytes ByteCast via iTunes, or just follow the RSS feed in your favourite player: NEBytes ByteCast feed or NEBytes ByteCast feed for iTunes)

NEBytes June 2011–Online–Asymptotics and Algorithms with Gary Short

Join North East Bytes for our seventh event of 2011. This event will be different to any event we have ran in the past as it will be held ONLINE as unfortunately a black hole of work commitments has prevented the entire team from being able to attend an actual live event. So in order to provide yet another stellar event we have lined up a fantastic speaker and friend of NEBytes to give what we hope will be a fantastic session.

Asymptotics and Algorithms – What You’ve Forgotten Since University

Modern development environments have made us lazy! Well maybe that's an exaggeration, but sure as eggs is eggs they have dulled our knowledge of what makes good algorithms good. We've ridden the wave of Moore's Law for so long that we thought the good times would last forever. Well the party's over folks! In the coming days of multi-core chips and "Big Data" algorithmic performance is back on the menu.
This session - revision for some, enlightening for others - will focus on how to calculate the efficiency of an algorithm, before going on to show you how to set about devising your own algorithms. I can promise you a fun session, despite a little bit of maths. :-)

Gary ShortGary Short works for Developer Express as the Technical Evangelist on the frameworks team. He has a deep interest in technical architecture, especially in the areas of technical debt and refactoring. Gary is a C# MVP and gives presentations at user groups and conferences throughout the UK, Europe and the US.

As well as C#, Gary also has an interest in dynamic languages such as Smalltalk, Ruby and Python as well as iPhone development using Objective-C.

Read Gary's Blog - and follow Gary on Twitter -


The event will be held online making use of Live Meeting. The joining instructions will be sent out on the day of the event so please make sure your registration details have the correct email address specified.

You can join LiveMeetings via a WebClient and Browser or by downloading the LiveMeeting client, check your machine's configuration ahead of the meeting.

Register for NEBytes June 2011 - Online - Asymptotics and Algorithms with Gary Short on Eventbrite

ByteCast 11: The Skypes the limit

In a month of security flaws and big buy outs, I know the news you've been really waiting for is the release of this months Bytecast. Fear not fellow internetzors you need wait no longer, tis here!

Get the file here: ByteCast 11: The Skypes the limit


(Don’t forget you can subscribe to NEBytes ByteCast via iTunes, or just follow the RSS feed in your favourite player: NEBytes ByteCast feed or NEBytes ByteCast feed for iTunes)

NEBytes May 2011 - Windows Phone 7 and the missing Lync

Date: Wednesday 18th May 2011

Time: 18:30 – 21:00

Creating a Beautiful Windows Phone 7 Application

Among the many gorgeous applications on Windows Phone 7, surely Cocktail Flow has to be right out at the front. A member of the Cocktail Flow team will take us through the evolution of their application, the challenges, design decisions and solutions they came up with.

Gergely is a .NET developer working at Scott Logic. He has been working with Silverlight the past two years on a day to day basis and developed for WP7 since day one. He has been involved in developing of Cocktail Flow, one of the top rated applications on the Marketplace and Visiblox Charts, a very performant WP7 / Silverlight / WPF charting library.  Gergely blogs at and an be found on Twitter @GergelyOrosz.

The 5 W's of Lync 2010

Lync is the latest generation of Microsoft’s real-time communication server. It picks up where Office Communication Server 2007 R2 left off with massive improvements in several key areas including voice, deployment and administration. Lync also provides deep integration across the rest of Microsoft’s product suite including Office, SharePoint and Exchange.

For those who haven’t used OCS or Lync before it is designed to enhance collaboration and information sharing among workers by providing presence, instant messaging, online meeting spaces and voice/video calling. Think of it as “corporate” Live messenger but with knobs on.

In this talk Ben will run through the “Who, What, Where, When, Why & How” of Lync Server 2010 complete with live action demos and a sliding technical scale to cater to audience requirements! However he does not promise to be able to talk meaningfully about API’s and the full range of development options in technical detail to a room full of developers!

As well as helping with NEBytes Ben is a Senior Infrastructure Consultant at Waterstons, Ben focuses on Microsoft enterprise products and technologies. His key specialisms include desktop management, security and Unified Comms. Ben’s blog is at and is @Bibbleq on twitter


The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Tower at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Register for NEBytes May 2011 - Windows Phone 7 and the missing Lync in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

New Opportunities with Orchid Software!

Orchid Software, valued supporters of NEBytes, are looking to fill three fantastic roles!


Who are we?

We are Orchid Software, the North East-based development house behind Orchidnet - the UK's number 1 intranet product. Our software is used every day by over 150,000 people across a wide range of sectors, and organisations as diverse as ITV, Nissan, Pinewood Studios, Northern Rock and the Royal Academy of Music rely on Orchidnet intranet software to bring their business operations online.

What do we do?

We develop and build Orchidnet, our own proprietarily-developed intranet software. Orchidnet is a feature-rich intranet product, with 90 applications that let organisations bring their business operations online using nothing more than a web browser. Our applications include everything from traditional business tools to social media functionality, .

How do we do it?

Working closely with our customers is what sets us apart from the competition. Our success comes from creating software based on real-life requirements, and we take a long-term approach to each of our installations. As well as customer development, our commitment to wider R&D helps us adapt our software to new technologies and changing business practices as they arrive.

Who are we looking for?

We have three positions available:

· Senior Web Development Manager

· Head of Technical Support

· Web Developer

The Web Developer role is suited to candidates with good technical knowledge and software development experience; the other two roles also require technical ability and knowledge of development, in addition to experience of managing a team and coordinating projects to meet specific deadlines.

