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 - https://bit.ly/BnkAzHrs 
  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 (mndevconf.com)

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 comment...by 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. 


Announcing Speechcraft Workshop - May 18

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

I'm thinking of a new feature for myTLDR where when you log in (and we redirect you to your blog page) that the first thing you see are messages. A user can send messages to followers that looks like a post, but its not included in the main feed.

To that poing I am working on implementing a feature called "my feeds" where you specify what feeds you want to follow and we currate them here for you. We'll look at the most recent an push them to the top of your default login page. Thoughts?

Avatars are the social media mechanism for personalizing and attaching an account to the user. For this I wanted to make sure a user could upload their pic and have it be part of their profile. To do this I had to enable custom profile information in the identity system, then add the ability to upload a file to storage, and finally propogate the use of the image across the site.

These are my notes...

  1. Customize identity. For this I followed Microsoft's documentation and added fields for handle and avatar url. The link to the relevant documents is here...Add, download, and delete user data to Identity in an ASP.NET Core project | Microsoft Docs
  2. Upload to storage. This was taken from a combination of sources, including docs on microsoft, but also from my session called "Where's my Stuff" where we work with storage options in azure.
  3. Update the site. This required work in a couple areas, including the data models, the code behind and the razor pages. I also did quite a bit of work to get the data migrations to work too.



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Announcing Momentum at MTKA!

Bringing these experiences to the MHS campus was a priority for Principal Jeff Erickson and his team. Before the facility's approval, automotive courses were only available off-site through a partner program.  "We know that the space a class uses can encourage how learning happens, how engagement happens and how students collaborate," said Erickson.

"A dedicated facility for the skilled trades will enhance the opportunities we can offer at MHS, so we can truly support each student in achieving personal success."

Learn more about MOMENTUM on the District website: https://www.minnetonkaschools.org/momentum

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Do you ever have “unexpected time” on your hands? Need to brush up your job interviewing skills? Want to know more about the technical talent market in the Twin Cities? TechMasters After Dark – Job Interviewing Skills, is a free workshop delivering job interviewing strategies, interviewing tips, and Q&A with a panel of recruiters. The audience has the opportunity to practice with group exercises called Table Topics. Join us Thursday, Feb 21, doors open at 5:30 pm at Improving's MN office at 3600 American Blvd, #115. We have a slate of experts and a panel of recruiters who will answer your questions about how they ask questions.

More info at http://bit.ly/tmad1901. See you there!

Yep and more Yep

I'm working thru an idea for a video series that I call "5 Minutes to Code", where I would record some short videos that show how to accomplish a concept, procedure or task related to working with code. The goal is to deliver on a regular cadence some content that developers can use to learn how to do something. Lately I've been working with Azure as a cloud engineer working on infrastructure (like ARM and Terraform), delivery (like Azure DevOps and from developer tools), and coding (like .NET Core and web development). I have created a new page on my site where I'll publish a list of links to these, and this will give me the chance to work on my html and JavaScript skills.


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