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The Best Productivity Book for Free

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"At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world." -- Satya Nadella We take productivity seriously at Microsoft. Ask any Softie. I never have a lack of things to do, or too much time in my day, and I can't ever make "too much" impact. To be super productive, I've had to learn hard-core prioritization techniques, extreme energy management, stakeholder management, time management, and a wealth of productivity hacks to produce better, faster results. We don’t learn these skills in school. 
But if we’re lucky, we learn from the right mentors and people all around us, how to bring out our best when we need it the most. Download the 30 Days of Getting Results Free eBook You can save years of pain for free: 30 Days of Getting Results Free eBook There’s always a gap between books you read and what you do in the real world. I wanted to bridge this gap. I wanted 30 Days of Getting Results to be raw and real to help...(Read whole news on source site)

Identity Management Features in Visual Studio 2015

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In Visual Studio 2015 we have made radical changes to sign in experiences and connecting to your online resources. You can now chose to use a single account across many developer services, or use multiple accounts across Visual Studio. All of this is possible because of the new Visual Studio Account Manager. The account manager makes every sign-in global to the IDE, reducing the number of times Visual Studio prompts for credentials when connecting to different services. The account manager also enables you to switch easily between multiple accounts, so that you no longer have any sign-out-then-sign-in-again flows in
the IDE. We have been fine-tuning these capabilities throughout the prereleases. We first introduced the new account management experience in Preview. Since then, we have added more features and moved more developer services to consistently leverage the account manager. In this post, we will cover all the identity experiences that are new in Visual Studio 2015. Single Sign On You can sign in to Visual Studio through the link in the upper right corner or from features like Server Explorer or the New Project dialog. Every time you sign in, Visual Studio adds an account to what we call the keychain,...(Read whole news on source site)

Creating an Universal App that Reads Your Heart Rates from Microsoft Band

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Microsoft Band is a wearable device form Microsoft, which has 10 inbuilt sensors which provides health related information about the wearer.  Microsoft Band SDK allows developers to access the sensors available on the band, and built our own application out of it. In this post you will see how to connect a windows app to Microsoft [...]

Airport Baggage Claims, Selective Consumers, and RabbitMQ Anti-Patterns

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One of the patterns found in the Enterprise Integration Patterns book covers the idea of a “selective consumer” – that is, a message consumer that uses some criteria to determine which messages it receives and processes, from a given channel (queue). Years ago, when I was first working with queueing in WebsphereMQ, I used this pattern to […]

Career planning: The age of least resistance

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On Sunday, there was a news program about how tough it is to find work after 40s. It was full of the usual stuff about employers only looking for young people who can work 30 hours days*, and freezing out anyone too old for their taste, etc. This is a real problem in many cases, and one that I find abhorrent. Not the least because I plan to have a long career in my chosen field, and I really don’t like the idea of having a certain age after which I should be shuffled off to do data entry tasks,
if that. Especially since that age seems not too far at all. Currently, the oldest person we have in a development role is over fifty, although most of our team is late twenties to mid thirties. So we reached out to one of them, asking to get a CV so we can look at that. And it took me very little time to realize why this person had a hard time finding a job. In particular, while the news program was about people who are unable to find a job, this particular person actually had a job. It just...(Read whole news on source site)

Profiling SQL Server in .NET

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The main tool for profiling SQL Server is, of course, SQL Server Profiler. You can, however, achieve more or less the same results using .NET, I'll show you how. First, you need to have assemblies Microsoft.SqlServer.ConnectionInfo and Microsoft.SqlServer.ConnectionInfoExtended at hand, which are normally found in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\120\SDK\Assemblies (for SQL Server 2014), if you installed the Shared Management Objects package from the SQL Server Feature Pack (again, this link is for SQL Server 2014, but there are feature packs for each version of SQL Server). Then, write something like this:
cursor: text; font-size: 8pt; border-top: silver 1px solid; font-family: 'Courier New', courier, monospace; border-right: silver 1px solid; width: 97.5%; border-bottom: silver 1px solid; padding-bottom: 4px; direction: ltr; text-align: left; padding-top: 4px; padding-left: 4px; margin: 20px 0px 10px; border-left: silver 1px solid; line-height: 12pt; padding-right: 4px; max-height: 200px; background-color: #f4f4f4">

There is no such thing as technical debt

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Originally posted on: Ward Cunningham coined the “technical debt” metaphor. It sounds plausible, it might resonate with management. But it’s far from reality. Let’s think about financial debt for a moment. How do you get indebted? With a financial debt it’s crystal clear when you get into it. You go to a bank and ask for money. That’s a very clear cut moment in your life. The amount of money you owe somebody is crystal clear to you and the creditor. How much you pay
for a credit is crystal clear to you and the creditor. If you want to get a loan of $10,000 you’ll have to pay back more than that depending on the interest rate and the time you’ll take for repayment. Financial debt comes with a very specific plan for how to pay it back, the payback schedule. The creditor is very keen on getting his money back including full interest payment. Martin Fowler saw the main problem with technical debt in its “crippling interest payments”: „The all...(Read whole news on source site)

Ingredients for well-designed OWIN middleware components - Part 4

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In my last post I talked about unit testing your OWIN pipeline and briefly mentioned that you shouldn't do any heavy lifting from inside your UseWhatever method. Examples of that include starting background tasks or connecting to other services (through that HttpMessageHandler). If you're lucky, those tasks can be initiated in a laziness fashion. For instance, your component could use the first incoming request as a trigger to start that thread. However, some components might want to start processing some data as early as possible just to make sure that data is ready when the first request comes in.
So how do you initiate those things instead?

Well, there's no real best practice, but what worked well for us is to return an object from the UseXXX extension method that implements IStartable and exposes a single asynchronous Start method.

    public class Startable : IStartable
        private readonly Func starterFunc;

        public Startable(Func starterFunc)
            this.starterFunc = starterFunc;

        public Task Start()
            return starterFunc();

Within your middleware extension method you can use it like this:

  public static IStartable UseMyComponent(this IAppBuilder appBuilder)
    // Add whatever nested middleware or WebAPI stuff you need...(Read whole news on source site)