Azure Search on Azure Friday

Once again I had a pleasure to join Scott Hanselman on Azure Friday. In the past we did a video about Azure Mobile App. This time we talked about Azure Search.

Azure Friday is very casual. You just walk in, and chat with Scott. It just happen to be recorded ūüėÄ

In this week’s episode we did a quick overview of Azure Search capabilities. Service, on which, I was working on for last two years.

01:00 – Creating a search index
02:37 – AzSearch.js – Automagical UI and sample React controls
03:27 – Searching the JFK Files
08:00 – Adding search to Scott’s blog

You can deploy JFK Files by yourself. More info in our JFK Files github repo.

Check out AzSearch.js to generate website to search your index!

This is just tip of the iceberg! Check our docs for more! You can start today by creating your first search service. We allow one free service per subscription!

Wroc# – developer conference worth attending

Wroc# - audience

Earlier this year I had a pleasure to speak at Wroc# conference in Poland. It was very well organized event that was almost free for attendees. The only cost was required donation to charity: PLN 150 (~$50).

There was only 1 track with awesome speakers lineup! I finally had an opportunity to meet Roy Osherove in person. I learned about unit testing from his book The Art of Unit testing. I’m currently reading his another book: Elastic Leadership – a lot of useful tips not only for team leaders! Among other speakers there were Scott Helme (Security Researcher) that uncovered some things about web security I have never heard about! Zan Kavtaskin gave great overview about building apps on Azure Cloud, Glenn Henriksen showed how on server-less computing works in Real-World, and Sander Hoogendoorn together with Kim van Wilgen shared their perspective on over-engineering development processes.

The conference venue was great. I would say it was the best setup I’ve even seen! There was one big room, divided into 3 parts: stage, chairs for audience and Mix&Mingle zone (AKA M&M). You could talk (in the Mix&Mingle zone), and still be able to follow presentations. Speakers’ room was on the upper floor, but it was more like a balcony, from where you could listen to talks and overlook entire venue.

I delivered talk about building mobile apps with Xamarin. I shared what we have learned while building Azure Mobile App, which started as hackathon project, and later turned into official Microsoft product. The app got announced on the stage of //build conference last year. Along the way we learned how to properly architect Xamarin project for multiple platforms, where to do not take shortcuts, does and don’ts for CI/CD and testing.

There was a guy who put a nice summary of my talk:

Wroc# - building mobile apps with Xamarin

At the end of the conference there was speaker’s panel where we were answering and discussing questions from the audience. We had good discussion about different aspects of software development from estimating project cost to writing unit tests. Almost every speaker had different background, and this made it even more interesting!

Wroc# - speakers panel

If you haven’t been to Poland before: Wroclaw is an amazing city, and many of my foreign friends says it’s their favorite city in Poland. Wroclaw is often refereed as WrocLove ūüėČ


Last, but not least: thank you for everyone who made this conference happen!

Wroc# - organizers

Azure Mobile App on Azure Friday

Last month I had a pleasure to talk about Azure App with Scott Hanselman on his show Azure Friday.

In this talk I presented Azure App architecture, our CI/CD infrastructure and how we took advantage of various benefits we get thanks to building app with Xamarin. Check it out!

If you want to learn more details about how we built the Azure App, check out my blog post Under the hood of the Azure Mobile App.

My talk was pretty technical. Deep into the meat. However, the same week, Michael Flanakin gave high-level overview of Azure App and our future plans:

Have you tried Azure App yet?

It is available on iOS and Android.

We would love to hear your feedback through our User Voice!

Quick intro to web development with TypeScript, webpack and Aurelia

TypeScript at SeattleJS

Earlier this month I spoke at SeattleJS meetup. I love this meetup! People attending it are awesome! Thank you Jeremy Foster for inviting me to speak! If you are living in Seattle area you should definitely check it out!

I gave fast-paced 30 mins overview of TypeScript. I showed a sample app that is taking advantage of webpack for continuous compilation, bundling and minification. I also did quick demo of Aurelia Framework <3

After presentation I got a lot of questions about migrating from JavaScript to TypeScript, and about specifics of building large web apps.

