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

NEBytes July 2014 - SecurityBytes

This event is kindly sponsored by Scott Logic:

We're pleased to announce that for NEBytes this July we will have a talk specially prepared by Ross Dargan and Ben Lee covering a range of interesting security items. Now most people wouldn't normally associate the words "interesting" and "security" with each other but actually the modern internet poses so some really fun problems that need to be solved if you want to protect yourself.


Basic internet security principals seem fairly straight forward until you start pretending (hah!) that someone has access to all of your communications. This is where crypto and security get interesting and there are some really elegant solutions to these problems out there…


In this session Ross and Ben will lay a quick foundation of the key principals used before covering a range of topics and questions such as...

  • How do you truly verify someone's identity without giving away too much information?
  • How can you agree a secure communication channel with someone in a public arena?
  • What happens next for internet communications?


The talk will be quite light hearted and demo ridden (that’s the plan anyway) so come along and join in - Tin foil hats optional

And we are pleased to have along for our second half Janine Weightman, Group Lead for Knowledge Management at Wellstream International Ltd who will present on: Harnessing SharePoint to drive a Knowledge Management strategy.

This session covers how to exploit the basic SharePoint functionality to create an enterprise collaboration and knowledge management platform designed for the business. We will discuss how we reshaped our organisational culture for better knowledge sharing and adoption of SharePoint. We will also cover some of the important lessons painfully gained from the implementation before finishing with a short Q&A.

Date: Wednesday 16th July2014

Time: 18:30-21:00

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

Eventbrite - NEBytes July 2014 - SecurityBytes

NEBytes May 2014 - Emergency Lync 101 (cancelled)

Update: This event has been cancelled, we look forward to seeing you all in June...!

This event is kindly sponsored by Scott Logic:


Join North East Bytes for our fifth event of 2014 (that nearly didnt happen!)

We are a bit late announcing our event this month as we've have had some troubles getting things lined up ready for you. Unfortunately we've not been able to sort a dev speaker or specific topic but fear not instead of cancelling, our own Ben has some Lync content ready to go that he delivered on the recent MUCUGUK tour "A Day of Lync 2013" and has offered to step in.

It has also been TechEd North America so Andy and Ben will also run a mini re-cap session on the key bits of news... compressed into 30 minutes

Be warned the Lync content from Ben will be very similar to NeBytes from April 2013 so don't feel like you have to come along as you might have seen it before! However if you are interested in Lync, are considering deploying or know someone who is then Ben will be happy to answer any questions and go off on tangents about design or deployment questions.

Perhaps we will see you on the 21st! :)

Eventbrite - NEBytes May 2014 - Emergency Lync 101

NEBytes April 2014–BUILD Retrospective–Treats and Discoveries

This event is kindly sponsored by Scott Logic:

Join North East Bytes for our fourth event of 2014.  In this event we'll be running a retrospective session covering all the news from BUILD 2014, so if you can't make it out to San Francisco why not come along and catch up on all the news with us.

Date: Wednesday 16th April 2014

Time: 18:30-21:00

If you're following the conference and see something you think might be of interest to the wider group, please feel free to either point it out to us so we can include it or why not event stand up and discuss it with members in our session - they don't bite! :), either way let us know via Twitter/Facebook/Website of anything that is of interest.

We look forward to seeing you on the 16th!

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

Eventbrite - NEBytes April 2014 - BUILD Retrospective - Treats and Discoveries

Coding for Kids Slide Deck


A lot of people asked Same and I for the slide deck from our talk on Coding for Kids and we’re delighted to post it here, along with some links below from the slide deck.  I hope our session inspired you to get involved and give kids opportunities to code!  Any questions please contact us and we’ll be only to happy to help.

Also here are the details about Code Pub a meetup for Code Clubs being organised in Newcastle on 24th April 2014, 18:00-21:00

NEBytes March 2014 - Cloud Websites and Coding for Kids

This event is kindly sponsored by Scott Logic:

Join North East Bytes for our third event of 2014.  We have the pleasure of welcoming Sam Hogarth who will join our own Andrew Westgarth to give us the run down on their experiences running Code Clubs in the area.  Andrew will also be giving us an overview of Windows Azure Websites.

Date: Wednesday 19th March 2014

Time: 18:30-21:00

Session 1 - An Overview of Windows Azure Websites
Windows Azure Websites offers fantastic flexible development, easy deployment and a wide array of scaling options for Web Applications.  In this session Andrew will be giving us an introduction to Windows Azure Websites and exploring the great experience and services provided by this incredible platform.

