In this issue from August 2017: how to test in production; announcing .Net 4.7; what does it mean to be done; the importance of keeping Windows Update turned on; a review of the original iPhone, ten years later; and, C# 7 with Mads Torgersen.

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.


Always a way to improve what you do every day.

Synthetic Monitoring

Synthetic Monitoring is the practice of running a known load against your production environment on a regular basis. This gives you a known baseline to use for monitoring and for triggering alerts.

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Software and Updates

A new or upgraded tool can be a beautiful thing.

Announcing the .NET Framework 4.7

The Windows 10 Creators Update included a new release of the .NET Framework, version 4.7, including a few new features and a whole host of performance and reliability improvements. This release is now available for other versions of Windows. Deployment is being staged over time, but it’s available now if you’re keen.

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Being Professional

A great developer does more than just write great code.

Definition of Done

What does it mean to say that a given piece of work is done? Such a simple question, but one that has a surprising variety of possible answers. Depending on who you are and what responsibilities you have, the answer can be very different.

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Staying Secure

Staying safe online and writing secure systems are both harder than we think.

Don’t tell people to turn off Windows Update, just don’t

One of the key lessons from the recent flurry of news around the WannaCry / Wcry / WannaCrypt ransomware attack is on the importance of ensuring all of your devices are set to automatically stay up to date with the latest security patches. If you are (like many of us) the go-to person for IT support for your friends and family, make sure their devices are set to automatically update as well. Windows machines that were up to date with their patches are immune to this particular attack.

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Everything you need to know about the WannaCry / Wcry / WannaCrypt ransomware

Security guru, blogger and PluralSight author Troy Hunt breaks down the recent WannaCry ransomware attack and explains the key details.

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Sometimes the answer is random.

10 Years Later: My Original (and Epic) Apple iPhone Review

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the release of the original iPhone, Paul Thurrott has reposted his original review. It makes for very interesting reading after ten years of the smartphone revolution.

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Video of the Week

Take some time to feed your mind.

Play C# 7 Features with Mads Torgersen

Mads Torgersen demonstrates many of the features of C# 7 by refactoring a Fibonacci series generator.

Watch now


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February 2018