In the past couple of months I’ve had the joy/pain/challenge of working with Windows Azure on a few different projects and I’ve managed to rack up both experience and bills for nearly every service. While Microsoft’s cloud might look bright and fluffy from safe in your on-premise data center, when flying around up here at 30,000 feet the ride can be a bit bumpy. So here are my Top 5 Windows Azure annoyances.
- Free doesn’t mean freedom. Microsoft has been great about offering trials of their cloud services to developers via MSDN, conference participation, or just clicking on the right link at the right times. But that free 3-month trial doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to chalk up a 25% reduction in your datacenter costs. There are limits to the service usage, such as only being able to create small VMs to bandwidth restrictions. Most of these limits are spelled out fairly clearly when you sign up, while others you may just find by stumbling across them. The problem with this method of reaching your limit is that once its hit, you’re basically done. One of my Azure VM based projects hit a bandwidth limit on the free account and so the account got disabled the night before the demo to our customers. We created a Pay-as-you-go account but found that we couldn’t move the VMs to that subscription. Instead we had to download the VHD blobs from the Azure Storage account on the free subscription, upload them to the PAYG subscription and then rebuild the disks and VMs. To Microsoft’s credit, once the VHD images were uploaded, the VMs and networks were rebuilt in about an hour. But those uploads took more than 8 hours for 120G. Continue reading
Today marks the first day of the Google I/O conference in San Francisco and as with any significant conference, the opening keynotes included a flurry of product and feature announcements. Here is a quick rundown of the developer specific announcements made thus far.
Android Adoption – Developers looking to build applications for large audiences need look no further than Android. Today Google announced that Android activations have passed 900 million. They also showed that over 48 billion, with a “B”, apps have been installed to date. Revenue per user has increased two and a half times what it was just a year ago.
Android Studio – Perhaps one of the biggest announcement for Android developers is the launch of a new Integrated Development Environment called Android Studio. Google chose to build this environment not on Eclipse but on IntelliJ IDEA and is currently available as an Early Access Preview. The new IDE will include WYSIWYG designers for rapid prototyping of apps and direct debugging integration with the numerous emulators available. Other features include:
Microsoft has loosened it’s conference belt a few holes and is making room for more participants at this year’s Build conference. Tickets for the conference originally sold out in under 3 hours leaving more than a few would be attendees out in the cold. Tickets go on sale at 9am PDT on Wednesday May 15, i.e. tomorrow morning.
While Windows “Blue”, now officially named Windows 8.1 will certainly be the key topic of discussion at this year’s conference, there will most likely be other revelations on the Windows Phone front in time to coincide with the recent announcements of new flagship Windows 8 Phone based devices from Nokia. And while its little more than hopeful whisperings, hopes are high that Microsoft will also unveil new Surface hardware including the recently announced 7″ version.
The timing of the release of these new tickets may be completely coincidental, but it just happens to start as the keynote at the Google I/O Developer’s conference kicks off. Or maybe it’s not coincidence. In any case, if you missed out on your first chance this could be your last shot so grab them while you can.
.NET Rocks!, a popular internet talk show for .NET developers, sat down with Lynn Langit and Llewellyn Falco to talk about how developers can teach their kids to program. On the show, Lynn and Llewellyn discussed their teaching methodologies, their recently released Pluralsight course, Teaching Kids Programming, and their not-for-profit company of the same name.
You can listen to the podcast on the .NET Rocks! website, and check out Lynn and Llewellyn’s Teaching Kids Programming course in our library for free.
Microsoft’s latest Windows 8 release, not-so-secretly code named “Blue”, will be unveiled to the public in June at the Build conference in San Francisco. The final version is expected to be generally available by the end of the year. The feature set for this release has been slowly leaking over the past several weeks and is rumored to include a return of the Start button, Internet Explorer 11, and more options for viewing multiple applications at once.
The announcement came from the new Corporate VP of Windows Julie Larson-Green at the Wired Business Conference in New York. Microsoft Windows 8 recently surpassed the 100 million license mark putting it on par with the more critically popular Windows 7 version at this point in its launch cycle. It’s unclear why the overall analyst positions seem to be unfavorable for Windows 8 while the numbers from Microsoft seem to show something different.
Over the past several years, Pluralsight has been making huge strides in India. During our recent visit last month for TechEd India, we had a chance to interview some of the local attendees and well-known MVPs about the online education revolution happening in India.
Last week we asked you what the last thing you bought for $29. Some of our authors are still trying to remember…
Thank you to our authors for being a part of this video, and our Editor in Chief, Fritz Onion.
Authors you may spot in this video include:
Recently I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be a guest on the Herding Code podcast and the Channel 9 Web Camps TV video series to discuss SPA.
Herding Code Podcast
The episode of the Herding Code podcast was hosted by Jon Galloway, K Scott Allen and Scott Koon. We sat down together, along with my friend Ward Bell, and we discussed the state of SPA today and the new Visual Studio templates. It was a very casual conversation between the 5 of us discussing a SPA from many angles. It’s a good listen for anyone who may share some of the same questions we posed and tried to answer in the podcast. You can download the podcast directly or listen to the podcast here or read the show’s notes (which are very detailed).
Have you ever heard about or attended a Pluralsight Study Group? If you’re new to the concept, Pluralsight provides a subscription for a study group that can be used to access Pluralsight’s entire content library. Study group leaders then organize meetings where a group of people get together and watch and discuss courses over a span of several weeks depending on the course.
I had the opportunity to visit the New York Pluralsight Study Group while on a business trip and was really impressed with how interactive the group was. Instead of having people sitting around listening to a speaker present, asking a question every now and then and then wrapping things up, the NYC study group reviewed a portion of a course, paused the video, and then interacted with each other to discuss the code, how it could be used, and more. It was a different approach that really opened my eyes to how interactive a group can be when you can completely pause the content to discuss it more in-depth. Here’s the group I met while in NYC – it was a lot of fun!
In addition to watching a course I presented a few concepts and had a lot of fun meeting the different people. Additional study groups are springing up all around the world now in Sweden, NYC, Philadelphia, Ohio, Manila, Bangalore, Odessa and many other locations.
While at the Pluralsight Author Summit earlier this year I had the opportunity to interview Steve Woolley who’s the Director of Marketing at Pluralsight and talk about what a Pluralsight Study Group is, how Pluralsight helps, and how to get going if you’re interested in starting a study group in your area. If you’ve ever run a user group before and struggled to find speakers month after month then you’ll definitely want to check out the study group option since you’ll never have to find another speaker again! It’s definitely a different approach to the standard user group meeting that can be really interactive. If you’re interested in starting a study group watch the interview below and visit http://pluralsight.com/training/Community/Sponsorships for more details.
Microsoft has just released the latest update to Visual Studio 2012. This release includes even more Kanban support, Blend support for Windows Store, Windows Phone, WPF, and other great developer features. Also added is more SharePoint 15 support and the return of the official “Blue” theme.
Now with VS2012.2, support for quality enablement is taken even further. This update introduces web-based access to the Test Case Management tools in TFS such that users can now author, edit, and execute test cases through the web portal. It also includes the ability to profile unit tests (with results across both the unit tests and the code under test surfaced through a single report), improved unit testing support for both asynchronous code and for interactions with the UI, unit testing support for Windows Phone 8 apps, unit test playlists that enable a subset of tests to be managed together, significant improvements around testing for SharePoint 2013 (web and load testing, unit testing with emulators, coded UI support, and IntelliTrace support), and more. – S. Somesegar’s Blog