Up-Coming Meetups

Ian Robinson – Umbraco

October 26th 2017 – 6.30PM

Reserve your Place at Meetup

Umbraco is one of the most popular open source ASP.Net CMS products on the market. Used by the likes of Microsoft, Peugeot, Costa, and Heinz, it has been around for over 10 years and has a vibrant and active community of tens of thousands of developers. The software itself can be installed on dedicated servers, VMs or in the cloud, with the latest offering being “Umbraco as a Service”.

In this talk we will look at what you can use Umbraco for, the community that surrounds it, how you install and configure it, customising the look and feel of your website, how to add features using plugins from the community, and how to extend the back office yourself using C#, JavaScript and HTML.

Ian is the director of Chilli Information Solutions Ltd (www.chilli-is.co.uk) and has been developing software for over 15 years, going freelance 7 years ago. He specialises in the healthcare sector, developing e-learning, web applications, and HL7 integration solutions for clients such as Health Education England, the University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust, the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.


If you would like to attend any of our meetups, please reserve you place on our Meetup Site.

Past Meetups

Stephen Haunts – Hacking Humans: Social Engineering

Jan 27th 2017 – 6.30PM

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Social engineering is one of the biggest threats to our organisations as attackers use manipulation techniques to coerce people into revealing secrets about our companies to allow attackers to gain access to critical systems.

In this talk we will look at some of the techniques used in social engineering and look at how to guard yourself against them. We will cover subjects like pretexting, elicitation and body language as techniques for manipulating people.

Stephen is the Head of Development at Buying Butler and RightIndem based in Nottingham. Stephen is also an author for Pluralsight and a frequent speaker at conferences like NDC London/Oslo and Techorama in Belgium. He has a passion for software development and building great teams.

Bart Read -Speed up .NET and SQL Server Web Apps

October 27th 2016 – 6.30PM

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Bart talks about the techniques used to identify, troubleshoot, and fix performance problems in web apps across the whole stack, and illustrate these with a number of real world examples.

Bart works from his home near Cambridge in the UK as an independent consultant, entrepreneur and tech writer. He also contributes to the open source Node Tools for Visual Studio project hosted on CodePlex.

My expertise is in .NET, web, and mobile, and I’m always looking for new technologies to learn, use, and write about. As a result you’ll often find me at local developer community events.

Previously he worked at Red Gate Software for nearly 10 years – a company making tools for developers and DBAs. Over that time he was a developer, project manager, and product manager, but he also helped out with technical recruitment, and even ran the IT department for a while. He’s worked on some great products for .NET developers over the years:Nomad for Visual Studio.NET ReflectorANTS Performance ProfilerANTS Memory Profiler, along with many of Red Gate’s SQL tools.

Daniel Shea – Progressive Web Apps

November 24th 2016 – 6.30PM

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“The application cache is a douchebag” – Jake Archibald.

Web apps can be pretty cool, but we could be making them even cooler. Browsers are levelling up by adding functionality to enable a user experience akin to using a native mobile application. Enter the new buzz-phrase of the moment… Progressive Web Apps!

We’ll explore how we can take our web apps offline but most importantly why you should care about this! Features such as service workers, background sync, push notifications, save to homepage and splash screens are pushing forward the frontier of UX in the web. This talk is about sharing the knowledge gained from FullStack 2016 conference and the lessons learned from implementing the features into real web applications.

The goal is to provide more than just a high level overview. You should be able to walk away confident that you can implement these features into your own web apps straight away.

Dan Shea is a Senior Software Developer at UNiDAYS. Professionally he concentrates on web apps and web services leveraging .Net technologies. In his own time he likes to gain hipster dev cred by hacking away with node and angular using an ancient linux laptop. When the moment strikes he likes to build crappy robots and make even crappier games.

Slides: http://slides.com/dancodemonkey/deck
Site: https://www.dancodemonkey.com
Twitter: @DanCodeMonkey

Mike Taulty – Essential Windows 10 and the Universal Windows Platform

September 29th 2016 – 6.30PM

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Windows 10 is here, aiming to scoop up all those users from Windows 7, Windows 8 and maybe even Windows XP and get them and keep them on Microsoft’s latest and greatest.
What does it mean to have ‘one’ Windows operating system?

What does it mean to have ‘one’ Universal Windows Platform?

In this ‘no fluff, no nonsense’ session, we’ll walk through the essence of the new Universal Windows Platform and how, for the first time, it brings a natural approach to writing both code that can be generally targeted at every Windows device while also adapting and tailoring itself to provide functionality only available on certain devices.