TypeScript team and Anders Hejlsberg shared with me a few interesting reads about migrating to TypeScript:

I also found out that Visual Studio Code was initially written in TypeScript, and before v1 release they switched to TypeScript.

Do you have questions or thoughts about migrating from JavaScript to TypeScript? Join discussion on twitter.

To learn more about specifics of building large web apps, check out my talk from Ignite Australia I gave earlier this year:

At the same conference, I gave a longer version of the talk I did at the meetup. So if you want to dive in deeper, the video is here.

It is also worth to mention that TypeScript is getting more, and more traction every day. If you are web developer you should seriously consider using it over pure JavaScript, or transpiled JavaScript vNext.

TypeScript = JavaScript vNext + types

Every valid JavaScript code is valid TypeScript code. Thus, by choosing TypeScript you have flexibility to use JavaScript, and opportunity to add type checks to some critical components of your project.

TypeScript - GoogleTrends

Once more, thanks SeattleJS for organizing awesome meetup and inviting me to speak! Great meetup, great people, keep up good work!

QCon Shanghai


Last month I had a pleasure to visit China and attend QCon conference in Shanghai.

I gave a talk about building large scale web apps with TypeScript where I updated my talk from last year to TypeScript 2.0, I showed TypeScript boilerplate project created by Remo Jansen, and using TypeScript with Aurelia Framework.




I had a great turnout. Room overflow with over 150 people. I also got a great feedback. People could vote green(awesome), yellow(ok), red(bad), and I received 128 green, only 10 yellow and 1 red, which gives over 92% extremely satisfied attendees.


QCon has¬†the best of the best from the industry. In Shanghai I met¬†Jaime Levy¬†(famous UX strategist from¬†LA),¬†Kinshuk Mishra¬†(Director of Engineering at Spotify),¬†Pete Soderling¬†(successful entrepreneur from New York and Silicon Valley,¬†founder of Hakka Labs & DataEngConf),¬†Sid Anand¬†(former Cloud Data Architect¬†at Netflix who implemented Netflix migration to the cloud that Adrian Cockcroft later on told the World about, former Tech Lead at LinkedIn where he implemented typeahead search, currently Data Architect at Agari – company that provides fraud detection services),¬†Wesley Reisz¬†(Solutions Architect at HP and University Professor), and Igor Marvińá (Software Engineer at Spotify).

China is very interesting place for developers, especially because of its scale. They have over 700 million Internet users! One developer from alibaba.com¬†– largest online store in China – told me that during¬†Singles’ Day (Guanggun Jie), which is equivalent of¬†Black Friday in USA, they had over 400 million customers online at the same time. This is more than entire¬†population of the United States (~325 million). They also sold more than $1 billion in merchandise in first 8 minutes! This is SCALE!

While I was in China I was using WeChat¬†(their Facebook equivalent). People don’t use Facebook and twitter, as they are blocked by China Firewall. You can workaround it using VPN, but sometimes it works very slow, or not at all. Thus, it is much easier to just use WeChat. When I am in USA I use Facebook, messenger and twitter everyday. However, I noticed that on my iPhone 5S, WeChat works much better than all mentioned apps. It doesn’t crash, it’s fast, and it has many cool features. Want to add somebody to friends? Just scan they QRCode. You can also shake your phone, and WeChat will try to find closest person who is also shaking their phone, and show on your phone their profile, and on their phone your profile.

Besides the conference, which was very well organized, I was very impressed by¬†how modern the city of Shanghai is.¬†The skyline looks almost like New York City! Shanghai Tower (2,073 ft / 632 m) is the second tallest building in the World.¬†Shanghai World Financial Center¬†(1,614 ft / 492 m) is number 9 on the same list, which contains only 1 American building –¬†One World Trade Center (number 6 –¬†1,776 ft / 541 m).

Shanghai - skyline

It was a great journey, and all Chinese people were very nice for me. I look forward to come back to China in near future!