Session 2 - Creating Rockstars!  Experiences of running Code Clubs
Sam Hogarth and Andrew Westgarth have been working with local schools to help them run Code Clubs for their pupils as after school activities.  Helping children to learn how to code and the many skills and technigues that this requires is something which both Andrew and Sam are very passionate about.  In this session they will give you an overview of what Code Club is, what type of activities make up Code Club, how they got involved and how you can get involved too!

Sam has spent the past three years developing desktop and web-based trading applications for the financial sector, created charting controls for WPF/SL/WP and Android, and now works at Nonlinear Dynamics providing a tool to analyse data from Mass Spectrometers for the fields of proteomics and metabolomics.

Andrew Westgarth is an MVP (ASP.Net/Internet Information Services). He is a Hands-on Software Architect at Sage (UK) Ltd working on large scale web applications. Andrew is very active in the UK Developer Community, attending and speaking at multiple events, supporting users and other User Groups. In the past he has spoken at the Irish Microsoft Technology Conference, 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 and Internet Information Services. Andrew's current technical interests include IIS 8.0/7.5/7.0, IIS Extensions and Windows Azure; Personal Performance Improvement and Best Practices.

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

Eventbrite - NEBytes March 2014 - Cloud Websites and Coding for Kids

NEBytes and SUGK February 2014–Yammering on About Customisation

Join North East Bytes for our second event of 2014, we are once again pleased to be partnering SUGUK.  We have the pleasure of welcoming back Rik Hepworth, Black Marble's IT Director and we are delighted to welcome Pradeep Heegde, Chief Architect at Acuvate Software.

Date: Wednesday 19th February 2014

Time: 18:30-21:00

Session 1 - Building Social SharePoint Apps using Yammer

This session will provide an overview of integration options provided by Yammer and how these can be used in SharePoint apps. The session will have code demos for some of the key items and  aims to be a starting point for building deep Yammer integrations.

What will be covered in the session?

  • Some Integration options and uses
  • Using Embed
  • The Yammer API
  • Open graph & JavaScript SDK
  • Demo
  • The Gotchas

Pradeep Hegde is the Chief Architect at Acuvate Software. His experience includes architecting, designing & developing a wide range enterprise applications using  SharePoint, Microsoft .Net, SQL Server and other Microsoft technologies. He has been using Yammer at Acuvate since 2012 and has the experience of integrating Yammer with versions of SharePoint going back to MOSS 2007.

As a  Co-Founder of Acuvate, a  software services company with offices in India, UK, USA and the Netherlands, Pradeep understands the needs of a growing global business. Other than technology, he loves travelling, drives a Golf and supports Barcelona. You can reach him at

Session 2 - Tips and Tricks with SharePoint Publishing
Rik has been working recently on a SharePoint 2013 project that involves published content that is connected and presented using search. In this session he will show how to create and deploy customisations to things like themes, page templates and the new Content by Search web part. Having encountered a number of unexpected issues during the project, Rik will talk about them, and how to avoid them.

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.

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

Eventbrite - NEBytes February 2014 - Yammering on About Customisation

NEBytes Jan 2014 – Fantastic Four

Join North East Bytes for our first event of 2014 which also marks Four Fantastic years of our User Group!!!! Thank you for your continued support over the last four years! Following on from the great events that we've had over the last four years, we've lined up another great event for your benefit.  We are once again happy to welcome Black Marble's Microsoft MVP and Head of Data Science, Gary Short along with Microsoft MVP Steve Beaumont.   Register now, you won't want to miss this opportunity or the cake!

Date: Wednesday 15th January 2014

Time: 18:30-21:00

Hadoop Kickstarter for the Microsoft Platform

This session will provide a kickstarter for Hadoop on the Microsoft platform. It will take the audience from installation, through upload of data and analysis to visualisation of results via PowerBI. It's a must for any developer who is interested to find out how the data science/big data wave is going to impact them and what skills are needed work in this market.

Gary Short is the Head of Data Science for Black Marble and works with: Hadoop, Hive, Pig, MapReduce, Statistics, Predictive Analysis, Computational Linguistics and Social Network Theory

System Center Evolution and Integration

This session will show the evolution of Microsoft’s management tools into what is known today as System Center 2012 R2.  How it’s moved from being separate disparate tools into a tightly integrated powerful solution and start delving into some of the areas of how this could help you within your environment such as application monitoring, process automation, deployment and service management.

