May 7

Virtual Brown Bag Meetings

Just recently Claudio Lassala and George Mauer have resurrected their Virtual Brown Bag Meetings on Thursdays from 12-1 pm Central. I like to attend them because it gives me a look at what people are doing outside of the tech stack I usually play in or ideas for new ways to play with my current tech stack.

Claudio posted something about the last meeting on LinkedIn where he said something to the effect of "come get alittle better than you are now". To that end, I'd like to share a piece of info I learned in today's meeting: Advanced Distributed Systems Desing (Online Course) from Particular Software is now FREE for a limited time. If you haven't heard of Particular, you should know that Udi Dahan works there.

If you have time next Thursday between 12 and 1 come join the meeting!

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March 30

Azure Certifications 2020

So thanks to this COVID-19 stuff, I suddenly find myself with more time on my hands. In an effort to try not to waste this time, I've decided to start taking some Microsoft Azure certifications. I have already taken AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals. So the next step is gonna be AZ-204 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure which will give me an Azure Developer Associate certification. (Thanks for the idea Marianna!)

Oh, if you are looking for a senior .NET developer with Azure experience, let's talk and see if I can help you out.

August 4

Rebooting & Blogging

I had originally created this blog years ago and tried to get into blogging. I got a few posts up but then kind of lost interest when life started happening. So when I was recently and unexpectedly given an opportunity to "reboot" my career, I remembered some .NET Rocks! podcasts from the last year that addressed taking your carreer to the next level (Working on your Career with John Sonmez and Managing Your Career with John Sonmez). I decided to go check out his website to see what I could find that might help me. One of the things I found was his online 3 week blogging course. I wasn't terribly motivated to blog, but I know blogging would help me and I decided to give it a shot. There are no silver bullets with this, but the course gives you a path forward to building or re-building your blog as the case may be. It turns out that is exactly what I needed to get going.

If you are looking to start a blog or just find something to help jumpstart your blog, I would recommend checking out John Sonmez's Blog Course.

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December 28

How To Enable Windows Authentication When Using IISExpress

Back in early October, my employer temporarily assigned me to a project to replace an existing Access-based application. After initial meetings with the client, it was decided that an ASP.NET MVC 4 and SQL Server 2008 solution would be the best way to deliver what the client was looking for while also removing many of the rough edges from the legacy application. One thing I like about building intranet applications is that your client has standardized on a particular browser. In this case it is IE8+. Since the users of the web application will all be connected to the client’s Active Directory, we decided to use that for authentication. I would have liked to also manage roles/groups through AD as well, but that was shot down.

Fast forward to the end of December and my employer has hired a new resource to take over the work. The new resource downloads all the source code on to his freshly re-paved laptop, opens up Visual Studio 2012 and attempts to start the application. The code builds fine, the web browser pops up, and then an exception with the following message is thrown:

Trust relationship between the primary domain and trusted domain failed

By default, IISExpress has Windows Authentication turned off. To turn it on, we need to add the following code to the bottom of the “\My Documents\IISExpress\config\applicationhost.config” file.

   1:  <location path="MyWebsite">
   2:      <system.webServer>
   3:          <security>
   4:              <authentication>
   5:                  <anonymousAuthentication enabled="false" />
   6:                  <windowsAuthentication enabled="true" />
   7:              </authentication>
   8:          </security>
   9:      </system.webServer>
  10:  </location>

Now, you will need to change the path attribute on the location element to match the name of your website. In this case, my website’s URL is “http://localhost:5439/MyWebsite/”. Next you can tweak the authentication elements to work the way you need them to. In this case, I only want authenticated users to allowed access to the website.

Once these changes were made on the new resources laptop, he was up and running. This occupied some of my time the other day to figure out what was going on and this blog post is here to serve as a reminder to me and maybe other people who are having the same issue.

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June 24

New job, new computer, stupid proxy settings

I just changed jobs within my current company. I basically went from doing dev work for a few oil and gas companies to doing work for one energy company. It's always weird starting a new job. You may have an interview or two before you start, but you never know exactly what you are going to get until you accept it and jump in. The office is playing a giant game of "musical offices & cubes" while they are remodeling the building. I hear it will be very nice when it's done. Office space is at a premium right now and myself and another co-worker have been put into a computer lab/server room to work for now. It's pretty cool. We've got a bunch of hardware, a door we can close, and a great A/C system. If you live in Houston during the 90+ degree summers, you know how important it is to have a good A/C system. The problem is that the A/C is always on. If we close the door, we freeze. If we leave the door open, we can hear everyone talking on the phone, to each other, and the constant traffic outside the room. The guys that are talking the loudest have cubes side by side and they are around the corner. Guys, you are at about 10, we need you at about a 4 or 5.

So here I sit in the icebox with a hoodie on to keep warm. Got a brand new laptop that I've been working to setup with all the tools and stuff that I'll need to do my job here. It's a pretty decent laptop. With the exception of a smaller screen and keyboard, I'm happy with it. One of the most annoying things about carrying around the laptop is changing the proxy settings every time you go from the office to the house. For the occasional changes it's no big deal to click through all the settings to make the changes. If you are doing it twice a day, it's annoying as hell. I did some snooping around and found a Microsoft TechNet "Scripting Guy" article that helped me out. I created a couple vb scripts to enable and disable the proxy server and it's so nice to just double click the file to make the change. The next step would be to find a way for the script to detect what environment it is in (home or office) and change it automatically.

Here's the link for anyone else who needs it: How Can I Switch Between Using a Proxy Server and Not Using a Proxy Server?

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June 24

Hello World

Thanks for visiting my blog. This is my first shot at this kind of thing. If it's rough around the edges, please bear with me.

About Me

I'm a software developer for a large technology company in the Houston, Texas area. They contract me out to various companies in the Oil & Gas and Energy vertical markets. I prefer to work with the .NET Framework (ASP.NET mostly) and MS SQL Server, but I've been known to work on other things when the need arises.

"So what would you say, you do here?"

I've been doing the development thing for quite awhile now. There have been many times when I've had to go research how to do something. I've learned a lot from many different people out there on the web and now it's time to try to give some back to the community. I'll be blogging about some of the problems I come across and my approach to fixing them.

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