June Meeting: Better Background Tasks using Serverless Functions and SignalR

Join Signature Consultants and us on Tuesday, June 25th, at 6:00 PM in the Redwood Conference Room of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Web applications commonly need to run background tasks. The problem is that we want to run them outside of the web application while still providing feedback about their execution. Using a combination of serverless functions for processing and SignalR for communication, we can build web applications that can reliably run complex tasks while still providing real-time feedback to the user. This session will introduce both serverless functions and SignalR, and we will show how you can create a simple framework for your background tasks to use in all cloud providers.

The meeting presenter is Chris Dix.

Chris Dix is the CEO and Chief Developer at Thoughtpost. Chris has over 20 years of software development experience and has partnered with several MSPs to develop custom Connectwise integrations. A former Microsoft MVP, Chris has contributed to books and articles and spoken at many national industry conferences. At Thoughtpost, Chris leads the development of their messaging platform for MSPs, which provides deep integration support for Connectwise, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.

The meeting sponsor is Signature Consultants.

Signature Consultants started in 1997 with a singular focus: Provide our clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. At Signature Consultants, it’s not just about the bottom line; it’s about the people. We focus on the relationships we have with our clients, consultants, and candidates. Our motto, “Getting IT Right,” is reflected in every aspect of our company – it guides our decisions and actions and ensures that our consultants and clients always come first. As a result of these efforts, Signature has been recognized as one of the best staffing companies to work (over the last seven years by Staffing Analyst International). Learn more at www.sigconsult.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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May Meeting: Strategies for Handling Big Data with Cosmos DB

Join Pinnacle Solutions Group and us on Tuesday, May 28th, at 6:00 PM in the Redwood Conference Room of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. How do you best ingest large amounts of data? In this presentation, Aaron will review some of the steps Collins Aerospace undertook to build a large scale, mostly serverless data ingestion system using a globally distributed, multi-model database service. The general model is expandable to all cloud providers.

More specifically, we will dig into these elements of the journey:

  • NoSQL vs. SQL Thinking
  • CAP Theorem and Working with Consistency
  • Managing RUs and Cost
  • Scaling and Global Replication
  • Indexing and Partition Key Selection
  • Querying using SQL-API

The meeting presenter is Aaron Rowan.

Aaron has been writing code and involved in tech since he was working on his Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer 2. Early in his career, he worked with energy usage monitoring and data collection for manufacturing. Today, he is collecting and analyzing data from commercial aircraft for preventive maintenance. (https://utcaerospacesystems.com/aftermarket-services/flightsense/)

He lives in Huntersville with his Wife and 4-year-old daughter. For an interesting conversation, you should ask him about mentoring the FIRST Robotics State Title Winning team.

The meeting sponsor is Pinnacle Solutions Group.

Pinnacle Solutions Group is an IT consulting services firm specializing in Business Intelligence, Mobile Solutions, E-Business Solutions, and custom solutions, providing IT services for companies in the Charlotte and Cincinnati regions. Pinnacle Solutions Group is an IT consulting firm comprised of seasoned and exceptional IT consulting professionals with the business acumen to communicate across levels of management as well as the technical experience to design and implement technical solutions that meet specific business needs. We build partnerships with our clients through integrity, honesty, and service. In essence, we are focused on providing the type of value for a business partnership that the Charlotte and Cincinnati IT market demands. Learn more at www.pinnsg.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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April Meeting: Progressive Web Apps

Join Gravity IT Resources and us on Tuesday, April 23rd, at 6:00 PM in the Redwood Conference Room of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Progressive Web Applications (PWA) challenges us to reimagine what a web app is, and it’s capabilities. In this talk we will cover the what, why, and how of PWAs. We will take a look at some popular PWAs and see how innovators are using PWAs to address complex business needs. We will also dissect a PWA to learn how to build these new apps and how you may be able to leverage them for your existing applications.

The meeting presenter is Adam Vaden.

Adam is the Co-Owner and Chief Technologist of V2 Tools, an emerging software consulting firm. He has a passion for software and is always experimenting with the latest technology. His current focus is on Kubernetes and bringing the platform to the arm ecosystem. Adam has experience architecting and building applications that range from integrating custom control plane software to distributed real-time data processing systems.

