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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.



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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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NDC Sydney and Get a 1-on-1 HoloLens Demo

HoloLens Developer Kit

I have been very fortunate to present at the best developer conference around, NDC, in both Oslo and London. It is an event that has an atmosphere and a lineup of amazing speakers unlike almost anywhere else. I can’t say enough positive about this event, and now it is coming to Sydney, Australia for the first time. Bringing the event down under will allow a lot more Aussies to attend, and not just have to settle with the recorded videos after the event. It is an opportunity to learn from the best and to mingle with speakers and attendees alike.

In the last couple of months I have been giving talks on introducing HoloLens to developers. I will be doing the same in Sydney, as well as giving a talk of being a better developer, but this time I have a little more in the goody bag.

I am very excited to share that if you are serious about HoloLens and have plans for developing a holographic experience, I can arrange a very limited number of 1 on 1 sessions with a real HoloLens device during NDC 1-5 August 2016. The demos will take place in Sydney, very close to the NDC venue. As I am sure you can appreciate, these devices aren’t available to the general public yet, so you need to outline your project to me in some detail. To be considered, please send me an email or DM me on Twitter with the following info:

  • Your name and name of company
  • Project title
  • Project abstract
  • Project timeline
  • Probability this will be a real project with funding and support

Also if you are interested in attending NDC Sydney, let me know and I will put you in touch with the people behind the scenes.

Please share this liberally.

10 Tips to Becoming a Better Public Speaker


I have been doing a lot of public speaking over the last few years. I enjoy talking to people and both teaching and being taught. I have done small user group talks and very large conference talks and I enjoy them all. Once in a while I have a fellow geek come up to me and ask how he or she can also be a public speaker and if I have any tips for them. I am always happy to share and improve the overall pool of speakers and the quality of them. So if my tips are helpful, all the better. I decided to finally write down the 10 best ones and most asked, so at least everybody can benefit and share. Continue Reading

Developing Holographically with HoloLens SDK


I have just delivered a talk  at Techorama in Belgium (awesome conference btw) on the HoloLens development experience. It is still very very early days for the technology and for the developing experience as well. As I don’t have a physical HoloLens device (yet) I did the talk using the HoloLens emulator and the tooling that is available now.

Because the topic is so new and fresh, my demo was using the Origami collection as per Microsoft’s tutorials so that attendees could go straight out and start playing with it. And speaking of that, I promised the audience I would post links to the necessary tooling, so here it is:

And that is it. You can now build Holograms for the HoloLens. I would recommend starting with the Holograms 100 tutorial or the Holograms 101E for starting to use the origami collection with the emulator. And of course all of the tooling is completely free.

If you have any questions around any of this, leave me a comment or ping me on the twitters.

Lenovo Yoga 900 – A Truly Mobile Workhorse

I am not a hardware guy. I appreciated a great graphics card when I played games on a regular basis, but with an Xbox One and PlayStation 3, this need quickly went away. As long as the machine will do the job and let me use Visual Studio, Chrome, Camtasia, Snagit, video editing software and other developer tools I am happy. I was using my “Dellasaurus”, a 6 year old Dell XPS 1645, which was top of the line when it came out. I even bought it secondhand of a good friend when he upgraded and I still used it for about 2.5 years. However, in the last couple of years I have been travelling a lot, presenting at various conferences and combined with being a freelance consultant I carry my laptop around everywhere. And the Dell was heavy! It was also starting to slow down considerably and I was constantly running out of storage. It was time to upgrade my mobile office.

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