You should expect Visual Studio, C# code and XAML UI and talk of PCs, Phones, Xbox One, IoT devices and maybe even the odd mention of HoloLens 🙂

Mike Taulty works in the developer group at Microsoft in the UK where he has spent the past few years helping developers understand and get the best from the Microsoft platform. Prior to this, Mike spent 3 years with Microsoft Consulting Services as a consultant on developer technologies. Before joining Microsoft, Mike spent the previous 9 years working as a software developer for a number of enterprises, consultancies and software vendors working with a variety of operating system, client, communication and server technologies. Mike holds a BSc Hons (1st Class) in Computer Science from the University of Leeds.


Richard Wilde – Web UI Tetsing with CasperJS

June 30th 2016 – 6.30PM

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Unit testing helps us when writing any sort of application, however we often we end up writing unit tests for small pieces of logic that don’t really matter and sometimes miss out on the bigger picture. We tend to shy away from Web UI testing as the feedback loop is just too slow. In this presentation we will look at a toolset that gives us both end-to-end testing that aims to give us far faster feedback.

Welcome to the CasperJS a navigation and testing utility written in JavaScript, which plays nicely alongside PhantomJs, a headless WebKit Browser

The promise is simple wouldn’t it be nice to be able to perform some UI testing before you commit your code to source control?

About Richard Wilde

Richard started programming during the home computing era with a ZX81. He has been running his own software company called wildesoft.net since 2004 and has a lot of experience delivering Microsoft based solutions for all aspects of businesses. He is also the co-founder of Smart Devs a user group based in Hereford. He also hangs out on twitter @rippo

Andrew Bullock – Writing Robust Systems

July 28th 2016 – 6.30PM

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Building stable systems can be hard, but much of the difficulty can stem from poor design rather than implicit complication.

In this talk Andrew will be covering design patterns, processes and considerations for building stable, fail-well software.

Hopefully you’ll take away useful ways of thinking about software design and implementation, along with some helpful code snippets and patterns to enable you to get some quick wins as well as long term improvements.

Twitter @trullock

Tobiasz Koprowski – SQL Azure

March 31st 2016 – 6.30PM

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This special, March 31st Derby User Group event will be separated in two parts, but we will focus on SQL Azure, SQL Server and Cloud Services. On my first session I would like to introduce everyone to the technology formerly known as SQL Azure (now Windows Azure SQL Database). Under Tips and Trick session I will show which points, features, compatibility and non-compatibility for SQL Azure which are important for DBA’s. I will cover functionalities, performance, cost, and sla and security aspects. After break I will show how we can work with our data in the Cloud using SQL Azure, Blob Storage, what functionality of backup, restore, encryption and availability are available for us, how we can implement hybrid environment and when an why it is (or not) good practice. And finally I hope we will find few minutes for discussion about Future of the DBA.

Tobiasz Janusz Koprowski

Data Platform MVP / Shadowland Consulting

Independent Consultant and CEO of Shadowland Consulting. Community leader focused on SQL Server, SharePoint, security, Cloud & collaboration solutions, and ITIL, DR, BCM and SLA. Love licensing agreements. Working with audit projects, consulting and implementation in Poland, Scandinavia, Europe and China. Former Vice-Chair in GITCA EMEA Board. Member of the Boards at Polish Information Processing Society & ISSA Polska. Member several associations: Microsoft Terminology Community, Friends of RedGate PLUS, PASS, ISSA, ACM and several communities in the world.

MCT and MVP from July 2010. Subject Matter Expert at CQURE and Microsoft Connect. Former president of the Polish SQL Server User Group. Creator and CEO (2009-2011) of SQLDay Conference. Active blogger (owner of five) and international speaker with many different conference experience. Co-author of SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume Two. Actually settled not far away from Sherwood Forest. Cross-mountain cyclist, amateur in swimming and running. Traveller. Fan of snooker and good music.

.NET MVC Security with John Staveley

April 28th 2016 – 6.30PM

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John Staveley will be telling us how to secure our .NET MVC websites.

The number and frequency of attacks on websites in the news is increasing steadily and effects can be devastating. However for each company that you hear about there are many more who cover up or are unaware of breaches on their sites. Thus what you hear about in the news represents just the tip of the iceburg. This primer session on security focusses on the major risks and the practical steps you can take now in your software development to protect an ASP.Net Mvc website from the major threats in the web today and will include code you can take away and implement in your own sites. Each type of attack will be introduced in a technology agnostic way, then highlighted with some case studies using major breaches as examples, then finally countermeasures which you can use will be proposed for each risk. The attacks I will be looking at are:

• SQL Injection

• Session hijacking

• Password hacking

• Weak account management


• Insecure direct object references

• Misconfiguration

• Sensitive data exposure

• Missing Function Level Access Control


• Unvalidated redirects and forwards

• Form overposting


• Social Engineering

A sample code project is included as part of the talk which helps mitigate against all of these threats and more.

