2020 off to a good start

Re:Invent did seem to spur some motivation, I studied for and passed my AWS Developer Certification. The studying itself was good, took a course on Udemy, and bought some practice exams to help. The test was harder than I thought it would be. It didn’t have the focus in the places I thought it would, but I passed!

With how work has been going, I’ve shifted now to more foundational studying: Data Structures, Algorithms, Design Patterns.

I have a OneNote that I’m keeping all my learnings in, and I’ve been doing some problems on leetcode.com. I’m definitely rusty, but it’s been fun. This phase will be more of a marathon than a sprint.

We’ll see at the end of 2020 how far I’ve come.


Attended AWS’ Re:Invent conference this year, for the 2nd time. First time was two years ago in 2017. I for the most part enjoyed it, Vegas is an interesting place, and the content is mostly informative. I find the best thing I get out of going is the inspiration to play with new services, and think of ways to incorporate them into our application portfolio at work.

Saw a few really good sessions, and a few not very good chalk talks. Attended one 2 1/2 hour workshop that I could have done by myself in a lot less time.

I find I get really excited about some things, and then the excitement dies down after a few months and I forget about it. So I’m going to try to log here what I would like to review, and come back in a year and see what progress I’ve made in learning.

Services I don’t have much familiarity with

  • DynamoDB – Don’t have much NoSQL experience whatsoever. I still have a mental block on the data modelling and use cases. Figure I’d try it out along with a few other services
  • Lambda Functions – I do have experience with these, but not enough to say I’m well versed. I’d like to play with layers, writing some different functions in the different language options (python, node, Go), and connecting it with…
  • API Gateway – Haven’t played with this much. Would love to see how this plays with Lambda and…
  • SAM / Cloud Formation – Infrastructure as code is not something I’ve played with much. Would love to tack some learning on this with the above services.
  • Cognito – We use Azure AD a lot with work, and it integrates with .NET project very well. Haven’t tried AWS Cognito at all for auth.
  • CloudWatch / X-Ray / CloudTrail / AWS Config – We’ve been talking a lot about metrics and measurement at work. Would love to plug this in to the work above
  • AWS Identity / IAM – I think I understand the basics of this, but don’t have much experience playing with it
  • Other random stuff that came up that I have a more passing interest in: AppSync, Step Functions, Service Mesh, AWS Amplify

There were also some other non-AWS technologies that piqued my interest there: Gatling for load / performance testing, Tableau for reporting, Event Driven Architecture.

There was a session on .NET containers, but I’m not sure if I want to dig into that. We use a lot of serverless functions and app services, that we sort of leap-frogged containers. It’s on the back burner.

There were a few resources from the conference that also seemed worth-while looking into:

Hopefully I dig into some of these this year. They mostly all fit nicely together, so I just have to sit down and start playing.

Continuing Technology Link Dumps

More Tech link dumps

Technical Link Dump

Again, more links I want to keep track of as I go through my saved Feedly RSS backlog:

ReFit, API interfaces – Nice blog post from Hanselman on a library for type safe APIs

.NET Architecture Guidance eBooks – Great resource from Microsoft

Crash Course in Async / Await pt 1 & 2 – Guide from Raymond Chen

Imposter Syndrome pt 1 & 2 – From Jon Skeet

Annnnd Imposter Syndrom p1 & 2 – From Scott Hanselman

Web Architecture 101 – Nice concise descriptions of a lot of the fundamental components of Web Architecture

JS Promises – Deep Dive into JS Promises

Technical Link Dump

Some more links I want to keep track of as I go through my saved Feedly RSS backlog:

Visual Studio Debugging Tips – Microsoft blog explaining some VS debugging tools

How to be Awesome – Stack Overflow blog post on writing an interesting resume

Performance exercise (in C#) on ContainsToken – Stack Overflow employee who explains his entry in a benchmarking exercise (Longer post)

How Stack Overflow does Deployments (2016) – Stack Overflow employee explains their deployment process

.NET API versioning package – Nice little package for versioning APIs, As explained by Scott Hanselman

Benefits of Pair Programming – A nice succinct article on the benefits of Pair Programming

Wizards and Warriors – 5 pt blog series by Eric Lippert on OO Class design

Technical Link Dump

I keep links in Feedly, the RSS feed reader I use, for months.  I’m going to move them to a post here to clear them out of Feedly.

Is C# a strongly typed or weakly typed language – Eric Lippert – A good explanation on the ambiguity of the terms “Strongly Typed” vs “Weakly Typed” and the more definitive terms “Statically Typed” vs “Dynamically Typed”.

DRY out your policies – Eric Lippert – A nice article on what actually constitutes repeating yourself in code

Identifying Code Quality from Source Code – A few points on how to demonstrate code quality from measurable metrics

C# Tools – List of various tools for C# development

HttpClientFactory in .NET Core 2.1 – Update usage pattern for consuming Web APIs

15 tips for performance tuning your website – Nice beginning list for what to look at to gain performance in your site

.NET Ecosystem Explanation – What are all the different flavours in .NET now (Core, Framework, Standard)