Newsletter 004 - August 2023

Aug 31st 2023

Hi everyone! 👋 

Welcome to the August edition of my newsletter!

The observant amongst you might notice that it’s not actually August, and this edition is a week late! 😲 The reason is that we’ve just arrived back from a long-overdue holiday! 🏖️ It’s been many years since we’ve been on an abroad holiday in the sun, and decided to treat ourselves to an all-inclusive in Turkey! 🌞 And except for the many midge bites and catching a cold on the last day - it was amazing! If you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort, you should definitely check out Club Tuana in Fethiye - such an incredible place!

So I’m now all recharged and ready to create more content! In fact, now that I’ve finished the Docker course (see below) - I’ll be able to get back into my main content channels, and have a bunch of podcast episodes and YouTube videos planned too!

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)

Support me on Patreon! 🙏

I’ve been thinking about starting a Patreon for quite a while, and have finally set this up. I spend a lot of my free time doing community stuff with the podcast, YouTube channel, newsletter, .NET Oxford, etc - and it’s all come out of my own pocket so far, which isn’t very sustainable over the long term.

As a Patreon subscriber, you’ll not only be helping me continue to create content - but you’ll also get plenty of extras too! I’m still working out the details - but here are some current ideas…

  • Early access to podcast episodes

  • Additional podcast episodes - I’m thinking of doing a monthly members-only “news item” episode where I pick out current development hot topics, with my commentary and thoughts. This will only be available to Patreon supporters.

  • No ads on the podcast. I’m considering finding a sponsor for the podcast, which means the public feed will include ads (I’ll try and make them not too intrusive!). Patreon supporters will get ad-free episodes.

  • Access to any code I show on the YouTube channel

  • An optional mention on the show and in the newsletter (don’t worry - I won’t do so without your permission first)

  • A special “patreon-supporter” role in the podcast’s Discord, which’ll take you right to the top of the member list.

These are just some ideas. I’ll ongoingly be trying to go that extra mile for Patreon supporters. If you have any further ideas, please do let me know.

The Podcast 🎙

In the podcast this month, I was joined by Oren Eini to chat about database internals! Oren is the CEO and Founder of RavenDB, and to be honest, we didn’t really chat that much about RavenDB itself - but more about the programming problems around building a database. Oren certainly knows his stuff! 🤯

I also have three recordings planned in September. The first one will be with Marc Duiker to chat about Dapr. The second will be with Laila Bougria, where we’ll be chatting about NServiceBus. And the third will be with Jamie Taylor from the Modern .NET Show (formally the .NET Core Podcast).

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

Dometrain Docker course

I’m very pleased to say that I’ve now finished the first draft of my Docker course for Nick Chapsas’s Dometrain platform, and it’s now with him for review. I’m currently terrified that he’ll get back saying he doesn’t like it, and I have to start again! 😨🙈 I just hope that the next newsletter will be me mentioning that the course is live! 🙏

.NET Oxford

This month’s .NET Oxford meetup was another in-person event, where we were joined by Steve Gordon to talk about Elasticsearch. I’m afraid the audio on the recording wasn’t good enough to release. The lapel mic’s batteries went, so we were relying on the camera’s mic, but because we had lots of fans in the background (it was hot!), even trying Audition’s noise removal - the quality wasn’t worth publishing. He did do the same talk about NDC last year though, and that video can be found here:

Our next one will be a virtual event, where we’ll be joined by Bryan Hogan, the host of the No dogma podcast, and he’ll be talking about “Getting Started with Technical Blogging”.

YouTube Channel

I’m afraid, there were no YouTube videos in August! But now that I’ve finished the Docker course (unless Nick comes back with a mountain of change requests!), I’ll be back on this - and have plenty of ideas for videos I want to create too! 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…

  • The big Moq and Sponsorlink kerfuffle! - Wow, this one certainly blew up! Basically, the creator of Moq decided it would be a good idea to grab developer emails from local Git configs, and send them to a 3rd-party service called Sponsorlink. There was a huge upraw about privacy violations and GDPR. I can kindof understand this from an IDE or something like that - but not a nuget package! My take - move to NSubstitute - it’s better anyway. Also, try to mock as little as possible, and favor integration tests instead where you can.

  • Microsoft retiring Visual Studio for Mac! - Another one that has blown up a bit with this announcement. A bit annoying that they didn’t mention Rider in the list of alternatives! Rider is definitely my go-to IDE, and it’s cross-platform. JetBrains followed up with a 65% off Rider deal, which sadly will have run out by the time you read this. It’s worth a purchase anyway, as it’s best .NET IDE there is hands down!

  • Avalonia for VSCode (Public Preview) - I’ve never used Avalonia, but have only heard good things about it. I must really find time to have a play, and perhaps get someone on the podcast to chat about it! They’ve now opened up their VSCode extension as a public preview.

  • New Foundational C# Certification - freeCodeCamp and Microsoft have teamed up to create a new free C# certification which includes a full 35-hour C# training course hosted on Microsoft Learn.

  • - A nice website created by Tim Jones which is a list of notable people in the tech industry. And I’m honoured to be on the list!

  • Cool sticky scroll functionality built into vscode! - Whilst this isn’t new (last year I believe), I only just tried it after seeing this Tweet. I’ve been using it since, and it’s pretty nice!

  • Website with a list of .NET developers on Mastodon - This is actually not just .NET devs, but various different languages which you can filter down by. Very useful resource for finding your fellow developers on Mastodon!

Dev Comic pick of the month

One of my productivity tips is to get into the habit of writing a “note for next” at the end of the day. This is just brain-dumping a few paragraphs summarising where you’re up to and things you want reminding of. This makes a massive difference the next time you’re working (which could be the next day, or next week, etc) - allowing you to immediately hit the ground running. It’s amazing how much time gets lost by not doing this.

I saw this comic, and it made me laugh - reminding me of the days from before I started this habit. Thankfully it’s been a very long time since I’ve had that feeling!

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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