MyAdviceWriter ...

I recommended a video by Julie Ng, who has a blog and a video thing on YouTube you can subscribe to that provides some great information about containerization, kubernetes and Azure. The video is CI/CD Review - How DevOps in Real Life & Mature Organizations works | Julie Ng

Here's some tools and links from Julie's talk

I was watching the movie "The Right Stuff" over the holiday week and was impressed by how far we've come in terms of technology and using it to help us accomplish amazing things. From the story of Chuck Yeager chasing the demon in the sky limit of Mach 1 in the Bell-X1 to how they developed the Mercury project to launch space exploration, I loved seeing how the people and technology were used to make it possible. Of course there were mistakes, but without trying how do you learn? 

Doing things right is a mindset that is a requirement if you want to get in the game anymore. It's no longer good enough to think we can just show up and get paid, we have to provide value. The value of being willing and able to make decisions and try the impossible, by reaching for the sky we don't come up with a handful of mud. But is doing enough?

Doing Things Right

In the movie Apollo 13 we see Tom Hanks play Jim Lovell as the commander of the crew that experiences what can go wrong, and we see how the team responds to see if they have what it takes to bring them home. The challenge comes when one of the oxygen tanks malfunctions and damanges the return ship on their way to the moon. The drama plays out, but ultimately by thinking outside the box the team on earth comes up with ways to repair enough of the damage to bring them home.

Doing things right means having the right people in the right places there when you need them. Knowledge of what's possible, how to do things, what tools work for which jobs, all of these are important. Knowing how and when to combine the ingredients are what separates the star baker of the week from the one who gets voted off the island. It might mean finding someone who's done it before and knows the things to avoid. Doing things right is a whole lot easier than doing it poorly and doing it again and again.

For example, in the work that I do we're talking about containers and infrastructure and cloud. It is important to understand Docker and Kubernetes, as well as DevOps and Infrastructure as Code options like Terraform or Bicep. Doing things right means combining these tools to develop and deliver solutions where we follow sound project management practices. Whenever I come across a new project there's good questions to ask so you can get an idea of where things are at.

But Because you Can Doesn't Mean You Should

With that said, does the use of these tools and technologies mean success? Should we use containers and DotNet Core with WebAPI's? Should we use Agile and 2 week sprints with daily scrum meetings? We are putting together a team and it's going to go in and solve the challenge and keep the world safe for technology!

Sometimes we immediately prescribe an answer, using our best practices and ensuring we're using the right stuff to deliver value, but we fail to hear the requirements and understand the lay of the land. We kick off the project and by hook or by crook we drive the daily scrums and manage the sprints and work like crazy. We dedicate ourselves to the task at hand and make sure everyone participates. We deliver our solution, then realize it solves the wrong problem.

Do the Right Things

We fail to ask the right questions, so we end up doing the wrong things. Who is our team, and what is their experience? How much learning do we need to do to bring people up to speed? What is the timeline and who is the audience? The consultant's answer is it depends. Who do you ask? What is the vision and how is it related to the mission we're working on? Based on this are we ready to move on to new tools and technologies? Are we ready to make smart decisions that fit the reality we are in? 

As 2023 starts out it's apparent to me that we need to make time to reflect and give some space to think before we act. Doing is good, but sometimes not doing or doing something else is better.

This week in Las Vegas at the Agile DevOps West conference I'm presenting the session Permit to Cloud - Land with Confidence in Azure!

We'll talk about a lot fo things, but the goal is to provide an introduction to how to get started with Azure in a way that will help ensure continued success in taking advantage of the promises the cloud offers. For the code and demos I've published them to - Check it out!

Guess What? In person events are a thing again,  and I'm back on the road. It's great to be back to St. Louis, this week I'm delivering sessions at DevUp on how to work with Azure and Infrastructure as Code topics. 

  • Permit to Cloud : Land with Confidence in Azure
  • Cosmos DB Performance Tuning
  • Infrastructure as Code Bake-off : Comparing ARM, Bicep, Terraform and Pulumi

The link to the code is on GitHub at - Check it out!

Thinking about going to Cloud? I've been consulting around Azure for the last 8 years since I left Microsoft where I helped launch it in 2009. I want to offer my support, so I'm starting a thing called Azure Office Hours on Fridays, where anyone can block out 15 minutes to chat about anything Azure.