Steve Beaumont is an ICT professional and Microsoft MVP clocking up over 15 years of experience ranging from low end system building to managing a crack team of enterprise class support specialists to now providing consultancy, designs and solutions for Hybrid Cloud environments via his company PowerONPlatforms.

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

Eventbrite - NEBytes January 2014 - Fantastic Four

NEBytes November 2013 - Graphing The Backbone Rickshaw

Join North East Bytes for our eleventh event of 2013 where we are delighted to welcome local speaker, Richard Powell to give us the run down of graphing using D3, Backbone and Rickshaw!

Date: Wednesday 20th November 2013

Time: 18:30-21:00

Graphs With Backbone, Rickshaw and D3
Recently I had the pleasure of re-architecting Server Density's graphs using D3, Rickshaw and Backbone.js. In this technical talk I'm going to review: the backend API's, the data structure, the Backbone Architecture and why Rickshaw should be the go-to library for time-series graphs.

Most importantly though I'm going to talk about all these parts fit together to give the user graphs that provide real insight and make debugging a breeze. At the end of this session you will know everything you need to make your own highly interactive time-series graphs using backbone & Rickshaw.

Richard is a Front-End Developer from Newcastle with 6 years experience. Richard runs jQuery & Backbone workshops and builds complex UI's for @serverdensity. He also enjoys hacking around with RoR & Node.JS, which probably makes him quite hipster.

Richard is a fan of snowboarding, going to the gym, Formula 1 and Canada.  

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

Eventbrite - NEBytes November 2013 - Graphing The Backbone Rickshaw

NEBytes October 2013 - All about the SharePoint

Join North East Bytes at 18:30 on 16th October for our tenth event of 2013, this time round we are pleased to be partnering SUGUK North East.  After our hiyatus in September we have the pleasure of welcoming back Steve Smith who presented at our first ever NEBytes. We've given over both sessions to Steve with the aim of the evening being to provide everyone with information to help with your planning of a migration and upgrade to SharePoint 2013. Having the right information on how the new products differs to 2010 or 2007 is vital in preparing your test environments and planning for the actual production upgrade.


Session 1 - Upgrading SharePoint 2010 Content Databases to SharePoint 2013
Anyone who has tried an upgrade from previous versions of SharePoint know how painful it can be if the right research is not done. In this session I will go through the options available, the hardware and software requirements and walk through a database upgrade to 2013.
Session 2 - Scaling Search in SharePoint 2013
So now that we have upgraded our Farm let's look at one of the biggest architectural changes from one of the SharePoint 2010 Service applications and see how we scale search components in SharePoint 2013.

Steve Smith is the Director of Combined Knowledge, a specialist Sharepoint training consultancy.  Steve is a Sharepoint MVP and a prominent and very well known circuit speaker for the Sharepoint User Group in the UK

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

Eventbrite - NEBytes October 2013 - All about the SharePoint

NEBytes August 2013 - Media in the Cloud and PowerShell Four

Join North East Bytes for our ninth event of 2013.  Following on from the great events that we've had over the last two years, we've lined up another great event for your enjoyment.  We have our very own Jonathan Noble and Andrew Westgarth with two great sessions of demos and fantastic content!  Don't miss out register today! 

Date: Wednesday 28th August 2013

Time: 18:30-21:00

Desired State Configuration with PowerShell - Jonathan Noble

This October, when Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 hit the streets, they’re coming with Windows PowerShell version 4.0. The main reason for the major version number increment is the addition of Desired State Configuration (DSC). This new set of cmdlets and language extensions provide the ability to declaratively specify the configuration of your environment and maintain the desired state of your systems.

In this session, PowerShell MVP Jonathan Noble will be going into the detail of what DSC can do for you, showing how to define and deploy configuration scripts, as well as touching on some of the other new features of PowerShell 4.0.

Powering Applications With Windows Azure Media Services - Andrew Westgarth

Windows Azure Media Services provide developers with a fantastic scalable solution to build cost effective media distributioon solutions with support for a wide variety of platforms (Flash, Android, iOS, Windows etc).

In this session we'll look at how you can get started with Windows Azure Media Services to build a full end to end experience, from ingest to consumption. 


For more information on each one of our speakers check out their bios at

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

Eventbrite - NEBytes August 2013 - Media in the Cloud and PowerShell Four