What’s in your highlights folder?

Reflection, it’s not always so easy. When looking back it’s often easiest to focus on what went wrong, things you didn’t do, things that could have gone better, things you wish you hadn’t done altogether. I think this is just human nature, our desire for evolution and improvement. So even though (I think) I know this, why is it often so hard to reflect on the positives, and do so concretely, or even sometimes remember them altogether.

Why am I talking about this? Well it’s that time where I need to look back at the last year of my career and assess my performance, my highlights and opportunities for growth.

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How to scale your web socket server (WSS) using Redis Cache

TL;DR Check out the sample code on Github.

I was recently asked if Azure PaaS (Web Apps) & Azure Load Balancers supported Web Sockets, and I said yes, because well I read that it did. But I never tried it so I figured I’ll follow the Chat App tutorial from socket.io to try it for myself. Easy enough, I created the local app, added it to a git repo then deployed it to Azure Web Apps and everything worked as expected (How to use git to deploy node to Azure? Read: Continuous deployment using GIT in Azure App Service).

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Deploying an existing ASP.NET & WCF project to Azure Cloud Services

Azure Cloud Services

TL;DR: Clone & follow the steps from my GitHub repo WCFDemoApp to get started.

Recently I was able to work with a local company that had a fairly common 2-tier environment consisting of a web front end in ASP.NET and a middle tier (API) using WCF connected to a SQL database all hosted in their co-location environment on their own servers. They wanted to move this workload to the cloud and so I took this opportunity to build a walkthough on how to do exactly that.

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Public Cloud Anxiety – Dealing with maintenance & failures of VMs

I had an interesting call with a partner this week where the client of the partner did not want the servers (virtual machines aka VMs) deployed to the public cloud (in this case Azure) because of potential downtime. Their fundamental concern was due to planned maintenance where the host systems are patched & rebooted as needed which can lead to downtime. This is one of those good and bad things. The good being the host systems are patched and up to date (good for security & overall system health) but yes bad because it means that the system could be down for a short period of time, but only if you only run single instances!

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Presentation Tips – It’s all about timing

As a Technical Evangelist I have a lot of opportunities to speak to small and large groups of people. This could be online (webinars & blogging etc.) or in person with customers as well as at events and conferences. What I’m getting at is I get to do a fair bit of presenting. I am by no means a “professional presenter” keynoting large conferences (quite the opposite), but I have picked up a few tips (sometimes the hard way) that I’d like to share. I hope this will grow as a series of posts on the subject.

The first is about timing which in regards to presenting I’ll break into two key areas: cadence & time management.

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How I passed my Azure Certification (MCP) Exams

There are countless resources just a quick search a way that will list all the things you should study in preparation for a particular exam. Likely you will find Microsoft Virtual Academy courses, TechNet/MSDN articles, blog posts, books, practice exams and much more. Let me be clear, those are all super useful.

However, I will share how I passed the exams, which is not to say how you can or will, but if you are like me (just a bit?), maybe this will be helpful.

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