The meeting sponsor is Gravity IT Resources.

Do you have a recruiting firm that pays your power bill? How about your phone bill? Or your cable and internet bill? Gravity IT Resources wants to pay you for what you already do in referring highly endorsed colleagues for new job opportunities. To help us better serve clients, we also leverage AI and crowdsourcing techniques to identify elite talent in the IT ecosystem. How does it work? Gravity incents referrals by sharing a meaningful portion of our perm placement fees and contract revenue with the referrer.

  • Direct Hire Referral Fee: 10% (usually $750 – $3,000)
  • Contract Hire Referral Fee: 1% of the consultant’s pay rate over the life of assignment (usually $75-$125 per month)
  • Our payment is automated, transparent, and payment of referral fees is made via PayPal/Venmo

Learn more at www.gravityitresources.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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March Meeting: xUnit Design Patterns for the Enterprise

Join Insight and us on Tuesday, March 26th, at 6:00 PM in the Redwood Conference Room of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Everyone has seen “unit testing.” Create an object, set some properties, then assert correctness. But that style of unit testing is just the tip of the iceberg! Come find out how xUnit Test Patterns create meaningful, maintainable, and useful unit tests for enterprise solutions.

The meeting presenter is Payne Miller.

Payne is a mobile developer who is currently branching into cloud development. Born in the small town of Mocksville, NC, Payne came to UNCC in 2010 where he majored in Computer Science. Shortly after graduation, Payne found his way to Cardinal Solutions, which is now a division of Insight Enterprises. Payne has a passion for unit testing, clean code, Scrum, and fitness.

The meeting sponsor is Insight.

Today, every business is a technology business. Insight Enterprises Inc. empowers organizations of all sizes with Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ and services to maximize the business value of IT. As a Fortune 500-ranked global provider of digital innovation, cloud and data center transformation, connected workforce, and supply chain optimization solutions and services, we help clients successfully manage their IT today while transforming for the future. From IT strategy and design to implementation and management, our 6,600+ employees help clients innovate and optimize their operations to run business smarter.

On August 1, 2018, Cardinal was acquired by Insight Enterprises, joining the Digital Innovation solution area. Our combined capabilities, deep expertise and a shared passion for client relationships make us the partner to work closely with you to drive the results businesses are seeking. Learn more at www.insight.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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February Meeting: High-performance Stream-Oriented Processing Systems for IoT

Join TEKsystems and us on Tuesday, February 26th, at 6:00 PM in the Redwood Conference Room of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Real-time event-based systems process millions of messages per second by defining and combining small flows to create processing graphs. This talk covers the concepts behind streamed-oriented processing systems using high-performance messaging queue systems like Kafka and Akka Streams.

Real-time applications are dominating the industry! Data is the main ingredient in Internet-based, social media and Internet of things (IoT) systems, which generate continuous streams of events used for real-time analytics. This poses a tremendous challenge due to the massive volume of data collected and processed. These event-based real-time analysis systems can efficiently handle millions of messages per second through new generation solutions by simply defining small flows and then combining them to create processing graphs. In this talk, will cover the concepts behind high-performance streamed-oriented big data processing systems. We will explore messaging queue systems like Kafka and Akka Streams which let developers define their process workflows at a higher level to describe a graph system enabling high throughput. You will learn how to integrate high-performance stream message queues and how to define process workflows in C# and F#.

The meeting presenter is Riccardo Terrell.

Riccardo Terrell is a seasoned software engineer and Microsoft MVP who is passionate about functional programming. He is active in the .NET community and the author of “Functional Concurrency in .NET,” which features how to develop highly-scalable systems in F# & C#. Riccardo believes in polyglot programming as a mechanism for finding the right tool for the job. You can read his blog at www.rickyterrell.com and follow him on Twitter at @TRikace.

The meeting sponsor is TEKsystems.

