It's that time of the year again for another year in review blog post! 2019 was a great year, and I continue to feel incredibly lucky to have landed in an industry that I see as a hobby; am very passionate about; pays well; and is full of such amazing people!
Early on in September, I was having a conversation on Twitter with Gregor Suttie, and he mentioned that he and Richard Hooper were planning an Azure Advent Calendar this year, and asked if I was interested in participating. The plan being for members of the Azure community to each create a video about a particular topic in Azure. Then they'd publish 3 videos per each day of December on the Azure Advent Calendar YouTube channel.
It's been a while since I've written a .NET Oxford blog post, choosing to replace the detailed blog posts with summarised "show notes" on the new .NET Oxford website (you can read about my reasons here). However, last month, we had an additional 'weekend' meetup with guest James Montemagno(!!) flying into the UK especially to talk at our little old' user group! So I thought this was definitely worth a blog post!
Apologies in advance, but this post is a little bit of a rant...
A couple of Sunday's ago was the last day of our family holiday. We'd hired a static caravan in Wales for the week, and other than busting my ankle at a trampoline park in Cardiff - it was a great holiday! And on that last day, it got a lot better! My wife Anna was at the beach with Jack (our eldest) and I was at the caravan with Mason (our 3-year-old). I checked my email on my phone, and saw that I had an email from Microsoft saying that I'd been awarded the Microsoft MVP award!!
Over two and half years ago, I wrote a blog post about starting .NET Oxford. I started it with good friend and ex-colleage, Matt Nield. Since then, .NET Oxford has grown to be a thriving community in Oxfordshire. We've had a wide variety of talks and speakers - ranging from famous names like Jon Skeet and Uncle Bob, to first-time speakers who have never been on stage before! And some of those first-time speakers might never have ever gotten on stage if it hadn't been for the .NET Oxford community! It's facts like this that really make starting a user-group worthwhile!
I recently wrote a blog post saying that I've decided to stop all the in-depth write-ups for each and every .NET Oxford meetup that we have. This was mainly due to the time it took to write them, and I now want to be able to spend that time writing content of my own choosing, rather than being restricted by our speakers' topics.
I'm starting writing this blog post on the train ride home from yet another amazing DDD event! This variant being DDD South West in Bristol! For those that haven't heard of DDD - there are various DDD conferences throughout the world - with quite a few in the UK. They are always free, and always on a Saturday. This means that it tends to attract developers who are genuinely passionate about software development, and more than happy to give up their weekend to be part of this awesome community.
For the past two years, I've written quite in-depth blog posts about each of our monthly .NET Oxford meetups. Whilst I enjoyed writing these at first - they do take up quite a lot of my time each month. Time that I'd now like to start using for other stuff - eg. writing blog post content of my own choosing rather than effectively someone else's topics. I also have a couple of startup ideas I'd like to have more time to focus on.
For this month's .NET Oxford, we were joined by Chris Bacon from Google for a fascinating talk about how to build a .NET runtime in C! Chris's talk was pure code all the way through (no slides whatsoever!), and even though it was quite a complicated topic, he did a fantastic job of explaining it - extremely clear - and surprisingly given the topic, very funny too!