Twitter @johnstaveley

Sean Hunter – Aurelia

May 26th 2016 – 6.30PM

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We hear about a new JavaScript framework being created every other day. With the sheer volume of new tools to learn it can be difficult to decide what is worthwhile spending time on, what is a short lived fad, and how the new tools fit into our existing toolset.

Over the past year we’ve seen a trend toward creating single page web applications as a collection of modular components. AngularJS was the first framework to really formalise this concept, with ReactJS taking the concept further to really make it a first class citizen. Aurelia provides a convenient set of conventions and tools, making it straight forward to build web applications in this way, while also providing a standard set of plugins for things like routing and validation that save us a lot of time when creating large scale applications.

In this session we’ll take a deep dive into what Aurelia is, where it fits into the SPA framework landscape, and why it might be a useful tool to add to your web development tool-belt.

The session will cover the following topics:

• Getting started

• Views and View Models

• Configuration and Routing

• Templates and Binding

• Connecting to a back end data store or web service

• Unit and E2E testing

Stephen Haunts – Code Quality and Static Code Analysis

February 25th 2016 – 6.30PM

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Visual Studio offers many great tools to help you with improving the quality of your code. These range from unit test tools, code metrics tools and static code analysis. In this talk we will explore some of these tools and also take a look at tools like NDepend which offers a very rich palette of tools to help assess the quality of your code, or investigate dependencies of legacy brownfield code.

This will be part talk and part group discussion. We are also going to be raffling 2 FREE licenses of NDepend at this talk, so 2 lucky winners will walk away with a license worth $337.

Stephen Haunts is a Development Manager for Boots, a Pluralsight Author, Book Author and Co-Organizer of the Derbyshire .NET Usergroup

Nick McKenna – SAFe Planning in Action

January 28th 2015 – 6.30PM

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The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) has a special event that is held for every Program Increment (5 sprints-ish). This is a large scale, collaborative event including everyone from the Agile Release Train (50 people plus).

This workshop will be a highly interactive event where all participants will be involved in one of many teams collaborating together to plan a single Program Increment for a single product.

The schedule will roughly contain:

• Overview of SAFe Program Increment Planning
• (Fictional) Business Context
• Product / Solution Vision
• Architecture Vision And Development Practices
• Planning Session 1
• Draft Plan Review
• Planning Session 2
• Final Plan Review
• Risk ROAMing
• Confidence Vote
• Retrospective This will be a fast-paced, high octane session with a lot of fun!

Nick is the founder and CEO of McKenna Consultants. Nick’s passion for quality software is what drives his organisation forward, implementing Agile principles and practices throughout the entire business. Nick graduated from Hull University with a First Class Degree in Computer Sciences. Since then he has gained invaluable experience over 15 years in the software industry, from writing the worlds first electronic invoice system to controlling the computer drivers on racing computer games! Nick is a SAFe Program Consultant (SPC).

Paul Campbell – The Enterprise Service Bus – An Introduction

November 26th 2015 – 6.30PM

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An enterprise Service Bus may sound daunting… but what is it?

This talk aims to cover the basics of what a service bus is, how it works with simple analogies, why you would use it, and a live code demo using MassTransit and RabbitMQ.

Paul is a .Net developer who began his career as an embedded C developer in the telecoms industry, quickly getting onto the .NET track and is passionate about software design, best practices, and latest technologies.

Paul is currently working on a Pharmacy transformation project for a large international beauty and healthcare retailer.

David Whitney – Lessons Learned Scaling a mainstream RESTful API

October 29th 2015 – 6.30PM

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A walk through the design, launch, and evolution of a RESTful API that ended up powering some of the largest charity campaigns in the UK. We’ll go through what worked, what didn’t, along with some tips and advice to help you grow your own API to be ready for consumption by just about anyone.

David is an independent software consultant based in London focusing on iterative software delivery, developer mentoring and cultural change.

Prior to consulting David spent almost half a decade as the technical architect at JustGiving, and has done stints in telecoms, sports betting and ecommerce

Richard Tasker – Microsoft Azure

September 24th 2015 – 6.30PM

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Azure is such a large platform with so many features, some of which are very similar to each other. This can cause the decision making process to become confusing and difficult. This talk will give you an overview of some the Azure technologies you can use to empower your web application.

