Community Conference

NOVA Code Camp 2015 Preview – Bart Loesley

Looking through the sessions that will be presented this coming Saturday at the Northern Virginia Code Camp hosted at the Reston Microsoft Technology Center in Reston, VA gets me pumped to see so many in the community presenting on hot topics that are key to staying relevant in this age of iterating forward with new technology on what seems like a daily basis. All that being said (and all in a single run on sentence no less), I’m stoked to see that Bart Loesley will be presenting on NoSQL as an Application Backend.

So often we tend to find tech groups pointing to MySQL, PostGres, Oracle, Microsoft SQL or some other database platform to be the backend for a technology solution without considering a NoSQL solution. Bart’s session “NoSQL as an Application Backend” looks to be pretty spot on with helping application developers and architects to better understand where these technologies come into play.

NoSQL is a different way of thinking about a database. Relational database models may not be the best solution for all situations.  In this session we’ll introduce what NoSQL is, the various approaches and options for NoSQL platforms, and show an example of how we leveraged Azure Document DB as the backend for a cloud application.  Benefits such as scalability, schema independence and object orientation make your application scalable but it requires some planning that is different than traditional relational databases.

For me, I’m excited to check out this session for a couple of reasons…

  1. NoSQL is a technology that gets overlooked far too often
  2. Profit from Bart’s knowledge

Seriously though, Azure’s DocumentDB, which recently became generally available, could probably replace a significant number of application backends operating on other database platforms that don’t require the horsepower of the platform in use, nor do they make use of the functionality, so why not go with something like Azure DocumentDB?

Look forward to seeing you there at NOVA CC for Bart’s session!

Community Conference

NOVA Code Camp 2015 Preview – Ed Snider

While scrolling through the Sessions for this coming weekends Northern Virginia Code Camp, I came across one session that caught my eye and me glance not once, but twice…

“Creating Apple Watch experiences with WatchKit and Xamarin”

I thought to myself, “What in the world?!?!” But then I remembered that Ed Snider is a genius when it comes to putting together clever solutions that bridge technological platforms, among a lot of other things. The session description looks pretty particularly awesome.

C# and Apple Watch… WHAT?!  Yes!  In this session I’ll show you how Xamarin lets you take your .NET skills to the Apple Watch!

First we’ll take a look at Apple’s WatchKit and the architecture of WatchKit apps.  We’ll also explore the core concepts of WatchKit apps and how they work with and extend iPhone apps, including Glances and Notifications.  And, of course, there will be plenty of code and live demos!”

So if you’re interested in the Apple Watch, and you’re a .NET developer then check this session out – I promise you won’t be disappointed and will walk away with a few more tools in your utility belt to innovate.

Community Conference

Northern Virginia Code Camp 2015

This coming weekend on 18 April 2015, the Northern Virginia Code Camp will be hosting it’s Spring event at the Reston Microsoft Technology Center with 30 speakers covering various aspects of development across several different technologies and platforms.

The session listing is available here:

If you’re interested in registering for the event, you can do so by hoping over to the registration site here:

If you’re interested in updates about the Northern Virginia Code Camp, follow their twitter handle yonder under the name of @novacodecamp

Definitely worth your time on a Saturday morning to learn something new, network with others in the technology community and gather perspective on different ways of approaching technology problems.

Windows 10

Windows 10 Technical Preview Hotfixes…

There are a few updates that were released for Windows 10 Preview (build 10049) today that might be of benefit to you. Like all hotfixes – if you’re not suffering from the issue or don’t require a particular feature, don’t install the hotfix.

Nevertheless, the two that were released are:

– Hyper-V cannot be enabled –
– Outlook might not index new emails –

I’m guessing that most folks aren’t using the Hyper-V capability, but the Outlook index of new e-mails is probably helpful for anyone that presses control-e and searches within the Outlook client.


April 2015 – Renewed as SharePoint Server MVP

So today is 1 April.
Or April Fools Day.
It’s also the first day of the 2nd quarter of the calendar year as we’ve braved the cold weather of January, February and March in the Northern Virginia area.

The internet is full of shenanigan’s with things like the FitBit Tap or the Prank Pack Nap Sack or the Amazon Dash… though that last one actually is a real thing.

Similar in fashion, the @MVPAward twitter account reminded us all that while it’s April Fool’s day, they’re not kidding around.

So around 10:24 AM eastern time (at least that’s what the timestamp was), I received a buzz on my mobile. I looked down to see a toast that showed a subject line of “Congratulations 2015 Microsoft MVP!” and I smiled, opened the message and saw that I’d been awarded my 2nd MVP Award for SharePoint Server!


Dear Dan Usher,

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2015 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exception technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in SharePoint Server technical communities during the past year.

I returned to the work at hand, but now that I’ve had a little time to breathe, I thought I’d pop a quick note to say thank you to the MVP award program (they’re an incredible group!) for their support over the past year, as well as to others within the SharePoint, Office 365, Azure and Mobile Developer communities, as well as to my employer.

Nevertheless, I’m flattered, humbled and incredibly honored to be recognized by Microsoft. Last year was my first award and I was more or less speechless for the rest of the day. This being my second award, I still feel somewhat awestruck and humbled once more to be able to serve in the capacity that I’ve been able to this past year.

I look forward to this year, being able to continue to help in coordinating SharePoint Saturday Events in the DC area as well as helping in starting up other Meetups and User Groups in different Microsoft technology areas.

Thanks again to all!


Brewery.FM – Episode 9

It hit the presses early this morning with our Army of squirrels editing and mixing this episode after we gave it our best shot to cover all the exciting updates from this past week in the world of Azure, SharePoint, Office 365 and comic books. Check it out over at or subscribe to the podcast feed at