Public Developer Sessions

If you’re interested in me speaking at your meetup group, company, conference or somewhere else then this page is for you. Please read on…

Who Am I?

I’m a developer evangelist for Microsoft in the UK.

I’ve been working in the software industry for 25 years. You can find a potted history here and a shorter biography here.

I worked as a developer, team leader and development manager for 10 years largely focusing on portable C/C++ code on various operating systems. I came to Microsoft in 2000 where I’ve since worked as a developer consultant and then as an evangelist.

What Do I Talk About?

Today, while I can still write C/C++ and a few other programming languages, I’ve been working in C# and .NET since 2001 and so I always have a strong interest in what’s happening in that world as well as the world of the IDE that I use every day, Visual Studio.

Beyond that, I have a keen focus on Microsoft’s client platform – Windows 10 and the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) for building code across PCs, Phones, XBOX, Surface Hub, IoT devices and HoloLens. I’m interested in any place that the UWP shows up.

I also have a keen interest in Microsoft’s focus on ‘More Personal Computing’ technologies including areas like speech, touch, gesture, gaze, audio, faces, hands, bodies, etc. and this is true both on the client-side whether in technologies like UWP, Kinect, RealSense and on the cloud side in technologies like Microsoft’s Cognitive Services.

Where Might This Happen?

I’ve been speaking at community meetups, company meetups and many Microsoft and 3rd party conferences for over a decade and it’s the best aspect of my job – I like to get out and talk to developers.

My talks reflect the areas that I’m interested in and tend to be at the code-level and I try hard to bring my own perspective and code to those talks.

If you’re interested in me speaking at your conference or group, I’ve provided a list of current topics below. Typically, these are 60 minute sessions but they can almost certainly expand out to around 90 minutes and probably down to around 45 🙂

Current Talks

Developing with HoloLens: The Path to Mixed Reality

Microsoft HoloLens is the first fully self-contained holographic computer running Windows 10. It is completely self-contained-no wires, phones, or connection to a PC needed. HoloLens allows you to place holograms in your physical environment and provides a new way to see your world. This session provides a developer’s overview of the HoloLens and holographic app development in Unity and C#.

Essential Universal Windows Platform

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.

What’s New for Developers in Windows 10 Anniversary Update?

Windows 10 is a year old and over the last 12 months we’ve seen multiple Windows releases roll out to IoT devices, phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, 2-in-ones, all-in-ones, XBOX One, Surface Hubs and HoloLens.

Those devices are all running Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps and that platform will gain additional capabilities with the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

In this session, we’ll take a look at what the Anniversary Update brings to the app developer stopping to look at API areas like pen and ink, user interface, application extensions and more.

We’ll also take a look at what’s happening in the Windows Store and what the Anniversary Update means to ‘Win32’ developers with the arrival of the new ‘Desktop App Converter’.

We’ll work in code and demos as much as possible, expect Visual Studio and C#.

Windows 10 & Cognitive Services – A Platform for More Personal Computing?

Salt and Pepper. Fish and Chips. Starsky and Hutch. Windows and PC.

Just as Windows became intrinsically linked with personal computing, Microsoft is working to make that just-over-the-horizon leap towards natural interaction and ‘More Personal Computing’ (MPC). It’s already surfacing today in technologies like ‘Cortana’ and ‘Windows Hello’.

In this session, we’ll take a demo-based approach to look at the MPC technologies that Windows developers already have available to them in the Universal Windows Platform.

We’ll look at what we can do with pens, touch, speech, facial recognition and we’ll see some of what the Windows 10 app platform along with Microsoft Cognitive Services have to offer to developers building modern apps with an ever-more personal touch.

You should expect Visual Studio, C# code and XAML UI.

Working with Pen and Ink on the Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform

Windows users have been working with pens for decades but modern hardware advances in devices like Surface mean that pen has taken a huge leap forwards in recent times. The platform has also taken a huge leap forward with the introduction of DirectInk in Windows 10 and its new features in the Anniversary Update.

In this session, we’ll go on a tour of the capabilities that DirectInk offers to the UWP developer looking at capturing and formatting ink and on to more advanced topics like handling wet/dry ink and creating your own stencils and rulers.

Expect C#, XAML, Visual Studio and a lot of ink 🙂

The Visual Layer for UWP Apps – Animations, Effects and Interactions

XAML began life more than 10 years ago, it’s going strong and is used in both Microsoft’s own apps and in Windows 10 itself. But, sometimes, your app’s experience calls for more than XAML can offer.

In this session, we’ll explore programming with the ‘Visual Layer’ APIs that open up the Windows compositor to developers allowing you to do advanced composition, animations, effects and interactions. We’ll start at the beginning and take a tour around what the Visual Layer can do for you and where you might want to use it.

Expect C#, XAML, Visual Studio and a lot of demos.

Developing with Speech on the Microsoft Platform

We’re increasingly talking to our devices and expecting them to talk back in a sensible way whether it be directly talking to apps or working through a personal assistant like Cortana or Siri.

How do you build this into your app? In this session we’ll take a tour around the speech technologies that are available to you both on and off the device looking at both the Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform (UWP) APIs and the Microsoft Cognitive Services RESTful APIs that you can use to enable your apps to listen, speak and to understand the natural language of your user.

We’ll be working in C#, the UWP and making calls out to the cloud to show what we can do with speech in a modern app.

A Developer’s Tour of Microsoft’s Cognitive Services

Our interactions with devices are becoming ever more natural and users increasingly expect to work with devices that can recognize them, talk to them, understand their gestures in a natural and reliable way.

This kind of functionality is moving from ‘nice to have’ to ‘expected’ and platforms are increasingly providing these kinds of facilities both on the device and in the cloud.

In this session, we’ll take a look at the set of cloud-based, RESTful APIs that Microsoft has under its ‘Cognitive Services’ banner which enable scenarios around speech, vision, language understanding, search and knowledge.

We’ll dig into what it looks like to recognize users from their photo or their voice pattern and how we can build models of speech interaction such that a developer doesn’t have to write code to differentiate the hundreds of different ways of ordering a pizza.

Expect code and lots of calls to the cloud!

A Lap Around Developing with Kinect for Windows V2

Kinect’s a bit of magic – for a very low price and a USB connection you get a sensor which can see in HD, see in the dark, see how far away objects are, see the details of human beings in its line of sight and all the while be listening to hear what’s going on in its environment and where sounds are coming from. The V2 sensor is a powerful bit of kit and opens up your applications to a whole new set of natural inputs.

In this session we’ll have some fun coding our way around the V2 sensor to see what it can do for us – we’ll explore the capabilities and how to capture data from the sensor and we’ll look at the different development environments that you can use the sensor in from the desktop through to in-store apps.

Expect demos. Expect mostly .NET but maybe some JavaScript. Expect that the presenter might need an assistant or two to stand in front of a sensor.

Availability

Depending on the time of year and what’s else is going on I can usually manage to slot something into my calendar with 3-4 weeks’ of notice. Sometimes that’s not possible and I need a little more lead time but you can always try me.

Examples

Here’s some examples of me speaking around technical topics – some of these are current and others are ‘from the archives’ 🙂

Future Decoded 2015: Essential Universal Windows Platform

2

DevWeek 2016: Keynote – “It’s Not Science Fiction Any More”

3

Channel 9: Pen and Ink on Channel 9 Show ‘Context’

1

TechDays Holland: Building for Both – Windows and Phone

6

TechDays Holland: Reactive Extensions for the Rest of US

4

Get in Touch

You’ve already found my blog and you can find me on Twitter and you can mail me. You can also find me on Channel9.

Drop me a line 🙂