Feb 19

Being a developer I often get approached by friends and colleagues (even strangers) regarding startup ideas. The conversation usually goes something like this: “I have this really great startup idea, you develop it for free and I’ll give you 5%.”


I’ve worked with a few startups now and to be fair most of the time I have done so as a consultant, and have been well remunerated. One startup in particular I worked on through to exit , so I consider myself as pretty experienced.

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” — Guy Kawasaki

However I’ve also succumbed to working for equity or options, to be completely honest it has never really bothered me as I’ve usually accepted because I love the idea or technology I’d get to use.

The issue I’ve personally encountered is that when given such a small amount of equity your voice and ideas are usually muted too. I’m a coder yes, but I’m also entrepreneurial and can contribute in so many other ways.

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Dec 13

Recently I’ve been playing around with Entity Framework Core and it’s been a great positive experience overall, however as I started to port one of my projects over I fell foul of the lack of Seeding support. For those that haven’t used the Seed functionality in EF 6, it’s basically a method to populate the database with data that is invoked when migrations finish. There is a open GitHub issue regarding seeding support in EF Core.

My requirements are simple I’d like to use the dotnet CLI to run environment specific Migrations and Seeding from my continuous deployment pipeline. In this post I’m going to show you how I got environment specific Migrations and Seeding working. There are a couple of things that work differently that we need to workaround but that’s fine.

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Sep 30

Recently I tweeted about the Azure App Service Team announcement that you can now officially run MySQL in-app, that means running MySQL using the same resources as your web app instance. I see this as a game changer as we move to microservices a natural paradigm shift is also to move away from monolithic databases too. I’ll follow up more on this in future posts, but right now this post is about migrating your existing WordPress blob to Azure.

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Jan 13

I like to use OWIN with Web API unfortunately Web API Help pages is MVC and actually doesn’t work first time with OWIN, so much so I asked a Stack Overflow question about it (which I ended up answering myself). You can get it working on IIS with minimal effort, but not on self host this is because MVC requires (pre vNext) System.Web.

At first I gave up and tried Swagger for my docs, but I came back to Web API Help Pages. What I like about Web API Help Pages is at it’s heart it’s just a set of Razor templates. And for me using Razor templates is about as easy as it gets. So I thought ‘How hard can it be to make Web API help pages work with self host?’ A quick Google revealed that Yao has already managed to get Web API Help Pages working on self host using T4 templates, so if I do something similar but using Razor I’m in business.

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Jul 21

During this series of posts I’m going to share with you how I work with WebApi. I’m going to share the steps with you so you understand exactly what is going on and the choices made. There of course is a GitHub repo you can folk and use in your own projects.

Being a consultant I have to create REST API’s (or as I like to say ‘RESTish API’s’*) a lot, I’m going to show you how I do it. When you create your WebApi project your first instinct might be to select the WebApi project template, I would resist doing it like that.

Not because there is anything wrong with using the templates, because there ins’t I’ve used both the WebApi and MVC templates as learning tools as well as for quick hacks. That said that’s what you should use them for – here are my reasons for saying that:

  • So much of the config is done for you that it can be difficult to understand what’s going on, what if you need to change the config or had a deployment issue would you be confident in making changes?
  • So many extra packages are added that you probably don’t need.
  • It’s not Owin backed.

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