  1. Find a time that works - 
  2. Let me know what you want to talk about
  3. Let's chat! 

I speak at conferences and have LinkedIn learning courses on Azure and DevOps including templating, compute, storage, messaging, networking and governance topics.

My calendar is open. Let's connect!

Have you thought of using new/different technologies to explore the impact of using new tools? I'm presenting a new session at Minnesota Developer Conference on Tuesday 5/4/2021 (Star Wars day) that will explore the technology and implementation details to make this type of implementation work.

Check it out!

Cosmos Tools for the Relational Developer

Tuesday 5/4 at 11:00 am - MDC 2021 | Minnesota Developers Conference (

Understanding how your data works is crucial to taking advantage of the capabilities and power of Cosmos DB, from setting up and migrating data, to querying to understanding performance consequences of data manipulation. These tasks become easier thanks to a growing ecosystem of tools around the Cosmos DB platform. In this session we'll look at how Cosmos DB tools available from Microsoft and 3rd parties make it easy to make the transition from the relational to Cosmos.

The topics we'll cover include:

  • Why Azure Cosmos DB
  • Provisioning a Cosmos DB from the Azure Portal
  • Code patterns for working with Cosmos
  • Data Migration
  • Data Modeling and strategies for performance and cost optimization

Some reference links:


It's mid March and the start of Daylight Savings Time (again). It's a crazy thing we do where we change the clocks so that you wake up an hour earlier in the spring, and then you get to switch them back in the fall and the cycle continues. Most years it would be a thing that is maddening, but this year, what with Covid and working from home, it isn't a big deal because I don't have to get up to be at an office an hour earlier tomorrow. I just need to adjust my work frame and be available earlier. This week will be focused on working on a few features of myTLDR, including

  • My Posts.  List my posts by date descending...
  • My Uploads. Get the resolution right. Save 3 sizes but at 72 dpi, thumbnail (40x40), gallery (100x100) and full (500 px wide), all at 72 dpi.
  • My Feeds. When I log in or view a user or a blog I want to see that blog. If I view a User I want to see thier public blog posts. Private blogs shouldn't show up in that feed. Also I'd like the user to just see the feeds of people they're following...i.e. I get to add a number of feeds I want to see and the system will figure that out.
  • Default Feed. The default feed should return posts by day, prioritized by those that have the most activity...
  • Email. Notify users when they get a email for now with a link to the post?
  • User Profile. Update it to make it easy to see a user's posts, uploads and feeds (?)
  • Markdown Editor. As an option let users enter markdown, see a preview (?)
  • Likes/Reactions. Allow a user to react to a post once, with whatever their vote is...thumbs up, down, ok or some other emoji? Save the post/user response in Cosmos with an upsert? 
  • Views. Do we need views? I think it's good to have some analytics
  • Referral URL/Post Image. This is where I want to make it easy to have a link to something you want to respond to, and then the tl;dr; is the text that explains/responds to the referring link.
  • Attachments. Include on post a section of links for downloads...slides, code, pictures, etc.

I'd like to add a feature where when creating a post you can include a link to a referring article...The point of tl;dr; is to provide feedback or a more complete story, and if something inspired a post that's where we'll start.

Add a referring link, then add your thoughts about it. Upload images and select one as primary, and we'll create a summary for it. 


Looking at things, how to create content that is unique, usable, fun and engaging. That's the goal. Up vote or down vote to show interaction.

  • Markdown as an editor/preview...what if I could switch to markdown instead of code
  • Comments...make them more interactive/append the HTML
  • Thumbnails & right sizing uploads...
    • 100% at 72 dpi
    • sm & med thumbnails 
  • Image storage - by user? Use GUID as storage container


Announcing Speechcraft Workshop - May 17

TechMasters - A Toastmasters chapter run by IT professionals in the Twin Cities - is hosting a 4 week Speechcraft workshop to get your public speaking, communication, leadership and other soft skills off the ground. Tuesday mornings online at 7:45 am CST. 

  • Trainers are experienced Toastmasters who frequently speak at events
  • All IT professionals - we speak your language
  • Communicate better with coworkers
  • Improve leadership skills
  • Gain confidence
  • Prepare for public speaking
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