ASP .NET 5 (vNext), first thoughts

21 August, 2015.

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…

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Using Gulp-SASS with VS Code task runner

07 August, 2015.

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…

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Why Visual Studio 2015 has changed my life

24 July, 2015.

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…

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Why I don't want to be a front-end web developer

25 June, 2015.

The job title isn’t representative of my skill set As a front-end developer, you portray yourself as having a narrow set of skills. This probably isn’t the case. I did a quick search on a popular job forum for front-end developer jobs, and there is a clear recurring theme as to what skills are required to be a mid-level/senior front-end developer; (X)HTML (5), CSS, SASS/SCSS, LESS. Backbone, Angular, Knockout. Responsive web design (I’m assuming Bootstrap knowledge, Foundation etc). Adobe…

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What I learnt from using TypeScript "for real"

25 May, 2015.

I completed my first commercial Greenfield project using TypeScript over plain old JavaScript throughout, and there were some frustrations along the way. TL;DR TypeScript is awesome, for sure, but there needs to be improvements to tooling to streamline the experience. TypeScript is strongly typed of course, but it doesn’t force you to code in this manner, which can result in shoddy code. Tweaking is required to make bundling work properly. Tooling Frustrations When I started the project, I was…

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WCF custom authentication using ServiceCredentials

03 April, 2015.

The generally accepted way of authenticating a user with WCF is with a User Name and Password with the UserNamePasswordValidator class. So common that even MSDN has a tutorial, and the MSDN documentation for WCF is seriously lacking at best. The username/password approach does what it says on the tin, you pass along a username and password credential from the client to the server, do your authentication, and only if there is a problem then you throw an exception. It’s a primitive approach, but…

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Every developer must be proficient at these 7 things...

21 February, 2015.

In 2015, it is as important as ever for developers of all levels of expertise and experience to re-train and update their skills. In the fast moving world of technology, failure to do so can result in career stagnation and ultimately not reaching your full earnings potential. This post is an update to the popular post 10 things every software developer should do in 2014. All of the points made in that post are still relevant and valid so I recommend you take a look. This post is entirely based…

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Books I read in 2014

01 January, 2015.

Last year I set out to try and diversify myself and learn new things. I have focused primarily on software development for at least the last 13 years, and this year I wanted to do something different. I shied away from reading software development books and started reading sci-fi books, books of historical importance, fantasy, and yes the occasional development book when I felt the urge. Here are some of the books I read during 2014 (in no particular order); Harry Potter Complete Series (Book…

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8 things every .NET developer must understand

19 September, 2014.

You’ve been in your current job for a while now, and you’re really starting to get good at what you do. You’re perhaps thinking about finding something new, and you’re wondering what sort of questions a potential new employer might ask. I’ve been interviewing a lot recently and I have noticed there are 8 questions that get asked a lot. Spend some time and make sure that you understand each point in turn, doing so will help make that dream job become a reality. SOLID Principals The ultimate…

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