Devs, this is how I got fit

Published on September 04, 2015 in Career · Read time 14 minutes

Right now, I’m in pretty good shape. I have the confidence to say this because I’ve worked very hard over the last 18 months to get to this point. I’m not a muscular person, like what you might see in a designer underwear advert…and this was never my personal goal, but I certainly don’t feel embarrassed anymore when I take my shirt off. I’ve discovered a few very simple patterns for losing weight, gaining muscle (at a slow rate) and generally feeling better about myself. This has been such a big success for me, that I felt it only right to share with you. I talk about myself a lot in this post, and I apologize for that, but it’s hard not to. I believe that if you follow this advice and these tips, you can achieve the same results as me. Backstory Poor diet, smoker, drinker, allergic to exercise guy Growing up as a teenager in North-West England, UK, in the early 2000’s, I was skinny. I had an extremely poor diet and frankly was “allergic” (not literally, just mentally) to vegetables and healthy food in general. I flat out refused to eat vegetables because I simply didn’t like them. For tea I would have “chips and something”, usually chicken, beef, pork, typically skins on and deep…

TypeScript Tips and Tricks

Published on August 28, 2015 in TypeScript · Read time 7 minutes

Automatically compile TypeScript files when using VS Code If you’re writing TypeScript using Visual Studio, your files are automatically compiled when you save (assuming you haven’t turned this off…the feature is found in the Project Properties > TypeScript Build screen). If you don’t use Visual Studio, and instead are using a lightweight IDE such as VS Code or Sublime Text , you don’t get this feature. Manual compilation First things first, how would you normally compile a TypeScript file to JavaScript? VS Code doesn’t do this out of the box (perhaps the will add this functionality in the future, I’m not sure). You use a task runner . To configure a task runner, open your project that has some TypeScript files, and press Ctrl + Shift + B . A little notification to appear that tells you that no task runner is configured. Click Configure Task Runner . VS Code will create a directory called .settings and add a new JSON file called tasks.json to this directory. Open tasks.json and inspect the default configuration (the one that isn’t commented out, VS Code will show you some other sample configurations that are commented out. Look for the following line; Change this…

ASP .NET 5 (vNext), first thoughts

Published on August 21, 2015 in C#, Career · Read time 4 minutes

Microsoft ASP .NET 5 is a major shift from traditional ASP .NET methodologies. Whilst I am not actively developing ASP .NET 5 applications at the minute, .NET has always been my bread and butter technology. When I look at industry trends here in the UK, all I see is .NET .NET .NET, therefore it is important to have one eye on the future. I’ve watched all the introduction videos on the ASP .NET website , but I also wanted to take a look at what ASP .NET 5 means to me . This is not meant to be a fully formed post. This will come later down the line. Right now, I think ASP .NET 5 is evolving too quickly to be “bloggable” fully. Version disambiguation and terminology Lets take a second to disambiguate some terminology. Microsoft’s understanding of versioning has always been different to everybody else. This tweet from Todd Motto really sums it up; Bill Gates on counting to ten. 1, 2, 3, 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10. Todd Motto (@toddmotto) August 3, 2015 Looks like versioning is not going to get any simpler for the time being ASP .NET 5 (ASP .NET 4.6 is the current version) Previously known as ASP .NET vNext, ASP .NET 5 is the successor of ASP .NET 4.6 . In the past…

Using Gulp-SASS with VS Code task runner

Published on August 07, 2015 in VS Code · Read time 4 minutes

With the task runner built in to VS Code, you can set up Gulp to automatically compile your SASS files to CSS with a simple key press. VS Code task runner prerequisites To be able to get this working, you need the following prerequisites Windows, Linux or Mac VS Code Node.js and NPM Gulp.js To install Gulp run the following command; or To install into your development environment. I’d generally recommend installing gulp globally as you will likely be using it a lot. You will probably want to install gulp-sass locally in your dev environment. We will get to that shortly. Existing Project If you are using an existing project and you already have a Gulp file ( GulpFile.js ) and a package.json file, feel free to skip the next step. New Project Create a new folder for your project, open VS Code and click File > Open Folder . Point to your new folder and click OK . Open a Node.JS command prompt, and change directory to your new folder. Now type the following command; As shown here; You will be prompted to enter details about your project. Either accept the default by pressing Enter or enter the details as appropriate. This will generate a package.json file for your project…

Why Visual Studio 2015 has changed my life

Published on July 24, 2015 in Visual Studio · Read time 3 minutes

I’ve been using Visual Studio on an almost daily basis since 2002 . Before that, my development tool of choice was Visual Basic 6 (Visual Studio 6). The shift between those two versions felt like using a whole new product at the time. Since then, changes to Visual Studio have been incremental. Microsoft have released a new version every 2-3 years. Visual Studio 2015, however, feels like another significant paradigm shift. The point of this post is not to outline all the shiny new features, there are official blog posts for that . No. I wanted to tell you how the changes to Visual Studio have directly changed the way I work on a day to day basis. Visual Studio Tasks (Task Runner Explorer) The wider web development community has been using task runners, GruntJS and more recently GulpJS, for at least the last few years. On every project I work on these days, I use TypeScript and SASS. Web essentials previously was responsible for compiling my SASS files, as well as providing linting for both SASS and TypeScript. With the 2015 release, this functionality has been removed. There are a bunch of Mads Kristensen extensions on Visual Studio Gallery that you can install that will add…