Microsoft Ignite | The Tour : Sydney


As one of the premier venues on the Microsoft Ignite tour, Sydney Australia is set to be an amazing experience and DevExpress are proud to be a sponsor. Sydney has already laid on it’s best weather for the start of the week with perfect blue skies and warm 37°C days!

Come along and say a big G’Day to some of my European colleagues, DevExpress Technical Evangelist Don Wibier and John Martin. We will have fantastic swag to give away, as well as some live coding demos on the latest versions of all the DevExpress components and tools. It’s set to be a fun filled two days, if you’re going to be at the event, make sure you swing by our booth.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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2019 The Road Ahead


Happy New Year!

2019 The year ahead

With 2019 just days away, a lot of people use this time to reflect on the year that was, and the year that is being ushered in.

What should we look forward to next year? From a technology perspective things keep moving at a rapid pace. It seems no sooner have we started to embrace a new framework  something else is being touted as the new thing. What mobile framework is the best to focus on?  Should we be looking at Docker? What about .NET Core?

Personally, I think it’s wise to at least stay informed on what’s happening. Reality for most developers; it’s difficult to look at implementing new things into legacy projects, it’s time consuming and somewhat daunting to try and keep up to date. I’d be keen to hear how you stay on top of the shifting sands.

What about tools? Did you add anything new to the toolbox? are you leaving any particular tool or service behind? For me the following are definitely coming through to next year:

There are some other everyday tools that will stay around, but that list contains some of the coolest applications I use on a day to day basis.

Interestingly, I’m leaving behind

  • Trello
  • Jira
  • Confluence

One thing I’ve noticed as the year progressed, I am spending more and more time inside Visual Studio Code, and less in Xcode and Visual Studio. Which I think shows how much closer the technologies are becoming. I no longer have to switch to my Windows VM to spin up an Azure Web Service or edit a .NET application.

By far my favourite tooling for 2019 has been the Ionic Framework, coupled with the DevExtreme components has made building multi platform mobile applications a cinch.

Closing out 2018, I conquered a number of personal goals, including my first MMA Cage Fight. A big shout out to Jason @ Gamebred Academy for hosting Brisbane’s Series 3 – Wimp 2 Warrior challenge, thank you to Richie Cranny for making it all possible. It was an amazing experience.



2019…

Instead of setting ‘resolutions’ for 2019, I prefer to set some written goals. Moving into January I have committed to writing more blogs and producing more video content. Mainly just sharing the highs and lows of technology and tools that I use each day, some of the quirks I uncover, as well as cool uses of the DevExpress components. If I can save someone hours of scouring StackOverflow or auto generated documentation then it will be a good year.

Wishing you all a safe and prosperous New Year.

 

DevExpress Sydney Meetup – Dec 1


Powerhouse MuseumThis year our DevExpress Sydney Meetup is going to be held at the Powerhouse Museum on December 1. It’s a great time to share your thoughts (good or bad), grab a beer and some snacks and let the team show you through some of the great new features in v17.2. There are limited seats so be sure to reserve your spot by registering here.

I’ve already had some people request Meetups in other states, but we need numbers, so register your interest if you’re outside Sydney by sending a quick email to clientservices@devexpress.com – the more people that show an interest, the more likely I can make it happen.

DevExpress v17.2 will be released over the coming weeks and we will be presenting the What’s New webinars, but I’d prefer to see you in person at the Powerhouse 🙂

 

DDD Perth: Lessons learnt


MapDDD Perth was held last weekend in, you guessed it Perth, a sleepy little city in Western Australia. It still makes me smile when sharing with overseas friends that they don’t quite understand the size of our beautiful country.
It’s a 45 hour drive, or a 5 hour flight from Brisbane to Perth. The flight is relatively short in comparison to my travels to USA, UK, Europe or Russia, but still a little longer than than travelling to New Zealand.

The conference was amazing, you only have to check out the twitter feed or the DDD Perth Flickr to see what went down, but there were some important lessons to be learnt.

Double check all numbers before transferring money

As sponsor for the after party, I had to transfer funds to ‘My Place Perth‘ (great place to visit by the way, especially on Karaoke night eh Lana!) since the Heritage Bank app does not allow you add new payee’s (for what reason I will never understand), the browser had to be used, navigating a bank web site on an iPhone 6 Plus is not the easiest thing to do. Attempt #1 – add all information, wait for SMS from bank to finalise the transaction, go to messages screen to get the conformation number, switch back to web browser and catch the ‘back’ button, therefore wiping out all data added! Attempt #2 – add all information, again wait for SMS from bank, carefully swap between message app and browser and enter code. All this time having a friend read back the account number and BSB to send to from a pdf invoice received on email. Celebrate the small victory of getting this far, then email a copy of the receipt to venue. Happy days! though short lived!  The owner of My Place gently advised that when she had checked the receipt it was apparent I had entered a 6 instead of 5 in the account number! GAH! So in order to keep the peace, I paid the invoice again, this time via my card. It was not a small amount, and then I had to go chasing the banks to see where my original payment had gone, however, that had to be a job for Monday since banks (for some reason) don’t work Saturday nights. After a number of calls on Monday, I was quietly assured the money will bounce back to my account sometime in the week.

