In this edition: Becoming a conference speaker; Smart installation of Visual Studio 2015; The importance of advocacy and inquiry; Why DevOps doesn’t mean you have to be insecure; and all about async programming in C#.

Sharpen the Saw is a somewhat delayed repost of a semi-regular newsletter of information I publish for the professional development of software developers. While targeted primarily at developers working with the Microsoft technology stack, content will cover a wider range of topics.

To subscribe, send me an email and I’ll put you on the list. Membership is moderated.


How to Become a Conference Speaker

Ever wondered what it takes to become a conference speaker - the truth is that it’s actually pretty easy. As Sam Atkinson writes, it’s really easy to apply, and the worse that can happen is that they say no.

Find out more

Software and Updates

Visual Studio 15: Installing Just What You Need

It can take several hours for a full installation of Visual Studio to occur and the footprint of a can run to several gigabytes of disc space. If you don’t need all of the features, much of this space is effectively wasted - and who has surplus disc space to spare?

For the version 15 of Visual Studio (not to be confused with version 14, better known as Visual Studio 2015), Microsoft is working on a new installation process that promises to address both of those issues. The new installer uses toolset based profiles to install just the features required, saving disc space and promising a working installation in just a few minutes. The installer can also be used to modify an existing installation, adding new features as they are required.

Read more

Being Professional

Advocacy and Inquiry

If you want your organisation to change for the better, if you want your team to adopt new techniques that have been proven to work elsewhere, effective communication is key.

It turns out that real communication isn’t as easy as we’ve been told. Despite all the rhetoric telling us how communication should work, it turns out that we (as humans) share a pretty simple default communication style, one that has served us well as a species but not one that works for modern business.

Find out more

Staying Secure

Is DevOps Bad for Security?

As we (as an industry) have moved from annual “big bang” software releases to shorter iterations and more frequent releases, we’ve introduced automated testing, continuous integration and now continuous deployment. Some organisations, like Flickr, deploy to production a dozen times or more every day.

Does this push necessarily mean that we compromise on the reliability and security of our systems?

This article from DZone argues that no compromise is necessary - because the speed of process doesn’t come from cutting corners and skipping steps; it comes from being very highly controlled and extremely precise and disciplined.

Read more

Video of the Week

I’ll Get Back to You: Task, Await, and Asynchronous Methods in C# - Jeremy Clark

Watch this presentation from NDC London 2016 on the asynchronous support included in C# 6.0.

Watch now


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October 2017