Our people tend have a few things in common: an incredible initiative, real intelligence and a passion for what they do; if you're clever, ambitious, and want a career with a company that is going places, then we would like to hear from you.

For more information check out

ByteCast 10: Its all a bit MIX’d up

Welcome to this months Bytecast, today for your pleasure and enjoyment we have Damien, Andrew and Ben. Topics include the recent MIX conference, an unhealthy dose of WP7 news and some other general techyness.

Get the file here: ByteCast 10: Its all MIX'd up


(Don’t forget you can subscribe to NEBytes ByteCast via iTunes, or just follow the RSS feed in your favourite player: NEBytes ByteCast feed or NEBytes ByteCast feed for iTunes)

NEBytes May 2011: Special–The Natural Laws of Software Performance

Join us for our fifth event of 2011, where we are very happy to welcome Kendall Miller, Principal at eSymmetrix as he tours the UK.

Date: Tuesday 10th May 2011

Time: 18:30 – 21:00

The Natural Laws of Software Performance

Just like you can't defeat the laws of physics there are natural laws that ultimately decide software performance. Even the latest technology beta is still bound by Newton's laws, and you can't change the speed of light, even in the cloud!

Kendall will dive into examples of how technology has changed the tactics of high performance but is still at the mercy of these natural laws. Understanding them will help you create applications that scale without arcane tricks or endless hardware. No actual Physics will be abused in the talk, just bad software.

Kendall Miller is one of the founding partners of Gibraltar Software, an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) that develops & markets commercial applications for .NET developers including: Gibraltar – an application logging & monitoring platform; and VistaDB – a small-footprint, SQL Server-compatible embedded database engine. Both products are used by customers around the world ranging from individual consultants through Fortune 100 companies and governments.

Before starting Gibraltar Software, Kendall worked for multiple startups leading their technology development from concept through profitability. In each case, he's focused on translating Enterprise-level performance and capabilities down to smaller companies. Using multiple generations of Microsoft technologies over the past 15 years, Kendall is experienced with the details of modern .NET development as well as the challenges that have stayed the same for generations. You can follow his blog at or follow him on twitter @KendallMiller.


The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

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Windows Server User Group–Online Meeting–Connecting On-Premise Applications with the Windows Azure Platform

The Windows Server User Group emailed us this morning to let us know about a great event which is running for IT Pros and we’re delighted to pass on the information:

Connecting On-Premise Applications with the Windows Azure Platform

With the all the interest in Microsoft Windows Azure, it’s natural to ask “what does that mean for IT Pros?”. There’s loads of information to help developers write applications for the cloud, but what about those of us who do infrastructure: servers, networks, and other such things?

One important element is integrating on and off-premise systems and, to do this, Microsoft has created Windows Azure Connect – a new Windows Azure service that enables customers to setup secure, IP-level network connectivity between their Windows Azure compute services and existing, on-premise resources. This allows Windows Azure applications to leverage and integrate with existing infrastructure investments in order to ease adoption of Azure in the enterprise..

It’s taken a long while to set up but the Windows Server User Group (WSUG) is running a Live Meeting on this topic (thanks to a lot of help from Phil Winstanley, ex-MVP and now native at Microsoft).

Our speaker will be Allan Naim, an Azure Architect Evangelist at Microsoft. Allan has more than 15 years of experience designing and building distributed middleware applications including both custom and off the shelf Enterprise Application Integration architectures and, on the evening of 22 March 2011 (starting at 19:00 GMT), he’ll spend an hour taking us through Windows Azure Connect.

Combined with the event that Mark Parris has organised for 6 April 2011 where one of the topics is Active Directory Federation Services (AD-FS), these two WSUG sessions should give Windows Server administrators a great opportunity to learn about integrating Windows Server and Windows Azure.

Register for the Azure Connect Live Meeting now. Why not register for the AD RMS and AD FS in-person event too?

NEBytes April 2011–Performance on the Web and Desktop

Don't Make Me Wait, Faster Websites 101

Gone are the days when we were willing to sit and wait five, ten, fifteen seconds for a webpage to load. We're all paying good money for lightning fast broadband connections but still often find ourselves frustrated with a site that takes an age to appear. Good news is there are plenty of techniques, tweaks and configurations we can apply to get the experience of browsing are site much like flicking through the pages of a magazine. Page speed doesn't just impact user experience. There are plenty of analytics metrics that could benefit from a boost while we're at it.

In this session I aim to:

● convince you speed matter to a number of stakeholders

● cover some best practises we can apply to our code and servers

● show you some tools to help you test the speed of your site and how to identify where to focus your efforts when your short on time.

Duncan McDougall is web application developer at Equator, a Glasgow based digital agency. He specialises in website performance optimisation and frequently blogs on the subject. Though mostly working in .Net he has helped improve the performance of websites on a number of setups.

To contact Duncan please visit his blog’s contactform or get in touch via Twitter @duncanmcdougall.

Windows Performance and Problem Troubleshooting Made Easy with Richard Diver

In this session Richard will share with you some of the most common Performance issues faced with
Windows servers, both Physical and Virtual. Richard will show you the key performance counters to
monitor along with their acceptable thresholds along with some other tools that can help with the
diagnosis of problems with applications running on Windows.

Richard has developed his career as an IT Pro over the last 11 years, 4 of them have been working directly for Microsoft in Belgium, UK and Australia. Richard has developed and reviewed several books and training courses on the topics of Windows Performance and Troubleshooting, the main highlights of his career have been presenting at Microsoft events and working with Mark Russinovich.

As promised Richard has very kindly provided his handout and slides for download:

Date: Wednesday 20th April 2011

Time: 18:30 – 21:00


The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Pizza sponsored by Orchid Software


Register for NEBytes April 2011 - Performance on the Web and Desktop in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite