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

NEBytes Feb 2013 - Jon Skeet Is In Town

Join North East Bytes for our second event of 2013 and one which has been in planning for at least twelve months! Following on from the great events that we've had over the last three years, we've lined up another great event for your benefit.  We are very pleased to welcome Jon Skeet to Newcastle-upon-Tyne.    Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity or the cake!

I've Started So I'll Finish

C# 5 has one big feature... asynchronous functions, aka "async/await". It's ever so exciting, whether you're writing client code which needs to have a responsive UI without turning your code into spaghetti, or server code where you really don't want to start 100,000 threads just because you've got a high traffic web server which needs to perform long-running tasks. In this talk I'll demonstrate what async functions look like, then dive into how they work under the hood. Be warned: once you've used C# 5, all other asynchronous code will look atrocious.


We've all seen bad code. Code worthy of the Daily WTF. Code which makes us wonder how products ever ship, let alone work. Bad code is boring. Evil code is entirely different. It's bending a language in ways that would make the designers weep. It's code which you stare at and swear that it can't possibly work... until you see how it does.

I've got some evil code. I'll show it to you. You'll wish I hadn't.

Jon SkeetJon Skeet is a software engineer at Google London by day, and a C# "enthusiast" (to put it mildly) in his spare time. He is passionate about the intricacies of C# as a language, and keen to share his experiences whether through his blog or on Stack Overflow. Jon's book on C#, "C# in Depth" is published by Manning and now in its second edition. A third edition is on its way. (Although Jon works for Google, he does not speak on behalf of Google.)


The event will be hosted in Room 1.2 of Claremont Tower at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Eventbrite - NEBytes Feb 2013 - Jon Skeet Is In Town

NEBytes Jan 2013 - Three Years On

Join North East Bytes for our first event of 2013 which also marks our Third Birthday!!!! Thank you for your continued support over the last two years! Following on from the great events that we've had over the last three years, we've lined up another great event for your benefit.  We are pairing up once again with the great folks at the SharePoint User Group (Newcastle).  We are pleased to welcome Microsoft Certified Master and veteran international circuit speaker, Dr. Bill Ayers, who is visiting to talk to us about Agile Lean Development. For our second session of the evening we are also hoping to secure a speaker on Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service.   Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity or the cake!

Lean-Agile SharePoint Development

Agile development practices are sweeping through the software industry – everyone is talking about SCRUM, TDD and CI. But SharePoint is different, right? We'll run through the definitions of SCRUM, Kanban, XP, TDD and the rest. Then we’ll look at how you can build SharePoint solutions using Lean-Agile techniques and get all the benefits – faster development, predictable deliveries, better quality, less stress and happy stakeholders. We’ll look at unit tests, integration tests, UI tests, continuous integration and, of course, test-driven development (TDD) using practical examples. We’ll look at the different techniques and new tooling options as well as the many issues around dealing with subsequent iterations of a project that is already deployed with live content.

Session 2 (to be confirmed) is looking like a session on Azure Infrastructure as a Service. A hugely interesting space. Location

The event will be hosted in Room 1.2 of Claremont Tower at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Sponsor – Waterstons Experienced Recruitment Open Evening

The following post is by NEBytes sponsor Waterstons Ltd:


Waterstons is looking to build on its recent growth with turnover on course to rise to £6m this year from £3.7m in 2010. We’re constantly on the lookout for talented individuals who can make a difference to our business and take us to the next level and currently have openings in a variety of departments in our Durham office.

We are a business and technology consultancy working with a range of clients and industries across the UK providing creative solutions through technology to improve business performance and deliver competitive advantage.  Our services include IT strategy and business consulting, disaster recovery and business continuity, the delivery of secure and resilient infrastructure, bespoke software development, project management, system analysis, business intelligence and unified communications.

A key element in our success is our people strategy and emphasis on trust, empowerment and encouraging continuous personal growth and lifelong learning. We recruit only the best candidates and reward our people based on their creativity, customer service performance and overall contribution to the business.

