Mike Benkovich is a former Microsoft evangelist who has
spent his career helping developers explore and apply new
technologies to solving information challenges.
His website www.benkotips.com provides developers with resources
to get started and work with technologies including cloud,
data and devices. Follow him on twitter @mbenko.
TechMasters After Dark and the Technical Interview
Posted 2/9/2019 by Mike
Do you ever have “unexpected time” on your hands? Need to brush up your job interviewing skills? Want to know more about the technical talent market in the Twin Cities? TechMasters After Dark – Job Interviewing Skills, is a free workshop delivering job interviewing strategies, interviewing tips, and Q&A with a panel of recruiters. The audience has the opportunity to practice with group exercises called Table Topics. Join us Thursday, Feb 21, doors open at 5:30 pm at Improving's MN office at 3600 American Blvd, #115. We have a slate of experts and a panel of recruiters who will answer your questions about how they ask questions.
This year at Build 2018 - Azure for Enterprise Developers
Posted 5/5/2018 by Mike
At this year's Microsoft BUILD Conference I was able to get a couple sessions to talk about the Enterprise Developer's journey to the Cloud. The sessions will be on Monday at 5:00 pm and Tuesday at 5:00 pm in Theater 4 on the Expo Hall Theater 4.
In it I'm going to share some exciting advancements in the tools we use every day to create great software, but especially the features that make those applications cloud aware! Not only can you create an publish to Azure but now you can also work with the settings and create templates to use for future deployments as well. The new Resource Group project enables the creation of complex infrastructure deployments that include not just the web hosting services but also analytics and monitoring capabilities as well as alerts when things go wrong.
If you're at Build stop by and let's chat about how you can make your team not just cloud aware, but Ready for the Enterprise Cloud! If you can't make it, I'm basing the talk on some course I'm developing for LinkedIn Learning called Azure for the Enterprise Developer. You can check those out online, they include:
Outside of that, I'll be hanging out at Build and tweeting about what's new and getting ready for the next roadshow. See you on the road!
Deploying a Shared Dashboard in Azure
Posted 4/25/2018 by Mike
Getting an application operational depends on making sure that it can run after the developer has left the room. In the enterprise we have teams of people of focus on that and will go to great lengths to make sure the team that runs the application that was built is solid and predictable. One of the challenges with the cloud is getting an operations team that has been trained to be cloud experts.
To alleviate that problem, Azure supports the dashboard you see in http://portal.azure.com as a shareable resource just like any other service you provision. You can create and customize dashboards by using the portal and pinning tiles that are relevant to your application. When you publish the dashboard you can share it with other teams that have access to Azure, including the operations team.
That is why I created a starter dashboard ARM template you can use to make your deployments more operational. It includes a couple tiles, including a resource group tile and a markdown tile with some instructions on how to customize and share the dashboard with others on your team.
Click the link below to provision it from the Azure portal. I’ve got a pull request to add it to the azure starter template library but until then you can get it from a storage account I’ve uploaded it to. Click the link below to deploy a starter dashboard to your Azure subscription for resource group.
A picture is worth a thousand words and in the same way deploying a complex infrastructure with a thousand words takes a special skill to be able to do that. Wouldn’t it be great if we could deploy the picture instead? In the time I’ve been working with and evangelizing Azure since before it was publicly released, I’ve seen a lot of changes and ten years is a long time in the cloud! In 2014 Microsoft introduced the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) which provides a powerful way to orchestrate the creation of services in the cloud. They also introduced ARM templates, which is like a markup language that provides a picture instead of code. I’m working on a series of courses with LinkedIn Learning that share the journey of going to the cloud for the modern enterprise. We explore the path and the tools for going from being just cloud aware (it runs in the cloud) to being optimized, invested and finally ready for the enterprise.
This is a work in progress, but links to the first few courses are below. I’ll update the list as more are ready!
How to record a UI Test on Android with Xamarin tools
Posted 7/10/2017 by Mike
I had a question today about how the recorder works for with the Xamarin Tools in Visual Studio 2017. I’ve had mixed success with getting it to work, so I thought I’d document the steps that make it work. The trick is you need to be running a version of the APK that is not using the shared runtime (a default when you do a debug build). For that reason I use the release build to record the test. Here’s the basic flow:
1. Create new cross platform project with the blank template 2. Build & run it on my device (first in debug but then again in release) 3. add the UI Test project to the solution 4. In the Android project show all files and navigate to the bin/release folder and copy the path 5. In the Test.cs file at the top of the class near the [TestFixture(Platform.Android)] line click on record new test and then select the APK - make sure to put in the path of the signed release version of the apk 6. Wait until you notice the app running on the device 7. When you tap the screen, swipe left or right you'll see the [Test] method NewTest() gets new code added to it.
Re-BUILD 2017, bringing the best of BUILD conference to cities near you
Posted 5/14/2017 by Mike
The “re-BUILD 2017 Roadshow” brings the best of the Build conference to cities across the US. A half day developer focused event in partnership with User Groups and Microsoft Partners will deliver a half day msdn-event style experience. There will be 3 sessions on Build Highlights, Going Serverless with Azure Functions, and Mobile Center, the next generation of HockeyApp. A HackFest over lunch will cover ad-hoc topics by community leaders and MVP’s to share their favorite thing from Build.
The schedule typically includes:
Build 2017 Productivity Features you never knew you had
Going Serverless with Azure Functions
Exploring Mobile Center
Pizza and Hackfest
The scheduled cities are listed below with more coming soon!