The Right Things
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.
Agile DevOps West 2022
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 https://github.com/benkotips/askdad - 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 https://github.com/mbenko/du22-ptc - Check it out!
Azure Office Hour Fridays
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.
- Find a time that works - https://bit.ly/BnkAzHrs
- Let me know what you want to talk about
- 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!
Using Cosmos DB for my Blog
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:
- Alpaqa Studio - https://alpaqastudio.com
- Thomas Weiss - (MSFT Docs) Model and partition data on Azure Cosmos DB with a real-world example
- Jeff Widmer - GitHub: AzureCosmosDbBlogExample
- Nikisha Reyes-Grange - (Cosmos Blog) Data modeling, partitioning, and pricing in 2 minutes
- Deborah Chen - (Cosmos Blog) Run C# notebooks with Azure Cosmos DB
- Brian Chavez - GitHub : Bogus Mock Data Generator
5 Minutes to Code
I’m pleased to say that I’ve been included in a list of the top MVPs to follow on Twitter!
Following my renewal as a Microsoft MVP earlier this month, I’ve been given a shout out on Nigel Frank’s Microsoft MVP Class of 2019 roundup, which shines a light on MVPs from across the community who’re doing great things online.
I feature alongside some fantastic fellow MVPs, so check out the post and check out some of the fine people working to make the Microsoft ecosystem a smarter, more exciting place!
Since Visual Studio launched 22 years ago it has evolved to become a favorite IDE of the casual to professional developer. With the launch of Visual Studio 2019 Microsoft again steps up their game with improvements to make it easier to work and debug Cloud, Mobile and Web, as well as bring the developer a number of productivity improvements.
Join us for a chance to participate in the launch with a live viewing party at the Microsoft Office in Edina. It's a chance to be a part of the next generation of developer tools and you get to see all the compelling new features and capabilities of Visual Studio! Join us in Edina on April 2 - http://bit.ly/vs19msp - to join the live streamed event and share the fun!
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!
At this year's Microsoft BUILD Conference I was able to get a couple sessions to talk about the Enterprise Developer's journey to the Cloud. The sessions will be on Monday at 5:00 pm and Tuesday at 5:00 pm in Theater 4 on the Expo Hall Theater 4.
In it I'm going to share some exciting advancements in the tools we use every day to create great software, but especially the features that make those applications cloud aware! Not only can you create an publish to Azure but now you can also work with the settings and create templates to use for future deployments as well. The new Resource Group project enables the creation of complex infrastructure deployments that include not just the web hosting services but also analytics and monitoring capabilities as well as alerts when things go wrong.
If you're at Build stop by and let's chat about how you can make your team not just cloud aware, but Ready for the Enterprise Cloud! If you can't make it, I'm basing the talk on some course I'm developing for LinkedIn Learning called Azure for the Enterprise Developer. You can check those out online, they include:
Outside of that, I'll be hanging out at Build and tweeting about what's new and getting ready for the next roadshow. See you on the road!
The Right Things
@MikeBenkovich - 01/05/2023
Agile DevOps West 2022
@MikeBenkovich - 06/16/2022
@MikeBenkovich - 06/08/2022
Azure Office Hour Fridays
@MikeBenkovich - 05/04/2021
Using Cosmos DB for my Blog
@MikeBenkovich - 04/30/2021
5 Minutes to Code
@MikeBenkovich - 02/15/2020
Thank you Microsoft - MVP 2019-20
@MikeBenkovich - 08/01/2019
Visual Studio 2019 Launch Event - MSP
@MikeBenkovich - 04/01/2019
TechMasters After Dark and the Technical Interview
@MikeBenkovich - 02/10/2019
This year at Build 2018 - Azure for Enterprise Developers