Richard is .Net Developer from Merseyside who came to Yorkshire and couldn’t find his way back home. Although Richard left University with an AI and Robotics degree he soon found his calling writing .Net web applications. Richard is now building scalable web APIs on the Azure platform for a Leeds start up and is trying his luck on the speaker circuit. http://richardtasker.co.uk

Bill Ayers – Mobile Development with Visual Studio 2015

August 27th 2015 – 6:30 PM

Users are going mobile and they don’t want to browse websites – they want apps! And they want them on their Android and iOS and, yes, Windows phones and tablets. So what are the options? Do you need to get the Java books out again? Or take a trip back to the 1990s and learn Objective C? Or are you going to chase the “write once, run everywhere” dream?

I’m going to run through the options for mobile development using Visual Studio including the Windows Universal Platform, Xamarin and Apache Cordova, without the need to learn how to use native development environments. With cross-platform development there is an element of compromise and there is no ideal solution for all situations, so I will help you make some choices. I will show how to get the most out of the tooling and get as near as possible to cross-platform Nirvana with minimum effort. And I’ll show some tips, tricks and traps that will save you hours of frustration when it comes to getting your apps published.

Bill Ayers is a consultant developer and solution architect who specializes in collaboration and Intranet portals and mobile solutions with a particular focus on agile software development practices. He is a Microsoft Certified Master and Charter MCSM for SharePoint, and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. He has over 20 years’ experience in the software industry, and speaks regularly at international conferences and user groups. He is also a moderator on SharePoint.StackExchange.com, and blogs at http://SPDoctor.net/. He is based in Sheffield, UK.

Stephen Haunts – Cryptography in .NET

March 26th 2015 – 6.30PM

Data security is something that we as developers have to take seriously when developing solutions for our organizations. Cryptography can be a deeply complicated and mathematical subject but as developers we need to be pragmatic and use what is available to us to secure our data without disappearing down the mathematical rabbit hole.

In this talk Stephen Haunts will take you through what is available in the .NET framework for enterprise desktop and server developers to allow you to securely protect your data to achieve confidentiality, data integrity and non-repudiation of exchanged data. Stephen will cover the following:

• Cryptographically secure random number generation.

• Hashing and Authenticated Hashes.

• Secure Password Storage

• Symmetric Encryption with DES, TripleDES, and AES.

• Asymmetric Encryption with RSA.

• Hybrid Encryption by using Symmetric and Asymmetric encryption together.

• Digital Signatures.

Stephen Haunts is a Development Manager working in the healthcare division at Boots and has been developing code since he was 10. Stephen is also an author with Pluralsight and a book author writing for the Syncfusion Succinctly series of books.

Andrew Fryer & Amy Kate Nicholson – Machine Learning without a PhD

February 26th 2015 – 6.30PM

Machine learning is a hot topic but what exactly is it, what are Microsoft doing with it and how can you actually use it to do useful work, without a background in math’s and stats. These are some of the questions Amy and Andrew from Microsoft will be answering as they take you on a lightning tour of Azure ML. All you need is your curiosity and some basic understanding of the data you use in your applications.

Amy and Andrew are cloud evangelists at Microsoft UK. They are passionate about data and so are always keen to share experiences and expertise with any like-minded individuals and organizations. They blog, they present and you’ll find them online at TechNet and Techdays Online as well as in person at events like the Data Culture series, Future Decoded and TechEd.

Penelope Coventry – No Syntax, No Semi-colons

January 28th 2015 – 7.00PM

SharePoint allows you to create solutions without code. In this session Penny will review some of the more commonly methods of creating no-code with SharePoint. She will then focus on how to extend SharePoint solutions with Windows 8 apps, using Microsoft Project Siena (code name). This is the beta release of a new technology for business experts, business analysts, consultants and other app imaginers.

Penelope Coventry, MVP SharePoint Server, MCSE: SharePoint 2013 and MCITP: SharePoint Administration 2010, is an author and consultant based in the U.K., with more than 30 years of industry experience. Penny has authored and co-authored more than 10 SharePoint-related books including Exploring Microsoft? SharePoint? 2013: New Features and Functions, Microsoft? SharePoint? 2013 Inside Out, Microsoft? SharePoint? 2013 Step by Step and Microsoft? SharePoint? Designer 2010 Step by Step. Penny has spoken at a number of conferences, including TechEd North America, SharePoint Conferences in United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK and at SharePoint Saturdays. She is also a keen supporter of the UK SharePoint user group community. Penny has worked with SharePoint since 2001, and when she’s not writing, she works as the Product Specialist for Lightning Tools and a trainer at Combined Knowledge