Techorama 2014

Monday, June 02 2014         No Comments

If you follow me on twitter (@mikewo) you may have noticed several tweets last week for #Techorama, which was a conference in Mechelen, Belgium

The about page for Techorama promised “deep-dive developer sessions, integration scenarios and best practices. All this goodness will be delivered by world-renowned speakers and local community rock stars”.  I’d say that the conference delivered on that promise.         

WP_20140528_003Much like the local Stir Trek event, the venue was a movie theatre.  That means the speakers are presenting in large theaters with giant screens and the attendees get nice, plush chairs to kick back and learn in.  The event was two days of solid learning, from 8:45 AM to 6:30 PM both days.  There were a ton of great sessions by really talented speakers.  You can check out some of the photos of the event on their Flickr stream.

I was honored to be selected to come speak at the event and I gave two presentations: my Be a Better Developer talk and a talk about the differences between Azure Storage Queues and Azure Service Bus Brokered Messaging Queues. 

Red Gate was a sponsor for the event, which means I also got to spend some time with some of the Cerebrata team, as well as fellow Red Gaters Michaela Murray, Grant Fritchey and Nik Molnar

This was the first year for Techorama and the organizers did an awesome job with the event.  I’m sure they will have a lot of success with this event going forward.  Congrats to the entire team at Techorama for a job well done.

April 2014 Louisville .NET Meetup

Friday, April 18 2014         No Comments

Thanks to Chad Green (lead organizer of the Louisville .NET Meetup group as well as the Chief cat herder for Code PaLOUsa) for having me down to speak at the user group last night.  Thanks, also, to all the folks who came to meeting.  As usual when I visit the Louisville community it was incredibly hospitable and a fun group to hang out with.

I promised that I would post up the links from the end of my slides and here they are:

Mobile Services:

BLOB Storage:

Notification Hubs:

Stir Trek 2014

Friday, April 04 2014         No Comments

Thanks for all those that came out to Stir Trek, and especially thanks to those that came to my session.  I won’t be able to stick around for the movie since I’ll be watching it soon with my wife so please, don’t send me spoilers!

Here is a set of resources that were also mentioned in the talk you can use when learning to automate Microsoft Azure with PowerShell:


UPDATE: Added link to Azure Automation resource.

Recorded for Hallway Conversations Podcast

Tuesday, April 01 2014         No Comments

I was recorded for a “Hallway Conversations” podcast recently and it’s now been posted!

I realized later that I said Azure Web Sites had three tiers of “Free, Basic and Standard”.  That should have been “Free, Shared and Standard”.  I was confusing the tier names from the Mobile Services offerings.

Thanks to Phil, Steve and Lee for having me on.

Webinar on April 9th–Azure Diagnostics

Tuesday, April 01 2014         No Comments

On Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT I’ll be working with Michael Collier to host a joint webinar on Azure Diagnostics.  We’ll cover ways you can configure diagnostics for Cloud Services, some good practices to follow and some things to keep in mind based on experience.

Please Register for the webinar and also pass long the link to any of your coworkers or clients who may have an interest in Azure Diagnostics.

SQL Saturday coming to Louisville

Friday, February 28 2014         No Comments

SQL Saturday #286 will be held on June 21st, 2014 at the Indiana Wesleyan University in Louisville, KY.  It looks like it will be a great chance to learn about SQL Server.  There is a list of the submitted talks they have received so far on their schedule page (not all will be selected).  Once the full schedule is decided they will post it.

Grant Fritchey (also known as the Scary DBA) will be in town as well giving a Query Performance Tuning class the day before.

The SQL Saturday event is looking for sponsors

Code PaLOUsa 2014–Intro to Windows Azure Workshop

Sunday, February 23 2014         No Comments

In the Introduction to Windows Azure workshop we will do some hands on work with the core features of Windows Azure: Storage, Web Sites, Cloud Services and Virtual Machines.

To participate in these hands on labs you’ll need to have a Windows Azure Account.

You can get a free trial account ( ) or, if you have a MSDN subscription, you can sign up for your Windows Azure benefits ( ) and use those. Please have the account already set up when you arrive. Note, you may get prompted for your credit card when creating the account, but the trial accounts have a spending cap of $0.00 on them by default.

In order to get the most out of the hands on labs please come with the following installed:

This can be a decent amount to install, so please have it set up when you arrive. You may not have enough time to get all of this set up on the day of the workshop. If you don’t have the hardware or time to install this, don’t worry, we’ll do some pairing. 

Not a Microsoft developer or Windows user?

You’ll be able to participate in some of the labs as well. Please make sure to come with the following installed:

If you want to do Git-based deployments to Windows Azure Web Sites, you'll want to download Git. Do so at or get the GitHub for Windows client ( ).

Did I Leave a VM on?

Saturday, February 15 2014         No Comments

Ever wrap up a demo or end a day of development work and wonder if you left a VM running in Azure?  Yep, I’ve done that.  I’ve also NOT wondered about it, completely forget even, and ended up running a VM for some time without thinking about it.  I have two subscriptions I routinely use for demos and development and for the most part have no reason to have cores running in those subscriptions if I’m not actively doing something.  A real quick PowerShell script let’s me know at the end of the day if something is up or not.

Get-AzureSubscription -ExtendedDetails | ? { $_.CurrentCoreCount -gt 0 } | ft -Property  SubscriptionName, CurrentCoreCount


I’ve put this into my PowerShell Profile as a function named Get-CoreCount.  It doesn’t tell me what is running, or where, but I will recognize subscription names that shouldn’t have anything going.  If I see something I don’t expect I’ll spin up Azure Management Studio to take a look and take action if necessary.

Now…did I leave the gas on at the house?

Cloud Design Patterns

Sunday, February 09 2014         No Comments

The Microsoft Patterns and Practices group has release a new guidance package on Cloud Design Patterns.  The public announcement can be found on Masashi’s blog.  I had the opportunity to help out with this project as a Technical Reviewer of the material.  It was a great opportunity and I thank Masashi and the team for it.

The material covers 24 different design patterns, along with 8 guidance topics and 10 different code samples.

You can see the material and download the sample code from MSDN.

Hackathon–Incorporating Windows Azure into your Mobile Apps and Games

Saturday, February 08 2014         No Comments

Thanks to all those that came out to the Columbus Dev Unleashed hackathon for Windows Phone and Windows Store apps.  I showed off using BLOB Storage, Mobile Services and Notification Hubs in my segment of the day.  If you have an interest in any of these, this is the promised list of links that point to  articles, Microsoft documentation and tutorials for each of these features of Windows Azure.

Introduction to BLOB Storage:

Mobile Services Team Blog:

Custom API:

Source Control:

Server Side objects:

Notification Hubs:

Troubleshoot Notifications:

Live Tile and Notification templates:


Thanks to the Windows and Cloud user groups of Columbus for hosting this event!


Note to future self: If you turn on Presentation mode on Windows during your talk it will quietly turn off ALL notifications.  Including the one you are trying to demo.  DOH!