NEBytes

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

New Opportunities with Orchid Software!

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

OrchidSoftware

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 http://www.orchidsoft.com/jobs/

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 rocksolid.gibraltarsoftware.com or follow him on twitter @KendallMiller.

Location

The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/Campus-Map-Print.pdf

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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

Location

The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/Campus-Map-Print.pdf

Pizza sponsored by Orchid Software

OrchidSoftware

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NEBytes February 2011: Packages of Content

Good Things Come in Small Packages – Package Management on .Net - Sebastien Lambla

Sebastien will be giving us an introduction to Package Management on the .Net platform with OpenWrap.  He will demonstrate it's capabilities, uses and how it measures up against other solutions on other platforms

Sebastien, is the director of Caffeine IT, a consultancy he created to help companies adopt the right technologies for the right reasons, has been obsessed with .net since 2000, and has secret love affairs with anything geeky.

Avviso: A Content Management Framework for SharePoint 2010 with Rik Hepworth

As a follow-up to his session last year on using SharePoint 2010 for content publishing, Rik will demonstrate and discuss Avviso – a content publishing framework for Microsoft SharePoint 2010. Avviso allows content authors  to create highly visual, impactful pages without technical skills. At the same time it enables quicker creation of site-specific designs and templates by web professionals. Suitable for internal and external web sites, Avviso takes the basic publishing functionality in SharePoint 2010 and enhances it, delivering a more user-friendly, flexible toolset. Rik will demonstrate Avviso and talk about some of the thought processes behind its inception and development.

For more info on Avviso check out Rik's Blog Post - http://blogs.blackmarble.co.uk/blogs/rhepworth/archive/2010/12/21/avviso-a-content-publishing-framework-for-sharepoint-2010.aspx

Rik is the IT Director of Black Marble, a Microsoft Gold Partner based in the North of England. Black Marble specialises in Biztalk and SharePoint-based business automation.
In addition to making sure Black Marble's own systems deliver, Rik leads the IT side of Black Marble's SharePoint practice. Rik has been delivering SharePoint solutions since Black Marble’s involvement in the beta of SharePoint 2007 and presents regularly for Black Marble and their partners on this and other topics.

Location

The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/Campus-Map-Print.pdf

Register for NEBytes February 2011 - Packages of Content in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

NEBytes December 2010: Searching in a Kinected Winter Wonderland

Join North East Bytes for our thirteenth event of the year.  Following on from the great events that we've had so far we've lined up another great event for your benefit.  Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!  Due to problems with speaker availability and the prevailing weather conditions we've had to change one of the sessions we were planning for this month.

Ba-da-Bing! Using the IIS SEO Toolkit to improve your site's ranking with Andrew Westgarth

Do you have sleepless nights worrying about the ranking of your site on Bing and Google? Do you spend hours trawling through SEO guides and implementing changes to your site to grab an extra ranking place? Constantly hounded by SEO experts offering their services?

The IIS Team has released the IIS SEO Toolkit, building on the great extensibility model built into IIS 7/7.5, to help you improve your site's search engine rankings. In this session we'll look at how to generate reports highlighting issues with your sites based on SEO Best Practices, use built-in tools to generate Robots.txt and Sitemap files.

Also as the toolkit takes advantage of the Extensibility of IIS 7/7.5 the toolkit can also be extended. We'll take a look at the options available and how to extend the toolkit.

Andrew Westgarth is a co-founder of NEBytes and Senior Consultant for an IT Consultancy in the North East of England. 

Andrew is very active in the UK Developer Community, attending and speaking at multiple events, supporting users and other User Groups.  Andrew was involved with VBUG for over 5 years, indeed he ran the North East region for over 4 years and was National Chairman for two of those.  In the past twelve months he has spoken at VBUG's National Two Day Conference; Developer Developer Developer Day 5 and local User Group meetings.  

Andrew has experience in VB6/.NET; C#; ASP.NET; MCMS 2002 and Internet Information Services.  Andrew's current technical interests include IIS 7.0/7.5; ASP.NET MVC, VSTS, Windows Server 2008 R2 and IIS Media Services

mvp[1] Blog: http://www.andrewwestgarth.co.uk/blog
Twitter: http://twitter.com/apwestgarth

Get yourself Kinected!!!

Microsoft's latest addition to the Xbox 360 is the Kinect, this controller less method of interacting game system has to be seen and experienced to believe.  As a fun way to end the year, NEBytes have secured a Kinect for all attendees to witness and have a go with to see what it's all about.  We're looking forward to seeing our members bust some shapes and have some fun and laughs as they take part in this unique method of gaming.

Location

The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/Campus-Map-Print.pdf

Stay up to date with North East Bytes

Check out our site at http://www.nebytes.net; follow us on Twitter - http://twitter.com/nebytes and become a fan on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/NEBytes

WEATHER WARNING

Due to the prevailing weather conditions please keep an eye on your email accounts and  our Twitter account for updates in case this meeting has to be cancelled.  Currently we are able to host the event and will continue to aim to do so but that will depend on the safety of our attendees and the quality of transport links throughout the region.

Register for NEBytes December 2010: Searching in a Kinected Winter Wonderland! in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

NEBytes and SUGUK November 2010 - Making a Mockery of SharePoint 2010!