By working for TEKsystems, you become part of our dedicated Microsoft Technologies Practice. Since its inception, our Microsoft Technologies Practice has helped hundreds of Microsoft Specialists to find an ideal job opportunity in the marketplace. Our program at TEKsystems specializes in the cornerstone technologies of the Microsoft stack – .NET, SQL Server, and SharePoint. Our team consists of Delivery Experts, in the major market geographies, with ties to the most cutting-edge work opportunities.

As a member of the TEKsystems Microsoft Technologies Practice, you will have access to a Market Delivery Expert that focuses on Microsoft Technology jobs around the clock in your local region as well as across the US. In some cases, we may offer you the opportunity to become a full-time employee of TEKsystems and work as a Microsoft expert on our staff or at our most prestigious clients. Be sure to speak with your local TEKsystems contacts Lindsey Thomka Hardin, Holly Cavanaugh, Kierra Brown, Tara Nolan and Alexis Dragan about our Microsoft Technologies Practice and how it can benefit your career.

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy over 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 sites across North America, Europe, and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals – while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise, and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there. Learn more at www.teksystems.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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January Meeting: Design for Enterprise Developers

Join Signature Consultants and us on Tuesday, January 22nd, at 6:00 PM in the Redwood Conference Room of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Any successful product begins with great design, and the field of design and user experience (UX) continue to get more attention. But how does this apply to enterprise development? If you have a designer or team of designers, how can you ensure you are working with them in the best way? What if your organization doesn’t have any designers? In this talk, we will discuss an overview of the design/UX landscape, tips for working design into your current build process, and finally some advice on how to build your design expertise.

The meeting presenter is Niel Sutton.

Niel Sutton is a User Experience (UX) Architect Manager in Microsoft Services. While in college, he was an intern at a startup where his naïve loyalty to Linux and penguins nearly got in the way of an exciting opportunity to work at Microsoft. Niel began his career answering support calls for MFC and C++. He never imagined that years later he would have a role leading UX Architects around the world and helping customers navigate digital transformation.

The meeting sponsor is Signature Consultants.

Signature Consultants started in 1997 with a singular focus: Provide our clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. At Signature Consultants, it’s not just about the bottom line; it’s about the people. We focus on the relationships we have with our clients, consultants, and candidates. Our motto, “Getting IT Right,” is reflected in every aspect of our company – it guides our decisions and actions and ensures that our consultants and clients always come first. As a result of these efforts Signature has been recognized as one of the best staffing companies to work (over the last seven years by Staffing Analyst International). Learn more at www.sigconsult.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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November Meeting: Rethinking Business Rules – From Creation to Code

Join Pratt & Miller Engineering and us on Tuesday, November 27th, at 6:00 PM in the Redwood Conference Room (formerly named MPR or the Multi-Purpose Room) of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. If you work with business applications, you certainly have business rules. As obvious as it might sound, how you collect, write, and organize your rules go a long way in determining the success of your application. In this talk, we will take a look at business rules: where they come from, different ways we write them in code, and how we glue them together to make up an application. We will then look at how the move to serverless computing forces us to rethink how we write and compose our rules.

This talk is in C# and F# using Visual Studio and Azure.

The meeting presenter is Jamie Dixon.

Jamie Dixon has been writing code for as long as he can remember and has been getting paid to do it since 1995. He was using C# and javascript almost exclusively until discovering F# and, more recently, Python. Jamie now combines all four languages for the problem at hand. He has a passion for discovering overlooked gems in data sets and merging software engineering techniques to scientific computing. Jamie has a BSCS in Computer Science and a Masters in Public Health. He is the former Chair of his town’s Information Services Advisory Board and is an outspoken advocate for Open Data. He is a 4-time Microsoft MVP and the author of Mastering .NET Machine Learning. You can find him on Twitter at @jamie_dixon

The meeting sponsor is Pratt & Miller Engineering.

Pratt & Miller is a product development company that through technology and innovation, solves customers’ most technical and complex challenges in Mobility, Motorsports, Defense, and Manufacturing industries.