Career progression within Waterstons is only limited by your own ability and drive. No two career paths are the same. The direction you choose to go in is fully supported by the whole organisation and is determined by personal strengths and aspirations. The speed which you choose to progress is down to individual motivation and ability and is not constrained by the organisation or team structure.

Come along to our Open Evening on Tuesday 4th December from 6pm until 8pm where you’ll have an opportunity to:

  • Discover who we’re looking for and what key skills we value
  • Hear about the exciting and varied range of projects we work on
  • Meet people in similar roles and find out why working at Waterstons is so different from anywhere else
  • Provide your CV directly to us

For more information email our careers team at

Sponsor – Developer opportunity

The following post is by NEBytes sponsor Sunderland Software City:


Vacancy – Software Specialist

The Sunderland Software City project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government. It is tasked with supporting the software industry in the North East of England.

Software Specialist

This role will provide direct technical consultancy to new and established software companies in the North East of England. As a member of the Software City team you will undertake technical due diligence, prepare technical specification documents and submit business proposals.

The successful candidate is expected to have in-depth knowledge of technical architecture and proven experience in the software industry.

The deadline for applying to this role is noon on 28th May 2012

Candidates applying to this role are required to take an online assessment test. For further details please refer Sunderland Software City website

MUCUGUK Lync tour 2012 - Newcastle

The Microsoft Unified Communications User Group UK (MUCUGUK) is hitting the road in May with a series of events up and down the country, including one in Newcastle.

This is that this is just one of a series of events they are running up and down the country in places that don’t normally get much attention in the IT Pro world so show them some love and get signed up…

The events run over a full day, are free to attend and even better include lunch and refreshments through the day.

The content is designed to cover all of Lync’s bases; taking you through an introduction to the platform, using Lync as a PBX, resiliency / DR planning, third party integration and even helping you out with creating a business case. So as you can see it doesn’t matter if your already a Lync IT Pro, an overstretched Systems Administrator or IT Manager there should be plenty of stuff to take away from the day.

The full day’s agenda is as follows:






Registration and coffee.






Introduction to Lync.



Coffee break.



We have a PBX, how do we move to Lync?



High availability and disaster recovery.



Sponsor Session - A10 Networks.






Using an existing video conferencing solution with Lync?



Deploy our own or use a cloud offering, if cloud who's?



Coffee break.



All of this sounds good, how do I get my boss to agree?



Q&A and wrap-up.


Places are limited for each event so head over to Eventbrite and get signed up. See you there in May….

NEBytes Feb 2012 - Lync It All Up On The Go With TFS Everyone

Join North East Bytes for our second event of 2012 - on Wednesday 15th February.  Following on from the great events that we've had over the last two years, we've lined up another great event for your benefit.  We are pleased to welcome Richard Fennell from Black Marble and we are very pleased to have our very own Ben Lee presenting on Lync Mobile.   Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

TFS for Everyone with Richard Fennell

Do you use a lot of different tools, not just Visual Studio, when developing software?  Have you evaluated or dismissed Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) because of the range of tools you work with?  Would you be surprised to hear that TFS can be your complete Application Lifecycle Management solution while still enabling you to work in Notepad, Java/Eclipse etc and still automate builds and management your teams and report on progress?

Well Richard will be highlighting the ways in which TFS has matured and developed to support these and many other scenarios through the use Team Explorer Everywhere, TFS Build Extension Power Tools and TFS Power Tools.  To round off Richard will give us an idea of the future of TFS with a look at the Team Foundation Service hosted on Windows Azure which was announced at the Build Windows 2011 Conference last year.

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

Lync Mobile with Ben Lee

It’s been over a year since Lync was officially released and one of the biggest complaints at the time was the lack of official mobile support. Well fear not, late last year Microsoft released mobile clients for Windows Phone, Android and iPhone. However it's not just a case of rolling out the mobile client, Microsoft changed some of the underlying architecture to add support for mobility.

