Speaking at DevConnections 2013

August 26, 2013



If you’ve read my post from last week, you know that I went off the grid for 8 months, mostly because I was working on authoring yet another course for Microsoft (20487 – Developing Windows Azure and Web Services), but also partially because of my new baby boy, who made sure my laptop stays closed when I’m at home. Now that my baby is a couple of months old, I can start my conference rotation for 2013, starting with DevConnections.

Speaking at DevConnections is going to be a great experience for me, for several reasons:

1. It’s my first out-of-the-country conference for 2013.

2. It’s my first time speaking in DevConnections.

3. I’m going to have four (!!) sessions and a workshop, which makes me the most-often appearing speaker at the conference. How’s that for stressful?

4. It’s the first time I’ll be doing a workshop in such a conference (don’t get me wrong on this, I’ve trained courses for several years in Israel and abroad, and had workshops in local conferences in Israel, but still, doing a 1-day workshop in a big conference in the US is a bit challenging).

So what will you learn if you attend my sessions? Let’s see.

ASP.NET Web API and HTTP Fundamentals (Pre-conference workshop, Monday)

The purpose of this workshop is twofold: going over the fundamentals of HTTP, and learning how to apply these concepts with ASP.NET Web API.

Isn’t HTTP something every developer knows of? You have request and response, GET and POST, what else is there to know? Well, you’ll be surprised: status codes, verbs, content negotiation, caching, compression, concurrency, security, streaming, and connectivity. We’ll also learn how Windows handles HTTP communication, how you can configure HTTP with IIS, and how to debug your HTTP communication with Fiddler.

As I mentioned, the purpose of the workshop is twofold – and the best way to learn about HTTP is to implement HTTP-based services with ASP.NET Web API. During the workshop we’ll learn how to use ASP.NET Web API to create services, how to configure routing templates, how to handle response headers, content negotiation with Media Type Formatters, validation and exception handling with action filters, request manipulation and security with delegating handlers, and more. We’ll also learn how to create OData services to better handle our data, and how to consume services from .NET applications and JavaScript, using jQuery.

Why should you attend this workshop? because I believe you cannot learn how to use ASP.NET Web API without first understanding the capabilities of HTTP.

If you need to convince your boss why you should attend this workshop, maybe these two facts can come in handy:

1. Registering to the workshop is cheaper than a 3-day ASP.NET Web API course, but you’ll get all your essentials and more in this 1-day workshop.

2. The workshop is delivered by a Microsoft MVP, the author of Microsoft’s official ASP.NET Web API course (20487B – developing Windows Azure and Web Services).


Automating Windows Azure from the Command Line (75-minute session. Tuesday, 10:00 AM)

I have nothing against the Windows Azure Management Portal, it has a slick UI, it’s easy to use, informative, and enables you to do most of what you need. But let’s face it – when you need to create a virtual network with five VMs, configure each VM, deploy your application to it, and repeat this for each of your customers, you don’t use the portal.

Luckily, the Windows Azure Service Management has various HTTP APIs for you to use, and even better than that, those APIs are accessible through PowerShell cmdlets, and cross-platform CLI (Command-Line Interface) tools you can use on Linux, Mac, and Windows.

In this session, we will understand the process of automating Windows Azure operations, and see how to use the PowerShell cmdlets and the Windows Azure CLI to accomplish automation tasks, such as creating virtual networks, virtual machines, web sites, and cloud services.

Why should you come to this session? Simple, you’ll get lots of script examples you can take back to the office.


Debugging the Web with Fiddler (75-minute session. Tuesday, 2:30PM)

Well, where should I begin?! Answer this simple question – do you develop Web applications? Web services (ASMX/WCF/WebAPI)? Desktop apps that consume services over HTTP? If you answered yes to one or more questions, then you need to know how to use Fiddler.

Most people think of Fiddler as an HTTP sniffing tool, but the truth is that fiddler is a lot more than that. Fiddler is a Web debugging tool. We use it to debug both our client-side and server-side code, to better test our application, to improve the performance of our code, and support our customers when they face network errors.

In this session, we will learn how to use the different features of Fiddler to accomplish those tasks. If everyone leave this session wanting to install Fiddler, it means I did my part.

Why should you come to this session? If you don’t know what Fiddler is, or only heard of it, you have no other choice. If you do know how to use Fiddler, come to the session, maybe (probably) you’ll learn something new.


Caching in Azure: There’s More to That Than Azure Caching (75-minute session. Tuesday, 4:15PM)

Caching, especially distributed caching, is part of every scalable application architecture. You can’t build large applications today without taking some of the load off your database, and placing your common and intermediate data in the cache.

So which cache solution to use? NCache? Memcached? Redis? there seems to be so many solutions for on-premises environments. But what about the cloud? it seems that Windows Azure only has Windows Azure Caching, or does it?

The fact is you can use almost any caching solution in Windows Azure, you just need to know how to deploy it, and the meaning of running it in a cloud environment.

In this session, we will see how to use the built-in caching services offered by Windows Azure, as well as some other known caching solutions, such as Memcached and Couchbase. We will discuss the pros and cons of each solution and understand the caveats of hosting a cache in the cloud.

Why should you come to this session? where else would you get a feature comparison, performance benchmark, and specific deployment instructions for various caching solutions, which you can take back to your boss? Did I mention I’m also providing the code samples and deployment scripts?


IIS For Developers (75-minute session. Wednesday, 2:30PM)

This is my last session in the conference, but it’s also one of my favorites. I’ve been training developers and IT Pros on IIS for several years now, and I came to realize that many developers see IIS as a black box – you put your application in it, and it just works. Not many people actually know how IIS works, and how you can use it to better host and debug your Web applications.

In this session, we will go over the IIS Integrated pipeline to understand how it works, check some of the features of IIS , such as caching, URL rewrite, and application initialization, and go over the applications pool settings to better understand how those settings can help us cope with buggy web apps. We will also check the logging and tracing features of IIS, which can help us debug and analyze our applications.

So why should you come to this session? because purchasing a ticket to the conference, flying to Vegas, and sitting awake in my session after a big lunch, is a whole lot easier than asking your IT to teach you all those stuff about IIS Smile.


If you haven’t registered to the conference yet, hurry up and register at http://www.devconnections.com/register

See you at the conference!

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