Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Tech Lead's New Project Checklist, propagated

A while ago a virtual colleague recommended this article on a forum:

It's a checklist for all the items a Technical Lead  should enumerate on a New Project. It's a good read if you're in (or could potentially be in) the position of leading a team in a technical project.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Useful PowerPoint Shit, Part 2 - Cloning objects quickly

I don't like using the mouse, but if I have to I will. Here's some tips for quickly cloning items in PowerPoint:

  1. Duplicating a shape - Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V OR Ctrl+D (while not in text edit mode) OR Ctrl+Mouse drag
  2. Duplicating a slide - Ctrl+Shift+D

Useful PowerPoint Shit, Part 1 - Copying and Pasting Shape Attributes

I love using hotkeys to execute my tasks because they reduce the number of times my hand has to leave the keyboard and go for the mouse, and consequently accelerate the task at hand. I've recently had cause to start using PowerPoint a lot more as my role at the company where I work has shifted and my job description has changed somewhat.

That said, I've discovered this useful gem for copying attributes between shapes so that I don't have to use the mouse and navigate menus to clone items or otherwise search for paste options:

Copy the attributes of a shape
  1. Select the shape with the attributes that you want to copy. ...
  2. Press CTRL+SHIFT+C to copy the shape attributes.
  3. Press the TAB key or SHIFT+TAB to select the shape or object that you want to copy the attributes to.
  4. Press CTRL+SHIFT+V.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fixing github access behind a corporate firewall with self-signed certificates

If you're doing development with bower packages in Visual Studio projects behind a corporate firewall, you may have run into issues with self-signed certificates. The quickest and easiest way to get around this (though definitely not safest or most recommended) is to simply globally ignore self-signed certificates.

On your Developer Command Prompt (assuming you've got 'git' in your PATH):

git config --global http.sslverify false

Fixing Bower behind a corporate firewall

Our company uses software to intercept and inspect encrypted packets (like many other corporate entities). As a result, there are self-signed certificates added to the packets. This creates a problem with many package managers like npm and bower.

If you're looking to get started quickly with bower in your .NET application in Visual Studio, simply put a .bowerrc file with the following contents in the root of your project (next to, say, your web.config):

{ "strict-ssl": false }

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Azure Automation does not support the Process{} block

There's an undocumented bug in Azure Automation: it does NOT support the Process { } block, i.e. the block that you would use when creating scripts / modules where you need to support piping in your commands.

I discovered this after much trial and error trying to run a runbook and having it silently and mysteriously fail with no output whatsoever, no matter what verbosity and progress settings I enabled.

Re-adding a Hybrid Runbook Worker to an Automation Account runbook worker group

If you receive the error: Add-HybridRunbookWorker : Machine is already registered to different account

Simply delete the key under: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\HybridRunbookWorker and try the command again.

Thanks go to Wayne Hoggett for pointing this out, this point reprints his.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Unit testing Service Fabric Reliable Service and Actors with Mocks and Moqs

Install-Package Moq
Install-Package ServiceFabric.Mocks

Some key bits of code you'll need:

this.mockRepository = new MockRepository(MockBehavior.Strict);

var statefulServiceContext = MockStatefulServiceContextFactory.Create(
codePackageActivationContext: this.mockRepository.Create<ICodePackageActivationContext>().Object,
serviceTypeName: String.Concat(typeof(MyActorService).Name, "Type"),
serviceName: new Uri("fabric:/MockApplicationType/MyActorServiceType"),
partitionId: Guid.NewGuid(),
replicaId: 1

this.mockServiceDependencyThing = this.mockRepository.Create<IServiceDependencyThing>();

MockActorService<MyActorService> actorServiceForActor = MockActorServiceFactory.CreateActorServiceForActor<MyActorService>((actorService, actorId) => new MyActorService(actorService, actorId, this.mockServiceDependencyThing.Object));

this.sut = new MyActorService(actorServiceForActor, new ActorId(Guid.NewGuid()), this.mockServiceDependencyThing.Object);

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Adding Dependency Injection support for Service Fabric Stateful Services and Actors

Check this page out:

Right from the maker of Autofac. You'll need to import the Autofac.ServiceFabric NuGet package, which is currently in beta.

Note: As of the current version (1.0.0-beta1) the InternalsVisibleTo functionality mentioned in the article doesn't work, so you ** HAVE TO ** set your registered Actors and Reliable Services to "public" visibility.

Note 2: The dependencies on the Autofac.ServiceFabric NuGet package aren't set correctly, so you'll have to "Update-Package Autofac -Version 4.6.0" since 4.5.0 isn't good enough.

Adding Dependency Injection support for Service Fabric Stateless API applications

Turns out that it's pretty easy (for Stateless Services anyway).

In your Package Manager Console:

Install-Package Autofac.WebApi2 -Version 4.0.1

In your Startup.cs file (assuming you're using the Visual Studio Project templates):


public static void ConfigureApp(IAppBuilder appBuilder)
// Configure Web API for self-host.
HttpConfiguration config = new HttpConfiguration();

name: "DefaultApi",
routeTemplate: "api/{controller}/{id}",
defaults: new { id = RouteParameter.Optional }

var containerBuilder = new ContainerBuilder();


config.DependencyResolver = new AutofacWebApiDependencyResolver(containerBuilder.Build());


And, assuming you've built an Autofac Module, it should look something vaguely like this:

public class PlayDatesApiModule : Autofac.Module
protected override void Load(ContainerBuilder builder)



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Adding Azure Active Directory OAuth 2.0 authentication to a Service Fabric Web API (Stateless) service

... is pretty much the same as adding it to a normal Web API 2.0 application:

public class ValuesController : ApiController

Then in your Startup.cs file:

// This code configures Web API. The Startup class is specified as a type
// parameter in the WebApp.Start method.
public static void ConfigureApp(IAppBuilder appBuilder)
CodePackageActivationContext activationContext = FabricRuntime.GetActivationContext();
ConfigurationPackage configurationPackageObject = activationContext.GetConfigurationPackageObject("Config");

ConfigurationSection configurationSection = configurationPackageObject.Settings.Sections["ActiveDirectoryServiceConfigSection"];

new WindowsAzureActiveDirectoryBearerAuthenticationOptions
Tenant = configurationSection.Parameters["TenantName"].Value,
TokenValidationParameters = new TokenValidationParameters
ValidAudience = configurationSection.Parameters["AppIdUri"].Value
Provider = new OAuthBearerAuthenticationProvider
OnValidateIdentity = OnValidateUserIdentityAsync

// Configure Web API for self-host. 
HttpConfiguration config = new HttpConfiguration();

name: "DefaultApi",
routeTemplate: "api/{controller}/{id}",
defaults: new { id = RouteParameter.Optional }