Newsletter 003 - July 2023

July 31st 2023

Hi everyone! 👋 

Hope you had a great July! For the observant amongst you, you may have noticed that this email is a day earlier than usual! Moving forward, I’m going to publish on the last day of the month, instead of the first day of the next month. It makes it clearer when I say “this month” what I’m referring to! 🙂

My month was busy as usual, but unfortunately, looking quite empty from a “published content” point of view (eg. the podcast and YouTube). I say “published”, because I created quite a bit of content for the Docker course - but that’s not yet ready to release. On the plus side - I’m getting more and more efficient at creating videos - so once this is done, the frequency of my YouTube videos should greatly increase! 😁

If I could ask everyone a huge favour, and help me promote this newsletter (or the podcast or YouTube) on social media - that would be amazing! 🙂🙏

And feel totally free to reply to this email and reach out. Or you can find me on the following socials…

(Discord is my preferred method for DMs)

A tribute to my Dad ❤️ 

I wasn’t sure whether to include this or not in this newsletter - but it also felt odd to talk about my month, and not mention it.

As I write this, it’s been a year today since I lost my Dad to a very rapid and aggressive cancer. We’ve come up north for the weekend to spend time with my mum and brother, and will later be going on what we’ve called “Dad’s walk”, which is where he used to love to walk and run through the hills, and where we spread his ashes. We’ll then be going to a pub after the walk - he would most certainly approve! 🍺

He was an amazing person, and I couldn’t have asked for a better Dad. Deeply missed by all that knew him, and ALWAYS in our memories x

(my wife and youngest are in that picture with him there)

The Podcast 🎙

Sadly, no episodes this month, as I’ve been taking a podcast break to focus on the Docker course.

I was due to record with Oren Eini to chat about database internals. He’s the CEO and Founder of RavenDB. We had to postpone that to next week instead, so that’ll be the next episode out.

I’ll also be recording an episode with Laila Bougria in September, where we’ll be chatting about NServiceBus.

Another episode I’d like to fit in is another one of my solo “Demystified” series - this time focusing on Git. The last in the series, was Docker Demystified.

Remember to click subscribe in your favourite podcast app. The links can be found on the podcast website.

Also, remember that we have a Discord community for the podcast!…
👉 Podcast Discord

MVP Award Renewal!

I was also greatly honoured to have my Microsoft MVP Award renewed for a 5th year! 🥳 I was first awarded in 2019 - which I guess is technically 4 years, but it’ll be the 5th award due to timings 🤷‍♂️

I wrote a blog post about it when I first got awarded. It’s funny thinking back to when I first got that email through when I was on holiday, and the only person with me at the time was my youngest who got excited with me, but didn’t understand why! 😂 (see the first two paragraphs of that blog post).

Audio update

Following on from the audio woes I talked about in the last newsletter - I spent quite a bit of time trying to work out what the issue was - sadly to no avail. I’ve pretty much given up now - for all I know, it could be interference from a neighbour’s hardware! I mentioned this to a colleague, and he sent me an article about an old telly that brought down a Welsh village's broadband! Amazing what other people’s dodgy hardware can do!

So I’m basically going to try to fix the issue during editing. Doing more background removal, and chopping out that 4khz range. A bit of a pain - but I’ve spent too much time on this to waste any more time. If you do hear weird audio artefacts in future episodes, please do let me know - as I can’t hear them. I did take a hearing test last week - which showed there’s a range of frequencies I can’t hear. So I’m dependent on both the Audition spectral frequency display, and also people telling me when there are issues (so please do if you spot them).

Tooth woes! 🦷

Whilst the last issue’s “drama” resolved around my audio woes - this time, we’re talking excruciating teeth pain! 🦷😧 About a week of agonising referred pain in various teeth, to which a full mouth x-ray revealed nothing! The dentist even said he didn’t think it was a tooth issue, and to go and see a doctor. Obviously very worrying. And given what happened to my Dad, it’s easy to start worrying about worst-case scenarios! I also wasn’t sleeping because of the pain. Then a couple of Sundays ago, a particular tooth that hadn’t given me any issues before, suddenly got really sore. Went back to the dentist, he took out a filling in that tooth to check, and immediately said “I think we’ve found your problem!”. He removed the filling, and cleaned it up inside - and it was like magic! 🥳 All referred pain disappeared! Even sensitivity to cold drinks that I’ve had for ages, vanished! Amazing how one tooth that I hadn’t even known there was an issue with could cause so many referred issues!

Let’s hope there’s no “woes” section next month! 😂

Dometrain Docker course

The Dometrain Docker course I’m creating is also progressing nicely - with just a few sections left before handing it over to Nick for review (which will be rather nerve wrecking! 😨). Hopefully in the next newsletter issue - I’ll be giving an update saying it’s now complete! 🙏 

.NET Oxford

This month’s .NET Oxford meetup was another in-person event, where we were joined by Chris Simon from Australia for a talk on the VSCode extension he’s been working on called Contextive. It was an interactive session, where with audience participation, he added functionality to the extension. It’s written in F#, which was really fun to see.

Sadly, it wasn’t recorded, due to OBS’s failure to record across virtual desktops (even though it worked in our test-run beforehand!). Here’s a link to a virtual recording from where Chris did this talk at another meetup.

Our August meetup will be another in-person meetup, where we’ll be joined by Steve Gordon who’ll be talking about Elasticsearch.

YouTube Channel

I’m afraid, no YouTube videos this month! Once I’ve finished the Docker course, I’ll be back on this, and have some ideas for videos I want to create. To be notified as I create them (and also support the channel), please remember to click subscribe and that notification bell icon 🔔🙂🙏

News items and dev picks

Here are my dev picks this month…

Dev Comic pick of the month

I saw this comic ages ago, but recently saw it posted again on LinkedIn by Jason Haffey (link)…

I work from home, and have now printed this off and put it on my office door to remind my wife and kids that a quick “1-minute conversation” costs me a lot more time than that 1 minute! 🙂 

Note the podcast sign that my eldest made for me a couple of years ago (without me knowing he was even doing it! 😂).

Please help me share this newsletter 🙏

If you’ve made it this far into the newsletter - I’m hoping that means you’ve
both enjoyed it and found it useful. If you can help me out and share with your developer friends at work and on social media, that would be amazing!

Again - feel totally free to reach out to me, and let me know your thoughts on the newsletter. And see you back in your inbox next month for the next edition! 👋

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