In this talk Ben will provide a quick recap about Lync & the various topologies available and then cover the new mobile client both in terms of features and it's implementation.

In the remainder of the hour session we'll host a "town hall" debate about any exciting upcoming products for the year & a discussion about the future of NEBytes. So bring along your talking voice...

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. He has a particular interest in Lync and Microsofts UC offerings. Ben’s blog is at and is @Bibbleq on twitter


The event will be hosted in Room 1.02 of Claremont Tower at Newcastle University. For a detailed campus map -

Stay up to date with North East Bytes

Check out our site at; follow us on Twitter - and become a fan on Facebook -

Register for NEBytes Feb 2012 - Lync It All Up On The Go With TFS Everyone in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

Sage Technical Careers Open Evening

We are very pleased that Sage are sponsoring the NEBytes special event next week…

Sage are holding an upcoming recruitment open evening that might be of interest, make sure you check out the details below:

sage logo

An invitation to our Technical Careers Open Evening.
Here at Sage we've lots of career opportunities coming up over the next 12 months in our technical areas of the business.
At our head office in Newcastle we research and develop the business software for our customers along with our internal Information Services team to support and provide the systems to enable us to produce the award winning software for our customers.
As we do everything onsite, we've lots of career opportunities for you across our R&D and Information Services teams. These range from Product/Programme Management, Software Development across Mobile/Web/Desktop applications, Information Security & Enterprise Architecture, Systems Support, Business Analysis & Usability, Testing and IT Contract Management to name but a few.

Technical experience in; C++, C#, .NET, Javascript, JAVA, SQL Server, Apache, Tomcat, Ruby on Rails is essential for some of our roles.
The best people to tell you what it's like at Sage are the ones who already work here, so an Open Evening is the best way to hear about how real Sage people feel about their jobs. At Sage, we strive to make people feel part of a team. We work very hard for and on behalf of our customers, but we know how to enjoy ourselves and look after each other too!
In 2011 we were delighted to announce that we have been officially recognised as one of the UK's leading business to business brands. We were rewarded for all our hard work when we were announced as A Business Superbrand, which says we're a brand that has established the finest reputation in its field. It means we offer our customers something over and above our competitors and we represent quality, reliability and distinction. It's a fantastic accolade and one that perfectly supports our brand vision and goals.
So we feel we've the next career opportunity for you, right here.

So when's it all happening?
Date: 8 December 2011
Time: 5.30pm to 8.00pm
Where: Sage (UK) Limited, North Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE13 9AA
How to get here: We've plenty of on-site parking available if you have your own transport, but if not there is also the X45 and 40 bus services that come right to our door too.

NEBytes September 2011: BUILD like a brick…

In a slight departure from our normal event format (and time slot! THIS EVENT IS ON TUESDAY THE 13th!!!) we are pleased to offer a chance to watch the Microsoft BUILD conference keynote (almost) live! The idea is to display the BUILD keynote stream on the big screen with the opportunity to pause & discuss key points as they are revealed.

What is this BUILD malarkey you may well ask? Well it’s a one off event that Microsoft have cooked up to cover what’s new and coming in Windows 8 and by all accounts they are promising some pretty big things …

In 1995, Windows changed the PC. BUILD will show you that Windows 8 changes everything.

If you are a contemporary developer, a geek who thrives on the newest and coolest, who loves the freedom of the web and the power of all devices from mobile to desktop, you need to join us to help BUILD the future.

Our approach means no compromises—you get to use whatever kind of device you prefer to run the apps you love. This is sure to inspire a new generation of modern hardware and software development, improving the experience for PC users around the world. -

So come along and join us on Tuesday for the live stream & remember try not to watch it in advance it’ll spoil the mood ;)

Register for NEBytes September 2011 - BUILD like a brick... in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

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)