@MikeBenkovich - 05/05/2018
Deploying a Shared Dashboard in Azure
@MikeBenkovich - 04/26/2018
Azure for the Enterprise Developer
@MikeBenkovich - 04/25/2018
How to record a UI Test on Android with Xamarin tools
@MikeBenkovich - 07/10/2017
@MikeBenkovich - 05/29/2017
Re-BUILD 2017, bringing the best of BUILD conference to cities near you
@MikeBenkovich - 05/14/2017
Temporary Post Used For Theme Detection (5a4bc502-4949-4ece-928e-0c48759d9d6e - 3bfe001a-32de-4114-a6b4-4005b770f6d7)
@MikeBenkovich - 03/24/2017
Announcing Visual Studio 2017 Best of Launch Events
@MikeBenkovich - 03/23/2017
VS 2017 Launch Live Notes
@MikeBenkovich - 03/07/2017
Adding HockeyApp feedback for Android to a Xamarin Forms app
@MikeBenkovich - 08/20/2016
Playing with MSFT Mobile DevOps story end to end
@MikeBenkovich - 07/21/2016
@MikeBenkovich - 06/24/2016
KCDC 2016–Session info
@MikeBenkovich - 06/24/2016
Open Source North 2016
@MikeBenkovich - 06/09/2016
Global Azure Bootcamp 2016
@MikeBenkovich - 04/20/2016
Check out Open Live Writer
@MikeBenkovich - 04/19/2016
- Test Again
- Welcome to BlogEngine.NET using Microsoft SQL Server
- New Post 3
- Using BlogEngine.NET
Get Azure Tools 2.7 for some great new features including the new Cloud Explorer
@MikeBenkovich - 08/20/2015
Issue with Xamarin Forms - InitializeComponent does not exist - Xamarin XAML is not Windows XAML
@MikeBenkovich - 02/02/2015
Setting a schema for the database in Azure Mobile Services
@MikeBenkovich - 01/12/2015
Some Common Xamarin.Forms XAML Control Properties
@MikeBenkovich - 12/28/2014
Working with Xamarin Forms and Navigation
@MikeBenkovich - 12/16/2014
CloudTip 15-Avoid a gotcha in naming projects with Mobile Services
@MikeBenkovich - 12/15/2014
How to detect an iOS device when working with Xamarin and Visual Studio
@MikeBenkovich - 12/02/2014
Email Exploit No.9 You got Voicemail
@MikeBenkovich - 09/08/2014
Avoiding Hacker Trix
@MikeBenkovich - 08/19/2014
Upgrading to Developer Preview of Windows Phone 8.1
@MikeBenkovich - 04/13/2014
CloudTip #17-Build Connected Windows 8 Apps with Windows Azure
@MikeBenkovich - 07/10/2012
Did you see Windows Phone 8 Preview?
@MikeBenkovich - 06/20/2012
CloudTip #16-Meet the new HTML based Windows Azure Management Portal
@MikeBenkovich - 06/07/2012
How to install Win 8 Release Preview from an ISO image
@MikeBenkovich - 05/30/2012
CloudTip #15-MEET Windows Azure
@MikeBenkovich - 05/20/2012
CloudTip #14-How do I get SQL Profiler info from SQL Azure?
@MikeBenkovich - 05/18/2012
CloudTip #13-What do you need to know to get started?
@MikeBenkovich - 05/17/2012
@MikeBenkovich - 05/10/2012
Get your App into the Windows 8 Store!
@MikeBenkovich - 05/08/2012
Cloud Tip #12-Get Started with SQL Azure
@MikeBenkovich - 04/27/2012
Cloud Tip #11-Activate your MSDN Benefits
@MikeBenkovich - 04/18/2012
Cloud Tip#10-Use the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8 to add interaction to your Metro Applications
@MikeBenkovich - 04/17/2012
Cloud Tip #9-Add Microsoft.IdentityModel to the GAC with a Startup Task
@MikeBenkovich - 04/07/2012
Cloud Tip #8-Using ACS without SSL
@MikeBenkovich - 04/06/2012
Cloud Tip #7-Configuring your firewall at work for cloud development
@MikeBenkovich - 04/05/2012
Cloud Tip #6-Encrypting the web.config with Visual Basic
@MikeBenkovich - 04/03/2012
Cloud Tip #5-Secure your settings in Web.config with Encryption
@MikeBenkovich - 04/02/2012
Cloud Tip #4-How to migrate an existing ASP.NET App to the Cloud
@MikeBenkovich - 04/01/2012
Cloud Tip #3–Find good examples
@MikeBenkovich - 03/31/2012
Cloud Tip #2–Finding Cloud Content that works for You
@MikeBenkovich - 03/29/2012
Cloud Tip #1–How to set a connection string in Web.config programmatically at runtime in Windows Azure
@MikeBenkovich - 03/27/2012
Questions on Tuning SQL Queries
@MikeBenkovich - 03/14/2012
Announcing Windows Azure Kick Start Events
@MikeBenkovich - 03/12/2012
Get Started with Cloud Computing and Windows Azure
@MikeBenkovich - 03/04/2012
New Webcast Series–Cloud Computing Soup to Nuts
@MikeBenkovich - 01/31/2012
@MikeBenkovich - 07/02/2004
@MikeBenkovich - 06/16/2004