Join North East Bytes as we partner with the SharePoint User Group for our twelth event of the year.  Following on from the great events that we've had so far we've lined up another great event for your benefit.  Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

Using Typemock Isolator to Enable Testing of Both Well Designed Code and Nasty Legacy Systems with Richard Fennell

Test DrivenDevelopment means there is a constant need to be able to fake out sub systemswithin your code to allow testing e.g. fake the calls to a data store so the business logic can be tested. This is all well and good if you are in a greenfield project, or the code is well designed, however most of us are on legacy code bases where is this not that easy. In addition, some technologies such as SharePoint make the faking of sub systems very hard. In this session, using C#, Richard shows how Typemock Isolator can be used to address many of these issues.

Richard Fennell is the Engineering Director of the Black Marble Ltd a Microsoft Gold Partner based in the North of England. Black Marble specialises in BizTalk & SharePoint based business automation.

As Engineering Director Richard is responsible for the delivery of systems and tools to allow my company, and our clients, to deliver solutions efficiently. All Black Mable's development activity is underpinned by Visual Studio Team System an agile process model. Richard is a MVP for Visual Studio ALM (nee Team System), a Typemock MVP and a Certified Scrum Master

Richard is a regular presenter at community events in the UK and Ireland (and the rest of the world given a chance) where his most common subject is software testing and the development process.

If you want to get in touch please use the contact form on his blog or follow Richard's Twitter feed @RichardFennell

Using SharePoint 2010 for Content Publishing with Rik Hepworth

See the kind of site that can be delivered using SharePoint 2010 for either internet or intranet-facing publishing sites. Using a recent project delivered by Black Marble, Rik will run through the problems they had to solve and point out pitfalls and good practice they have learned along the way.

Rik is the IT Director of Black Marble, a Microsoft Gold Partner based in the North of England. Black Marble specialises in Biztalk and SharePoint-based business automation.
In addition to making sure Black Marble's own systems deliver, Rik leads the IT side of our SharePoint practice. Rik has been delivering SharePoint solutions since Black Marble’s involvement in the beta of SharePoint 2007 and presents regularly for Black Marble and their partners on this and other topics.

If you want to get in touch please use the contact form on his blog or follow Richard's Twitter feed @RikHepworth

Location

The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/Campus-Map-Print.pdf

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Wednesday 20th October 2010–NEBytes October 2010: The Live Essentials to Security Anti-Patterns in ASP.Net

Join North East Bytes for our tenth event of the year.  Following on from the great events that we've had so far we've lined up another great event for your benefit.  Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

Windows Live Online and Windows Live Essentials 2011 with Jonathan Noble

Following on from the launch of the "wave 4" cloud based Windows Live services a few weeks ago, Microsoft released the new version of it's free desktop suite, Windows Live Essentials 2011, at the end of September. This collection of utilities adds some basic functionality to Windows, but also contains some little-known gems, such as some of the former Microsoft Research projects build into Windows Live Photo Gallery, and the critically acclaimed Windows Live Writer.

This session will cover all of the desktop and cloud components of Windows Live; highlighting some of the new features of the latest releases, showing why those receiving the suite pre-installed on a PC shouldn't just ignore it, and why everyone else will likely find something worth downloading.

Jonathan Noble started his career in IT early, being kept out of primary school assemblies in order to show teachers how to use BBC Model Bs. After watching Top Gun too many times, and a less than fun part-time job in PC World, he nearly gave up computing and became a fighter pilot, but was somehow drawn back to the keyboard and has spent the last decade managing Windows systems at Newcastle University. He's dragging himself away from Medal of Honor and NBA 2K11 on the Xbox to deliver this session.  Jonathan blogs at http://jonoble.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/jonoble.

Security Anti-Patterns in ASP.Net with Ross Dargan

Microsoft have done a pretty good job of allowing developers to produce secure applications by default, but pesky developers always find a way around! Here I will be showing some of the most common mistakes developers make (including Sql Injection, XSS, Data Leakage, CSRF) and how simple changes can make an application significantly more secure.

Ross has over 6 years experience working for a local IT consultancy based in Durham. He has developed and architected several large scale applications used globally. When he is not working on asp.net applications he is typically playing with an Arduino/Netduino trying to make an Internet of things.

He can often be found on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/rossdargan

Location

The event will be hosted in Room 120 of the Claremont Building at Newcastle University.  For a detailed campus map - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/Campus-Map-Print.pdf

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NEBytes August 2010–Technical Debt and It’s Over to You!

We held our first ever August event last night and we were more than pleasantly surprised with the numbers despite being well into the holidays!  Thanks to all those who attended and to those who didn’t – well you missed one hell of an event!

We had three presentations from members of the NEBytes community – Peter Bull, Tim Mather and Justin Souter.  Interesting content covering Windows Phone 7, Cloud Computing and Open Source.Net primarily Umbraco.  Well done to the guys for their informative presentations – all in the space of 15 minutes too!  It takes bottle to get up from the chair and get in front of people and deliver so well done!

We were extremely delighted to also welcome Gary Short, to give us a great presentation on Technical Debt – a hugely important topic for all developers and managers alike!  I’d personally been looking forward to seeing this session for quite a while and was not disappointed!  Gary’s a great speaker, very eloquent and has an excellent delivery style, if he’s speaking at a user group or conference near you I very much recommend listening to what he has to say!  His talk went down very well and received great comments on Twitter.

We will post the slides for each of the presentations on this post so feel free to take a look at the content delivered.

ByteCast 5: In Free Fall

Well we’re back again and this time all four of us made it into the “studio” to record the latest installment of the NEBytes ByteCast.

The NEBytes ByteCast is now available in iTunes so we have two ways you can subscribe to the ByteCast:

NEBytes ByteCast feed

NEBytes ByteCast feed for iTunes

In this edition we discussed:

Get the file here: ByteCast 5: In Free Fall!