DDD North 2016 In Review

On Saturday, 1st October 2016 at the University of Leeds, the 6th annual DDD North event was held.  After a great event last year, at the University of Sunderland in the North East, this year’s event was held in Leeds as is now customary for the event to alternate between the two locations each year. After arriving and collecting my badge, it was a short walk to the communal area for some tea and coffee to start the day.  Unfortunately, there were no bacon butties or Danish pastries this time around, but I’d had a hearty breakfast before setting off on the journey to Leeds anyway. The first session of the day was Pete Smith’s “The Three Problems with Software Development”.   Pete starts by talking about Conway’s Game of Life and how this game is similar to how software development often works, producing complex behaviours from simple building blocks.  Pete says how his talk will examine some “heuristics” for software development, a sort of “series of steps” for... [More]

DDD 11 In Review

This past Saturday 3rd September 2016, the 11th DDD (DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper) conference was held at Microsoft’s UK HQ in Reading.  Although I’ve been a number of DDD events in recent years, this was my first time at the original DDD event (aka Developer Day aka DDD Reading) which spawned all of the other localised DDD events. After travelling the evening before and staying overnight in a hotel in Swindon, I set off bright and early to make the 1 hour drive to Reading.  After arriving and checking in, collecting my badge along the way, it was time to grab a coffee and one of the hearty breakfast butties supplied.  Coffee and sausage sandwich consumed, it was time to familiarise myself with the layout of the rooms.  There were 4 parallel tracks of talks, and there had also been a room change from the printed agendas that we received upon checking in.  After finding the new rooms, and consulting my agenda sheet it was time for me to head off to the first talk... [More]

Setting up Jenkins on Windows with Git, Mercurial and SSH

This guide will detail the steps required to correctly setup and configure Jenkins on Windows using both Git and Mercurial as the version control tools and using SSH with both in order to authenticate with repositories hosted on the BitBucket service. Download and install Jenkins, Git & Mercurial to their default locations. Ensure you get the 64-bit versions of all of these tools. First, we need to create an SSH key pair, using OpenSSH which comes bundled with Git, that will allow Git to communicate with Bitbucket via SSH. Next, we’ll configure OpenSSH (which is used by Git), so follow the steps under the section “Set Up SSH for Git” from here: https://confluence.atlassian.com/bitbucket/set-up-ssh-for-git-728138079.html This primarily involves creating a new ssh keypair from a Git Bash shell, using ssh-keygen, ensuring the resulting keys are stored in your user’s “home” directory (which on Windows is usually, C:\Users\xxxxx\ - where xxxx is your logged on Windows username) with... [More]

Beware NuGet’s Filename Encoding!

The other day, I was troubleshooting some issues that had occurred on a deployment of some code to a test server.  Large parts of the application were simply not working after deployment, however, the (apparently) same set of code and files worked just fine on my local development machine. After much digging, the problem was finally discovered as being how NuGet handles and packages files with non-standard characters in the filename. It seems that NuGet will ASCII-encode certain characters within filename, such as spaces, @ symbols etc.  This is usually not a problem as NuGet itself will correctly decode the filenames again when extracting (or installing) the package, so for example, a file named: READ ME.txt within your solution will be encoded inside the .nupkg file as: READ%20ME.txt And once installed / extracted again using NuGet will get it’s original filename back.  However, there’s a big caveat around this.  We’re told that NuGet’s nupkg files are “just zip ... [More]

SQLBits 2016 In Review

On 7th May 2016 in Liverpool, the 15th annual SQLBits event took place in the new Liverpool Exhibition Centre.  The event had actually been running since Wednesday 4th, however, as with all other SQLBits events, the Saturday is a free, community day. This particular SQLBits was rather special, as Microsoft had selected the event as the UK launch event for SQL Server 2016.  As such the entire conference had a very large Microsoft presence. Since the event was in my home town, I didn’t have too far to travel to get to the venue.  That said, I did have to set my alarm for 6am (a full 45 minutes earlier than I usually do on a working weekday!) to ensure I could get the two different trains required to get me to the venue in good time.  The Saturday day is jam packed with content and as such, the event opened at the eye-watering time of 7:30am! After arriving at the venue just as it was opening at 7:30am, I heading straight to the registration booth to confirm my registr... [More]