Logical Advantage recently joined the Pratt & Miller family! Pratt & Miller specializes in custom engineered IoT devices and enterprise software including firmware, message brokers, cloud services, data acquisition, analytics, and visualization for IoT. Learn more at www.prattmiller.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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October Meeting: Performance and Scalability in Azure using CQRS Patterns

Join Pinnacle Solutions Group and us on Tuesday, October 23rd, at 6:00 PM in the Redwood Conference Room (formerly named MPR or the Multi-Purpose Room) of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Take a deep dive into the CQRS pattern to help design enterprise systems in Azure. Learn Azure features that re-enforce the CQRS pattern that drives performance, scalability, and maintainability in a cloud environment. Discover how the pattern relates to microservices, RESTful APIs, security/trust boundaries and use practical examples to compare/contrast the pros/cons of the pattern.

The meeting presenter is Jon Banta.

Jon is a software architect of 20 yrs currently in Charlotte working in the FinTech space. He specializes in large system architectures and comprehensive security platforms. He has a background in many different industries including Banking, Motorsports, Logistics, and Gaming. Originally from Las Vegas, NV, if he is not coding, he is spending time with his wife and three kids.

The meeting sponsor is Pinnacle Solutions Group.

Pinnacle Solutions Group is an IT consulting services firm specializing in Business Intelligence, Mobile Solutions, E-Business Solutions, and custom solutions, providing IT services for companies in the Charlotte and Cincinnati regions. Pinnacle Solutions Group is an IT consulting firm comprised of seasoned and exceptional IT consulting professionals with the business acumen to communicate across levels of management as well as the technical experience to design and implement technical solutions that meet specific business needs. We build partnerships with our clients through integrity, honesty, and service. In essence, we are focused on providing the type of value for a business partnership that the Charlotte and Cincinnati IT market demands. Learn more at www.pinnsg.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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September Meeting: Refactoring to Testable Code

Join SentryOne and us on Tuesday, September 25th, at 6:00 PM in the Redwood Conference Room (formerly named MPR or the Multi-Purpose Room) of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Most developers have the responsibility of working with an existing codebase. In many circumstances, the existing code was not designed with testing in mind. This does not allow leveraging of automated testing to reduce risk and improve quality. To realize the value of automated testing, this existing code must be refactored which is not always easy to accomplish. By attending this session, you will learn several techniques to refactoring code that was not designed to be testable. In addition, a unit test will be added to the newly refactored code and executed as a part of an automated test suite.

The meeting presenter is Richard Taylor.

Richard Taylor is a 25-year software development and technology professional living in Huntersville, NC. His experience includes the design and development of small to enterprise-class applications. For the last ten years, he has focused on web-based applications, and that is where his passion lives.

When not developing software, Richard focus is on spending time with his lovely wife Shondrecca and their five children (Richard III, Ayanna, David, Jonathan, and Stephen).

The meeting sponsor is SentryOne.

SentryOne creates unmatched solutions that empower Microsoft data professionals to achieve breakthrough performance across physical, virtual, and cloud environments. SentryOne products give customers the capability and confidence to monitor their databases, diagnose performance issues, and optimize the entire SQL Server estate to provide real business value. The SentryOne team includes more than 140 employees located in Charlotte, NC, Jacksonville, FL, Salem, NH and Dublin, Ireland. Learn more at www.sentryone.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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August Meeting: Ethereum and the Azure Blockchain Workshop

Join Signature Consultants and us on August 28th, at 6:00 PM in the Redwood Conference Room (formerly named MPR or the Multi-Purpose Room) of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Blockchain, Ethereum, Smart Contracts, what are they? How do they work? How can I leverage them for my business? In this session, we will begin to answer these questions. We will discuss what a blockchain is. We will dive a little deeper into one of the popular blockchain frameworks, Ethereum. We will talk about what a Smart Contract is and how it fits into this ecosystem. Finally, we have a demonstration of the Azure Blockchain Workshop and some sample smart contracts.

The meeting presenter is Jason Petrin.

Jason Petrin is a Consultant at Cardinal Solutions Group, where he works with different clients to build their products in the cloud. Jason has been working as a consultant for over a decade in the Charlotte area and has focused on creating cloud solutions for the past eight years.

