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Microsoft Ignite AU 2017 – A Recap

I have just returned from a 3,200km round trip to the Gold Coast to attend the yearly Microsoft Ignite conference (formerly known as Tech Ed). I had only done that drive once before, in the opposite direction, and this time I took the family along. Normally you would fly this distance, so it was a great opportunity to see a tiny bit of the enormous country I live in.

Route to Ignite

It is a long drive up there, but at least we had some great places to stop on the way. It took us two and a bit days to do the drive, but the breaks were just bearable.

Razorback

Enough about the journey. This is a recap of the return of Microsoft Ignite after more than a year off the events calendar. If you aren’t familiar with Microsoft Ignite Australia, it is the premier Australian Microsoft event of the year, traditionally held on the Gold Coast in Australia. It is of course a very corporate event, but it does showcase all the latest and greatest in the world of Microsoft. Most of the great Aussie speakers in the space are there and the content and quality is always top notch. I do enjoy going there. Continue Reading


Code Europe – Speaking about HoloLens in Poland

In December 2016 I was invited to speak on HoloLens development at a new conference, Code Europe, in Poland of all places. I have never been to Poland, and to be honest, initially I thought the first email was spam. But it wasn’t. I ended up doing 2 workshops and 4 talks in two cities in 3 days. It was a bit hectic. Before I go into details, check out this recap video from absolvent.pl, the company behind the event.

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Learning HoloLens Development

For the past year I have been doing a lot of talks, workshops and writing around the HoloLens device. I have travelled to Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Poland and lately England, as well locally around Australia to share my passion for the device and the development for it. Although the tooling continue to improve and change, the main paradigm and approach hasn’t changed. Mixed reality is still the same, but the interest for it (and other digital realities) is growing rapidly. Because I can’t be everywhere and only can attend so many conferences and events, I decided to turn some of my conference material into a Pluralsight course for all to consume. Continue Reading


Combatting Workplace Grumpiness – New Pluralsight Course

Throughout the last 20 years I have worked in any kind of job and workplace you can imagine. I have worked on products, worked as a consultant, worked on four different continents, had a desk, had no desk, been in an office, been in open space, in short; all kinds of workplace situations. I have worked with some of the smartest people I will ever meet, learned from amazing talent and great leaders. Yet, somehow every single place has had disgruntled employees, grumpy bosses and annoying rules and regulations. I have never found a place to work that had all the great things I have experienced, and none of the bad.

What is it about workplaces that make people so grumpy, and why are there so many of them (both people and workplaces)? Often you do run into idiots, but more often than not it is the little things that make a huge difference, for better or worse. Simple things like moving the coffee machine, a random act of kindness or leaving a handwritten note of thank you can make a huge difference to someones day. To explore more of how we can be much happier at work, I got an amazing opportunity to sit down with my good friend and overall amazing person Kylie Hunt, who herself is a Chief Happiness Officer. Isn’t that the coolest title ever? We talked about all things workplace happiness, grumpiness and how to have a much better experience at work, which was recorded by Pluralsight and turned into a Play By Play that you can watch today. So go on. Get happier.

Play By Play


Professional Mentoring – A New Service

A new dawn

A couple of months ago I gave probably my best talk ever. It was a totally non-tech talk and I delivered it at NDC Sydney to about 200 developers and geeks. It was a talk that was comprised of my life over the past 6 years and what I did to change it. It was an incredibly personal talk and it resonated with a very large amount of people. I gave the same talk again at DDD Perth, and again I had an amazing amount of feedback from people wanting to know more.  Continue Reading


Never Giving Up – When Life Gets in the Way (New Pluralsight Course)

I like to keep my life full of challenges, projects, experiences and never just settle. Those people that know me best have come to live with me never sitting still, never being content with the current state of things. I have achieved a lot of my goals, but I am still very much a work in progress. As you might have seen I have created courses, written articles and conducted webinars for Pluralsight for quite some time. While an article can be written in a relatively short space of time and you can fit it in with other tasks quite easily, a course is a different beast entirely. I have to script what I say, produce PowerPoint slides, write demos and then record everything. Unless you have a dedicated sound recording studio, getting clean sounds is really hard! I have birds, kids, washing machines, guests and 1000 other things being noisy and disruptive. So I tend to record from 10pm onwards.

About two years ago I had just completed two courses and I was ready to sign on for the next one. Despite the fact my son had just been born, moving house (huge move that ended up taking 6 weeks), starting a Bed & Breakfast, taking over a 50 acre property and changing jobs, I figured I would just take on another course contract. After all, how hard could it be? Answer: very. Continue Reading


The Force Awakens – Part of My Journey

I recently got to be part of the amazing NDC Sydney conference in it’s maiden form Down Under. I have been a more integral part of the event than previous NDC events, as I got to form part of the agenda committee, choosing sessions and creating the agenda for the conference. That isn’t to say that people on the agenda committee choose themselves, but rather we try to form the best possible agenda in terms of speakers, content and breadth of topics. If the committee fits into that and want to speak, great.

One of my submissions was a talk I have been mentally forming for the last 6-7 years. It is a extremely personal talk, but also a talk I believe could help a ton of developers in the community. It is a talk on my journey from being content, complacent and frankly, clueless, to being ambitious and always wanting to explore and try out ideas. I share as much as I can in terms of life decisions, tips for getting ahead of the competition and how to lead and empower your journey in life.

I have done the talk twice since NDC in Sydney and each time is slightly different, but all have been extremely well received. Below is the NDC Sydney recording of the talk and if you are interested in having me give the talk at your event, let me know. It is one of those talks that keeps giving and makes the world a little bit better.


Tech Tips for Lenovo

A couple of months ago, Lenovo in Australia asked if I was interested in creating some short tech tip videos aimed at consumer users. I have been doing things with Lenovo since about April (mainly because I bought the amazing Yoga 900 and was a bit loud about it), so I was keen to give more back to the community. Initially I came up with ideas that were way too technical and too nerdy. I didn’t quite get what non-geek consumers find useful, but after some conversation with Lenovo I came up with a list of 12 ideas, of which we agreed on producing 5 of those.

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet – Workhorse on the Go

A few months back I bought my Lenovo Yoga 900, after a long time of reading reviews, talking to people, evaluating ultra books and trying to make as informed a decision as possible. I was so wrapped with my choice that I kept telling people how good it is and a few people agreed (and consequently acquired one of their own). I still use the Yoga every single day and it is my number one machine for heavy duty work such as Visual Studio, Unity 3D, SQL Server and other development tooling I use regularly.

However, when Lenovo offered the ThinkPad X1 Tablet to me, I immediately saw a use outside that of the Yoga 900. In fact I was still using my original Microsoft Surface Pro, which had been my trusty second device for about 4 years, and the thought was the ThinkPad Tablet would replace that device very nicely.

Having used the tablet every day for the past three weeks, here are my thoughts (good and bad) on it.

Box

 

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Alpaka 7ven Messenger Bag – A Review

First Impression

I had known for a few weeks the 7ven messenger bag  from Alpaka Gear would arrive, but as it is still not in full production I had no idea exactly when the first batch was being produced. To be fair, I was a little bit excited when it arrived

 

I immediately transferred most of the content of my everyday bag into the 7ven messenger bag, and I have used it since. What are the good and bad features you might ask? Well, let me tell you….

 

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