Aaaand, we're back...

Posted on Thursday, 08 Mar 2018

Hello! Sorry for the lack of posts recently - I haven't died or lost interested in blogging, I've been super busy with multiple things one of which broke my site. For this curious here's what I've been up to:

Building the new DDD South West website

Since getting involved with organising the DDD South West event last year, one thing that was unanimous around the team of organisers was how we needed a new website. The previous website was a free SharePoint hosted solution that had a number of problems (slow, design could be improved, lots of manual processes, speaker submissions by sending word documents etc), so after last year's conference I started working on the new DDD South West website, and with the 2018 conference approaching it was a bit of a panic to get it finished in time.

Luckily it was all sorted by the time we opened for speaker submissions (with a bit of JIT development). Surprisingly considering there are very few tests everything has worked without any problems, and what's more is it's all open source!

Here's a screenshot of the before and after, hopefully you'll agree it's a large improvement!



Feel free to check the new website out over at, it's built with all of the usual stuff:

  • .NET Core (MVC with MediatR)
  • PostgreSQL
  • Identity Server 4
  • Docker
  • Hosted on Linux behind nginx

Migrating my blog from .NET Core 1.x to 2.x.

I've been meaning to do this for a while now, and migrating a blog to a major version number when you know there's lots of breaking changes isn't something you charge at with gusto. Suffice to say it was painful and I ran into some weird issue where I quickly realised it was easier to just create a new project and start copying things over than to figure out what was going wrong.

I managed to get the website back up and running but still had a lot to fix on the login/admin side of things which uses OAuth and Google sign-in. So whilst the website was functional the admin area (and thus my ability to post) was not. Couple with the finishing the DDD South West website it all took a bit of time.

Anyway, it's all working now so that's a relief and I've got a few posts lined up.

.NET Oxford Talk - ASP.NET Core 2.0 Razor Deep Dive

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of being invited to the .NET Oxford user group to talk about all of the new features in Razor for ASP.NET Core 2.0. It's a talk I've given a few times before but this time around I was keen to update it with a bit more focus on the newer features in 2.0, such as the ITagHelperComponent interface and Razor Pages.

As a .NET meet up organiser myself, I always enjoy the opportunity to visit other .NET focused meet ups as it's always interesting to see how they operate, and to meet other .NET developers in the wider UK community. It's also a great chance to borrow ideas to potentially incorporate into .NET South West.

The talk

Overall I was really happy with the way the talk went (though I do wonder if I harped on about how great Rider is a little too much) with a good number of questions throughout and afterwards. Each talk I give I always try and focus on one habit I've noticed I've picked up, or wish to improve on when presenting, whether it be talking slower, less or more energy etc. On this occasion it was spend less time looking at the screen behind me and more time focused on, and looking at the audience. Whilst the session wasn't recorded I was quite conscious of it throughout and feel I did much better than previous sessions.


All in all it's been a crazy couple of months and now everything is settling down I'm looking forward to getting back into regularly blogging.

Oh, and on one last note - I've been selected to speak at DDD Wales (their first one!) which I'm really looking forward to.