Don’t leave things in your hotel room

The morning after a big party, my brain was not yet firing on all cylinders, 6am and time to get ready to head to the airport. I remember so vividly putting my Bose QC20 headphones (the only noise cancelling headphone I recommend for long flights) on the back of the chair, then noticing they had fallen off, thinking to myself “don’t forget to pick those up”.  I arrived at the airport with that niggling feeling, you know, the one where you think you have forgotten something. First sign of a bad day in progress was the ‘Priority Check-In’ taking longer than normal check-in and bag drop, this is not a usual thing, in fact the service provided by Virgin Australia is the main reason I continue to fly with them on as many trips as I can. Finally, I checked my bag and headed to the Virgin Australia lounge looking forward to some breakfast before the long flight home (which was actually shorter than the one over, but seemingly longer because I had to add 2 hours back on the clock). Lounge closed! WTF, after a quick tweet, Virgin Australia confirmed – no lounge on weekends in Perth! Okay, off to the coffee shop for a sandwich. As I sat wondering why I had that feeling, it struck me, NO, I DIDN’T!? but of course I did, the headphones were still sitting under the chair in the hotel room. I remembered I had just received an email with the settlement account from them, so I replied straight to that advising exactly what had happened and where they were. Boarded the plane and headed home. Monday, nothing from the hotel, so Tuesday morning I rang, a brief chat to house keeping explaining the whole story and I was promised a call back. A short 15 minutes later I got the promised call. “Sorry Mr Usher, we checked and there is no sign of your headphones”.  Oh well, it’s my dumb mistake anyway, but I don’t understand why they were not found. In the meantime a survey email came across my desk from AccorHotels and I took the time to share my thoughts with the COO of the group.  Approximately 30 minutes after my first call from the hotel, a lovely lady named Heather, Housekeeping Manager, called and advised my headphones had been located, yay! I’m not going to go into details here, but in short they ‘turned up’. I received an apology for the late reply to my Sunday email, and to the time it had taken to find them, I also received an email from the operations manager in Perth again apologising and confirming a policy review, hmm. My faith in AccorHotels restored, and my trusty Bose QC’s making the journey (albeit alone) back to sunny Queensland.

Don’t use the phrase ‘guy’ when you meant ‘guys & gals’

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Before the conference I had sent a tweet to a couple of high profile people, namely Pip Marlow – Microsoft Australia MD, and Richard Branson (wonder if we can get that Lounge policy changed?), in support of women in tech, I am a strong advocate that more women should be involved and find it too dominated by men! After being heralded in the opening notes for my push (thank you Pip for your feedback, it’s a shame Mr Branson didn’t weigh in on the subject), I made the faux pas of using the singular, masculine phrase ‘guy’ during my talk. Thanks to Michelle for pointing that out publicly!

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A big weekend, well done to Rob Moore, Jake Ginnivan and the team for pulling everything and everyone together. I met some fantastic people, made some great new friends and some important lessons learnt, but all’s well that ends well.

 

Webinar: Debugging a PhoneGap / Cordova App


DevExpress

 

 

 

 

DevExtreme has to be one of my favourite tools to create mobile apps, but it’s not without some caveats. The biggest one being debugging. The simulator is an amazing piece of software except for when you need to run some PhoneGap plugins, or access device specific features. So what is the best way to handle these scenarios? Join Julian M Bucknall and myself on March 28 and learn how to use GapDebug while running your application in real-time on a device or virtual machine.

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Webinar: Is Data Too Hot To Handle?


 

dataIt’s time to start cranking out some webinars. Julian and I are starting off a series of JavaScript / PhoneGap / DevExtreme presentations covering the things that have driven us mad over the last few months.  It’s one thing to get into mobile development, but another to maintain your sanity once you commence.

It goes without saying that every application needs data, and some need it there and then, whereas others can wait for it to arrive across the web. In this presentation we will look at using data in your mobile DevExtreme app, especially that data which has to reside on the device. They will discuss what storage options are available out of the box and how to choose one, how to implement a custom data store, how to use local storage on the device, and even take a look at on-device debugging techniques.

Anyone who is looking to build a data based app (erm.. that should be everyone) needs to see what we uncovered in our research, it will save you a ton of time!

Don’t be shy, just register here and join Julian and I for a fun filled, fast paced look at handling data on mobile devices using JavaScript.

 

Welcome to the Dark Side: Using XtraReports in Innovative Ways


ReportsIn a couple of weeks, Julian M Bucknall and I will be showing how to use DevExpress XtraReports by thinking outside the box. In a live webinar, we will create a report based on some POCO collections as well as a web service. Then we will take a look at how to bind different reports to create a final output including page numbering.  There are a number of ways to display reports depending on your project type, so it would only be fair to show off all the options.

Sometimes a data-bound report doesn’t quite fit the requirements, what should you do in that scenario?  How about pushing your data out to a Microsoft Word template? See how easy that is with the XtraRichEditControl and a couple of lines of code, and of course no demonstration would be complete without a look at SnapReporting.

Why not Join Julian and I for an hour of fun and fact finding, just click on the link below and register your details.

http://dxpr.es/1oVhYQp