The meeting sponsor is Signature Consultants.

Signature Consultants started in 1997 with a singular focus: Provide our clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. At Signature Consultants, it’s not just about the bottom line; it’s about the people. We focus on the relationships we have with our clients, consultants, and candidates. Our motto, “Getting IT Right,” is reflected in every aspect of our company – it guides our decisions and actions and ensures that our consultants and clients always come first. As a result of these efforts Signature has been recognized as one of the best staffing companies to work (over the last seven years by Staffing Analyst International). Learn more at www.sigconsult.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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July Meeting: How to Make Life Easier with Code Generation

Join Cardinal Solutions and us on Tuesday, July 24th, at 6:00 PM in the EBC/CBC Conference Room at the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Graham will discuss his experiences, the ups and downs of tools and share his favorite. And also show how advanced code generation makes our lives easier.

*** Access to the EBC/CBC Conference Room is through the FIRST entrance for the building on the left. ***

The meeting presenter is Graham Kerswell.

Graham Kerswell is currently based in Mooresville NC working in the Banking sector. He studied computer science at the Laurentian University and has worked with leading companies in a variety of business sectors including Seismic data services, Automotive Manufacturing, Legal, Education, and Banking. He has been providing software solutions for over 20 years. Graham has been an advocate for development tools and has tried many over the years, always trying to improve upon his mission of “work smarter.”

The meeting sponsor is Cardinal Solutions.

Cardinal Solutions delivers digital solutions across cloud, data and analytics, mobile, and web. We have 500 employees in seven offices who use an Agile process to collaborate with clients across the country, delivering the right solutions that users embrace, and providing strategic guidance and training to help advance businesses. Learn more at www.cardinalsolutions.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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June Meeting: Multi-paradigm for the win-Secrets to becoming a better programmer

Join Signature Consultants and us on Tuesday, June 26th, at 6:00 PM in the Redwood Conference Room (formerly named MPR or the Multi-Purpose Room) of the Microsoft Charlotte Office. Are you a polyglot programmer who uses multiple languages on a single project? Are you ready to take this practice to the next level to increase productivity, code correctness, maintenance and, in some cases, performance? If yes, then this session is for you!

In this session, we will discuss and demonstrate how multi-paradigm programming is even more potent than polyglot programming. Most mainstream programming languages support multiple programming paradigms (object-oriented, generic, functional, etc.), yet many developers confine themselves to a single paradigm. Whether using single or multiple languages, I will show you how to maximize potential by adopting multi-paradigm programming.

The key to better programs is knowing which languages to choose for the designed effect and how to combine them correctly for the desired outcome. For example, although object-oriented programming paradigms are widely used, the applications and design practices for functional programming may provide improved solutions to your architecture. After this session, you will walk away with the ability to select which paradigm is a better fit given a domain or sub-domain, and most importantly, you will learn the skills to make different paradigms coexist to create highly modular, extensible, and loosely coupled components. The goal of this session is not to claim that one paradigm is better than the other, but rather to introduce another way of thinking about programming to become a better developer.

The meeting presenter is Riccardo Terrell.

Riccardo Terrell is a seasoned software engineer and Microsoft MVP who is passionate about functional programming. He is active in the .NET community and the author of “Functional Concurrency in .NET,” which features how to develop highly-scalable systems in F# & C#. Riccardo believes in polyglot programming as a mechanism for finding the right tool for the job. You can read his blog at www.rickyterrell.com and follow him on Twitter at @TRikace.

The meeting sponsor is Signature Consultants.

Signature Consultants started in 1997 with a singular focus: Provide our clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. At Signature Consultants, it’s not just about the bottom line; it’s about the people. We focus on the relationships we have with our clients, consultants, and candidates. Our motto, “Getting IT Right,” is reflected in every aspect of our company – it guides our decisions and actions and ensures that our consultants and clients always come first. As a result of these efforts Signature has been recognized as one of the best staffing companies to work (over the last seven years by Staffing Analyst International). Learn more at www.sigconsult.com.

Please RSVP so we know how much food to order.

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